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Park Summaries

Park Summaries
Newfoundland and Labrador

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All text and photos are copyrighted by Parks Canada or the Canadian Register of Historic Places (except as noted) and were extracted from either the Parks Canada or Canada's Historic Places Websites. Parks with a grey background are managed by Parks Canada.



©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Basilica of St. John the Baptist National Historic Site of Canada
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

The Basilica of St. John the Baptist is a massive, stone cathedral built in the mid 19th century in the Lombard Romanesque Revival style. It forms the core of a complex of religious buildings comprised of the bishop's residence and library, a school (St. Bonaventure's College), two monasteries and two convents. The Basilica is prominently located on an elevated site, overlooking the city of St. John's, Newfoundland and its harbour.

The Basilica of St. John the Baptist was designated a national historic site in 1983 because of its important role in the religious, political and social history of its region, and its Lombard Romanesque architectural style.

The Roman Catholic Church has played a very important role in the religious, political and social history of Newfoundland. The Pope officially recognized Newfoundland as a separate ecclesiastical territory in 1784. However, despite the significant numbers of Roman Catholics who immigrated to Newfoundland from Ireland during the 18th and early 19th centuries, their rights with respect to worship, education, property and political participation were severely restricted until 1832, when representative government was granted to Newfoundland and restrictions on Catholics were lifted. Catholics bishops began to play an increasingly important role in Newfoundland's social relations and its educational system. They also maintained strong links with civil authorities during various disputes that threatened to divide Newfoundlanders on religious lines.

The Basilica of St. John the Baptist symbolizes the status of the Roman Catholic Church in Newfoundland. Built between 1839 and 1850, and consecrated as the cathedral for Newfoundland in 1855, it was elevated to the status of a basilica a century later to reflect its historic and religious significance. It is part of a complex of Church buildings, constructed with the financial support of Catholics across the island, that includes a school and two convents.

The Basilica was built under the direction of Bishop Michael Fleming, who served as bishop from 1830 to 1850. Fleming transformed the face of Roman Catholicism in Newfoundland while maintaining strong ties with his European colleagues. He created many new parishes, hired permanent resident priests and brought in two religious teaching orders of sisters. His greatest preoccupation and most enduring achievement was the construction of the massive cathedral on the height of land overlooking St. John's harbour. Through his personal efforts, land, materials and funding were secured for the building which, when built, was North America's largest church.

The Basilica is a very early North American example of the Lombard Romanesque Revival style. Inspired by 12th-century Italian architecture, the style became popular in the mid-19th century for Roman Catholic churches, especially in North America, due to its association with Rome. The original designs called for the building to be faced with local stone, but the builders used less expensive Irish stone instead. The Irish stone failed under Newfoundland environmental conditions and was gradually replaced with local stone, thereby reflecting original design intentions, but not original materials.

The physical dominance and visibility of the Basilica reinforces the enormous significance of the Catholic church both to St. John's and to the province of Newfoundland.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, J. McQuarrie, 2003
Battle Harbour Historic District National Historic Site of Canada
Battle Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador

Located on the east coast of Labrador, Battle Harbour Historic District is a classic example of a traditional outport fishing community. The mercantile complex with its large wooden stores, dominates the landscape. Wharves and fish processing spaces animate the waterfront, while houses, a church, a doctor's office and a police detachment speak to community life.

Battle Harbour Historic District was designated a national historic site of Canada because, through their history, architecture and layout, the buildings, structures and open spaces which constitute the district are evocative of the 19th and early 20th-century fishing outports of Newfoundland and Labrador and illuminate the rich mercantile history of such traditional fishing communities.

