Parks Canada Celebrates Successful Canada 150 Season in Québec City Region’s National Historic Sites
More Canadians than ever before enjoyed amazing experiences at Parks Canada places in 2017
October 6, 2017 Québec City (Quebec) Parks Canada Agency
National parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas represent the very best that Canada has to offer and tell stories of who we are, including the history, cultures, and contributions of Indigenous peoples.
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, the Government of Canada offered free admission for all visitors to Parks Canada places, to encourage Canadians to experience their rich history and heritage in a special way. Parks Canada is pleased to have welcomed more visitors to our treasured places than ever before, and to have played an important role in the celebration of Canada 150.
The summer of 2017 was undoubtedly an excellent season for the five national historic sites located in the Québec City region with overall attendance well above that of last year. In fact, this year’s free admission allowed us to welcome over 245,000 visitors in these national historic sites which are, in general, open from mid-May to mid-October each year.
Here is an overview of attendance at each site.
Fortifications of Quebec
The guided tour of the fortifications, which offered the opportunity to discover new places that were inaccessible to the general public, attracted more than 5,600 people. In addition, two new visits, “From Lord Dufferin to Today”, a tour that covers the evolution of the Saint-Louis and Saint-Jean gates and the vision of Lord Dufferin, as well as “Québec by lantern light”, a tour of the fortifications at night, attracted more than 1,500 people. The latter was the result of a partnership with the National Battlefields Commission.
St-Louis Forts and Châteaux
This magnificent archaeological crypt under the Dufferin Terrace was the star of the Québec City region’s sites this year with a record attendance of more than 167,000 visitors! In response to such success, the season will be extended until October 29th.
Located just minutes from Québec City, Fort Number One, the last in a series of three detached forts, was designed to protect the City against an American invasion. In order to preserve this unique site, Parks Canada carried out restoration work on two sections of the fort wall this year. This type of historical work requires particular skills and Parks Canada wanted to make this specialized work known to visitors. This was very much appreciated, as nearly 17,000 people passed through the fort this year.
Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial
This remarkable national historic site, located in the Ile-aux-Grues archipelago, also contributed to this year’s success. In fact, we welcomed nearly 26,000 people, a sharp increase from last year. The site also offered three new guided tours this season that attracted close to 3,000 visitors.
The Government is committed to preserving our national parks, while making them more accessible so that Canadians, including youth and newcomers, can experience the outdoors and learn about our environment. Parks Canada continues to ensure the best possible visitor experience for people coming to our places, and has effectively managed 2017’s increased visitation.
To help visitors plan their experiences, Parks Canada launched a mobile app earlier this season. The app is incredibly popular and, to date, there have been over 150,000 downloads. The Parks Canada Mobile App is a great planning tool which offers up-to-date information and resources to help visitors plan their visit and discover breathtaking locations, including a list of hidden gems, and other unique and memorable experiences at national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas.
“I am so pleased to see just how many Canadians and visitors alike have made Parks Canada’s places part of their Canada150 celebrations. Canada’s historic sites and national parks are amazing places for Canadians to connect to nature and history. By building connections to these places, we can foster the stewards of tomorrow — people who know and care about these irreplaceable treasures. I look forward to welcoming you back to our treasured places in 2018.”
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Member of Parliament for Québec
- This year, the Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux National Historic Site welcomed over 167,000 visitors, a threefold increase from 2016.
- Over six million free 2017 Discovery Passes have been ordered by Canadians and people from around the world. Parks Canada has seen record visitation numbers across its network, and more Canadians than ever have had amazing experiences at our national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas.
- Through Budget 2016, the Government of Canada expanded the Learn-to Camp program. Through this expanded program, more Canadians than ever before are acquiring the skills they need to experience and enjoy the outdoors. So far, in 2017, 35,000 people (a record number) have participated in Learn-to Camp events and activities across the country.
Communications and Public Relations Officer
Quebec Field Unit
Parks Canada Agency