The mercantile complex of Battle harbour founded by John Slade of Poole of England in the 1770s still dominates the landscape and symbolizes the preeminence of merchants in the economic and social order. Large functional wooden building such as the Salt, Flour and Salmon Stores, dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, and the wharves and fish processing spaces, recall Battle Harbour's roles as a major port in the Labrador fishery. The Gothic Revival Church of St. James the Apostle, the Grenfell Mission doctor's cottage, police detachments and radio tower represent features of the metropolis of southern coastal Labrador up to the 1960s. Well-preserved fishing rooms, still occupied seasonally, evoke customs of the inshore fishery, sealing, bird-hunting and the seasonal migrations of the "livyers" of St Lewis Inlet. The cultural landscape preserves most strikingly the rich history, tradition and significance of Battle Harbour when it was widely acclaimed Capital of Labrador.

Boyd's Cove Beothuk National Historic Site of Canada
Boyd's Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador

The site is positioned on a glacial moraine seven metres above sea level along the shore of Boyd's Cove, Notre Dame Bay. It is spread throughout a forest clearing. An archaeological study of the site identified two areas of interest, called Area A and Area B. Area A, the northern sector of the site, is roughly 1 250 square meters and contains evidence of "Recent Indian" occupation and an earlier Palaeoeskimo presence. It has yielded artefacts that predate the Beothuk occupation and attests to continuous occupation of this site from approximately 3000 B.P. Area B, the south part of the site, is roughly 1 760 square metres and contains eleven Beothuk house pit features that are visible as low earthen rings surrounding shallow depressions. Other cultural features include middens, hearths, post moulds, and possible sleeping areas. Artefacts predating the Beothuk from lower levels in Area B, and matching "Recent Indian" material found in Area A and elsewhere in Newfoundland, provided long sought after evidence of an ancestral link between Beothuk and "Recent Indian" peoples.

Beothuk were the first North American Aboriginal people to encounter the Europeans, but they ceased to exist as a distinct people in the early 19th century. At the time of European contact, the Beothuk occupied at least the south and northeast coasts of Newfoundland. The Boyd's Cove site was first located in 1981 by Dr. Ralph Pastore. His excavations there have contributed significantly to issues that were somewhat understood from ethnohistoric sources but had little basis in archaeological data, including: Beothuk dwelling design and seasonal variance of dwellings; diet; the integration of early European items into Beothuk culture; Beothuk-European relations; Beothuk symbolism, and subsistence procurement patterns. One of the significant outcomes of the research was the identification of an archaeological component that convincingly demonstrated the suspected ancestral link between earlier "Recent Indian" groups and the Beothuk. Not only has the site contributed to our understanding of the early historic period and to the demise of the Beothuk, but it has also established the ancestry of these people and affirmed the pre-contact cultural sequence in Newfoundland.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, N. Miquelon, 2006
Cable Building National Historic Site of Canada
Bay Roberts, Newfoundland and Labrador

The Cable Building National Historic Site of Canada is a testament to the development of the telegraph industry in Newfoundland and Canada in the 20th century. Situated on Water Street in Bay Roberts, Newfoundland and Labrador, the concrete and steel structure is Neoclassical in design. The building is clad in red and beige brick and consists of a single, two-storey rectangular portion with a sympathetically-designed lateral wing. The interior spaces were designed to be open and spacious in order to accommodate the telegraph relay station. Currently, the ground floor houses the town hall, and the second floor is home to the Road to Yesterday Museum and the Christopher Pratt Art Gallery.

In the late 19th century, Newfoundland became a major hub for the development of telecommunications networks as it offered the shortest route to link North America and Europe. In 1910, the first transatlantic cable for the Western Union Telegraph Company was landed in a temporary building in Bay Roberts. By 1913, the current Cable Building in Bay Roberts was built to serve as the main relay between the North American and European networks of Western Union Telegraph. Its establishment was a key component in the company's international strategy and its architectural design is important corporate evidence of the expansion and dominance of Western Union in Newfoundland. The design of the Cable Building also introduced a new type of telegraph station to Newfoundland as it adopted the Western Union Telegraph corporate model. The architecture demonstrates a functional and specialized layout with rooms dedicated to specific equipment, technical operations, and administration. From its technical design to the connecting cables, the Cable Building was a flagship of telegraph technologies, illustrating Western Union's important role as an innovative industry leader.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Cape Pine Lighthouse National Historic Site of Canada
Cape Pine, Newfoundland and Labrador

The Cape Pine Lighthouse National Historic Site of Canada stands high on the most southerly promontory of Newfoundland between Trepassey and Saint Mary's bays. The cast-iron tower is a smooth, tapered cylinder pierced by small, square windows as it rises to a wide gallery with railing and lantern. The lighthouse stands amongst ancillary buildings and a communications tower. Its strategic location makes it highly visible to maritime traffic.

The heritage value of this site resides in the physical presence of the lighthouse as witness to the achievement of early pre-fabrication, transportation and construction on a rugged site. Built in 1851 to guide trans-Atlantic shipping, the Cape Pine Lighthouse also illustrates the early improvement of aids to navigation on the east coast of Canada. The lighthouse was the first of a series of prefabricated iron structures erected in Newfoundland in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Designed by Alexander Gordon, it represents a pioneering and carefully executed instance of maritime design and engineering in Canada.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1990
Cape Race Lighthouse National Historic Site of Canada
Cape Race, Newfoundland and Labrador

The Cape Race Lighthouse National Historic Site of Canada is situated on a remote headland on the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland. The stone and reinforced concrete tower consists of a smooth, plain cylinder crowned by a circular metal lantern surrounded by a concrete walkway and railing. The lighthouse stands amongst smaller support buildings. Its strategic location makes it highly visible to maritime traffic.

The heritage value of this site resides in the physical presence of the lighthouse, witness to the importance of the Cabot Strait shipping lane. It also resides in the design and stout construction of this tower, which housed a powerful light. The Cape Race Lighthouse also illustrates the improvement of aids to navigation on the east coast of Canada. Designed by Steel Concrete Co. it represents a pioneering example of maritime design and engineering in Canada. Built in 1907 by the Canadian government, this lighthouse, which marks the entrance to the nation's busiest shipping lane, replaced an earlier light tower erected by the imperial government in 1856 on the same site.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site of Canada
Cape Spear, Newfoundland and Labrador

Oldest surviving lighthouse in Newfoundland, 1836

The oldest surviving lighthouse in Newfoundland and Labrador is located at the most easterly point of land in North America. It has been restored to its 1839 appearance and shows how a lightkeeper and his family might have lived in the mid-19th century. The Visitor Centre contains exhibits on the history of lighthouses and the tradition of lightkeeping. The site is surrounded by spectacular scenery and wildlife such as whales, seabirds and icebergs in season.

Set high on a bluff overlooking the approaches to St. John's harbour Cape Spear Lighthouse is a visual icon of the province of Newfoundland. Restored by Parks Canada to its early 19th-century core, the structure is an elegant neoclassical cube with a domed light tower rising from its centre. It shares its site with a functioning light, and is now operated as a historic site open to the public.

The heritage value of Cape Spear Lighthouse lies in the remaining physical form and materials of the 1830s lighthouse, and the strategic location and isolated nature of its site. Built in 1835 by the Colony of Newfoundland to signal the approach to St. John's harbour, Cape Spear Lighthouse was in continuous operation from 1836 to 1955. The building evolved over the years, but when it was developed by Parks Canada in 1975 as an historic site, it was restored to its 1835-1840 appearance.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Castle Hill National Historic Site of Canada
Placentia, Newfoundland and Labrador

17th- and 18th-century French and British fortifications

Castle Hill features the remains of French and English fortifications from the 17th and 18th centuries. Visitors can learn about the everyday life of the French fishermen and soldiers at Placentia, Newfoundland. The site also features a magnificent view of the town of Placentia and the surrounding harbour.

The heritage value of Castle Hill National Historic Site of Canada lies in its historical associations as illustrated by the remains of the 17th and 18th-century French defence works, the British blockhouse, as well as of both French (1692-1713) and British (1713-1811) occupancy. The site was stabilized and interpreted by Parks Canada as a national historic park in 1962-1968 to commemorate Placentia's tercentenary. Archaeological investigation was conducted on the site at that time.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, J. Butterill, 1994
Christ Church / Quidi Vidi Church National Historic Site of Canada
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Christ Church / Quidi Vidi Church National Historic Site of Canada is a modest, 19th-century, Gothic Revival style wood church, based on a modified cruciform plan with a side tower. It is located on a fenced lot on a steep hill overlooking the harbour in the former village of Quidi Vidi, now part of the city of St. John's. The building is no longer used as a church and the interior has been altered.

The heritage value of this site resides in its design, form and materials. Christ Church / Quidi Vidi Church was opened in 1842 as a chapel of ease for St. Thomas's Anglican Church in St. John's. Its original design by James Purcell, an architect and builder, was based on a cruciform plan with Gothic Revival detailing, an architectural form and vocabulary favoured by the Anglican Church from the mid-19th century to the beginning of the 20th century. Christ Church / Quidi Vidi Church was modified by a series of additions in the 19th and 20th centuries, including the addition of a bell tower in 1890. In its wood construction, scale, plan and evolution, it is consistent with churches constructed across the island of Newfoundland in outport communities.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Colony of Avalon National Historic Site of Canada
Ferryland, Newfoundland and Labrador

Colony of Avalon National Historic Site of Canada is a 17th-century archaeological site located 60 kilometres south of St. John's, Newfoundland. Situated on the east coast of the island, the site extends across the narrow Avalon Peninsula and the small harbour at the town of Ferryland. Ongoing archaeological excavation and research managed by the Colony of Avalon Foundation has revealed extensive traces of the 17th-century English settlement and many related artifacts. The site now features an interpretive centre and heritage gardens.

Intending to establish a permanent English colony in the New World, Sir George Calvert, later Lord Baltimore, purchased a tract of land on the east coast of Newfoundland from Sir William Vaughan in 1620. A year later, in 1621, Calvert sent 12 settlers under the command of Captain Edward Wynne to establish the Colony of Avalon on this land. They were subsequently followed, in the winter of 1622-1623, by another 32 colonists, including women and children. Calvert himself visited the colony in 1627 and settled with his family at Mansion House, in 1628. His experience at the Colony of Avalon prompted him to ask King Charles I to grant him land further south in Virginia due to the suffering of the colonists. His request was granted to his son, Cecil, after his death in 1632.

The Colony of Avalon came under the control of Sir David Kirke when he established his headquarters at the site of present day Ferryland to serve as Newfoundland's seat of government between 1637 and 1650. Kirke headed a syndicate that had been given the island of Newfoundland in 1637 as compensation for the return to the French of Port-Royal and Québec, two colonies that Kirke and his brothers, under the commission of King Charles I, had captured in the 1620s. Kirke renamed Ferryland "Pool Plantation" and administered colonial affairs from a house he had taken over from Lord Baltimore's representative in the colony. In addition to running a successful fishing business, Kirke governed Newfoundland until 1650. Despite raids by the Dutch in 1673 and later by the French in 1696, who burned the colony to the ground and expelled its inhabitants, many features of the original settlement have remained and have been exposed and identified through extensive archaeological excavations.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, N. Miquelon, 2010
Crow's Nest Officers' Club National Historic Site of Canada
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Crow's Nest Officers' Club National Historic Site of Canada is located on the third and fourth floors of a late 19th century brick industrial building on Water Street near the harbour of St. John's, Newfoundland. A staircase leads to the club's third floor, containing a kitchen and dining room. The fourth floor, filled with furnishings, pictures and items relating to the Battle of the Atlantic, retains the character of a welcoming wartime gathering place for off-duty military personnel. Its tavern-like interior contains a bar, armchairs around a fireplace, and closely packed tables and chairs. Hanging from beams and ceiling and arranged on walls is a large military artefact collection, while a U-boat periscope rises through the ceiling.

The heritage value of the Crow's Nest Club also lies in its nickname "Crow's Nest"; its function as a gathering place for thousands of military personnel from more than a dozen nations between 1942 and 1945; and its continued importance since May 1946 among Newfoundland navy, army and air force officers, war veterans in general, and civilians as a place to socialize. The Club offers a rare glimpse into the social life of naval officers and sailors, who have imbued the place with an atmosphere of naval tradition. The Club's well-preserved nature attests to its significance in Canada's military and social history.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, M. Stoop, 1998
Fleur de Lys Soapstone Quarries National Historic Site of Canada
Fleur de Lys, Newfoundland and Labrador

Fleur de Lys Soapstone Quarries National Historic Site of Canada is located in the town of Fleur de Lys on the northwestern side of Baie Verte Peninsula, northern Newfoundland. The outcroppings of soapstone rock, for which the site is named, are found in two areas: the first and most extensive area extends along a bedrock ridge east of the town; the second is a series of eleven massive soapstone boulders that lie west of the town on the edge of Fleur de Lys Harbour. The bedrock exhibits depressions and removal scars from the quarrying and extraction of materials over hundreds of years. Additional sites with signs of quarrying have been identified in the area since the designation, although as they were not known during the sites recommendation they have not been included in the designated place.

Fleur de Lys Soapstone Quarries is presently unique to the province of Newfoundland in preserving considerable evidence of early methods of soapstone extraction and techniques. Soapstone, easily quarried and worked, was an important raw material for many of the aboriginal societies of Newfoundland. The Dorset people, an Arctic culture who occupied much of the province between 500 B.C.E. and 500 C.E., made extensive use of outcrops in this vicinity to obtain blocky preforms destined for later finishing into soapstone vessels of various shapes and sizes, including bowls and oil lamps. Remains of vessels in different stages of preparation are also visible in the rock faces and mounds of tailings or spoil from the quarrying operations are found throughout the site.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2002
Former Bank of British North America National Historic Site of Canada
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

The Former Bank of British North America National Historic Site of Canada is located within the Heritage Conservation Area of St. John's, Newfoundland. This impressive three-and-a-half-storey brick building with a mansard roof, stone façade, and Italianate features housed Newfoundland's major banks from 1849 to 1985. Today it is occupied by the College of the North Atlantic's Anna Templeton Centre as a learning facility.

The heritage value of the Former Bank of British North America resides in its long-term association with banking in Newfoundland. The building's status is reflected in its Italianate style, its substantial institutional presence in both the interior and exterior, its composition, and its site and setting.

The Former Bank of British North America was built in 1849 to plans by Halifax architect David Stirling. Constructed in the Italianate style, a style popular in Canada during this period for commercial architecture including banks, it housed Newfoundland's first commercial bank (founded in 1835) from 1849-1857. After that, it continued to be occupied by major banking operations for more than a century: the new Commercial Bank of Newfoundland (1857-1894), the Bank of Montreal (1895-1897), then the Newfoundland Savings Bank (1897-1962) and again the Bank of Montreal (1962-1985). A mansard roof was added to the building in 1885, leaving its original exterior largely intact. The bank's interior was destroyed by the Great Fire of St. John's and rebuilt in 1892-1894.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Former Carbonear Railway Station (Newfoundland Railway) National Historic Site of Canada
Carbonear, Newfoundland and Labrador

The Former Carbonear Railway Station (Newfoundland Railway) National Historic Site of Canada is centrally located at the foot of Water Street West in the main business district of the town of Carbonear, Newfoundland. The site consists of a one-storey, wood-frame building with a hipped roof and broad, overhanging eaves. The Former Carbonear Railway Station is a representative example of stations on the Newfoundland Railway System.

The Carbonear Railway Station is a rare surviving example of a railway station erected by the Reid Newfoundland Company. Railway construction began in Newfoundland in the 1880s as a way of developing the mining and lumber industries. The financing, construction and operation of the railway would dominate the economy and political agenda of the colony for more than 50 years. From 1901 to 1923 the Reid Newfoundland Company, a private company, operated the Newfoundland rail system.

The Carbonear Railway station was built in 1917 as a combined freight and passenger station, replacing an earlier station destroyed by fire. As a replacement station, it does not completely conform to the standard plans used extensively by the Reid Newfoundland Company. However, it is representative of the medium-sized, full-service, non-residential type of station erected by the company. The station's design, with its broad, hipped roof, overhanging eaves and wood-frame construction, is typical of smaller stations erected by the company during the early 20th century. The station remained the northern terminus of the Brigus Junction to Carbonear branch line until the cessation of passenger trains in 1984.

©Public Works and Government Services Canada / Travaux publics et Services gouvernementaux Canada, 1997
Former Newfoundland Railway Headquarters National Historic Site of Canada
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Former Newfoundland Railway Headquarters National Historic Site of Canada is situated on the south side of Water Street, a short distance west from the harbour's basin and dry dock in downtown St. John's, Newfoundland. It is an elegant and dignified two-and-a-half-storey stone building whose unique design incorporates elements of both the Second Empire and Château styles. The building now houses the Railway Coastal Museum.

The heritage value of the former Newfoundland Railway Headquarters lies primarily on its association with the Newfoundland railway system and its history. Prominent Newfoundland entrepreneur Robert G. Reid made arrangements to build a railway in Newfoundland in 1898, although the affiliated building was not built until 1901-1903. Its construction was during the most politically contentious phase of the development of Newfoundland's railway system, the fortunes of which dominated the economy and political agenda of the colony for three decades. The railway was conceived as a vital catalyst to the development of the Newfoundland economy, one which by facilitating the growth of lumbering and mining, would diversify the economy and lessen its dependency on the fishery. The construction of the Former Newfoundland Railway Headquarters is also one of many projects carried out by Reid under the 1898 contract, which together helped change the urban character of parts of St. John's.

The building designed by W.H. Massey, Chief Structural Engineer for the Reid Newfoundland Company, retains its value due to its monumental scale, Second Empire and Château-influenced design, and prominent siting as a reflection and representation of the importance of the railway. The building's substantial materials as well as its craftsmanship support this. It served as the main station and headquarters for the Newfoundland Railway from 1903 until the railway closed in 1969. In the early 1950s, the Newfoundland Railway was acquired by the Canadian National Railway Company, which conducted major renovations to modernize the building.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, I.K. MacNeil, 1984
Fort Amherst National Historic Site of Canada
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Located on a hilly promontory overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Fort Amherst National Historic Site of Canada, of which there are no visible remains, sits at South Head, the entrance to the Narrows of St. John's Harbour in Newfoundland. Now marked by a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque, the fort was strategically located to provide for the defence of St. John's. Fort Amherst is situated within the boundaries of Signal Hill National Historic Site of Canada.

The heritage value of Fort Amherst lies in its strategic location and its long history of use as a military defensive installation. In 1769, a proposal was put forth to build a battery intended to give protection to ships which were headed for the harbour but could not enter due to high winds. Named Fort Amherst, this battery was located at the South Head entrance to the Narrows. Part of an extended system of defence designed to protect British interests in Newfoundland, it was constructed between 1772 and 1777 under the supervision of Captain Robert Pringle of the British Royal Engineers. Fort Amherst consisted of a tower and a small battery below, eventually pierced for 20 guns. While the original eighteenth-century fort eventually fell into ruin, Fort Amherst's strategic importance was evident long after the colonial wars of the eighteenth century, as evidenced by the nineteenth and twentieth-century military installations that later occupied the site.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Fort Townshend National Historic Site of Canada
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Fort Townshend National Historic Site of Canada, is an archaeological site located on a hill overlooking the entrance to St. John's Harbour in Newfoundland. The fort once formed a central part of the 18th-century British defence network, consisting of forts and smaller batteries strategically positioned throughout the area. The fort was abandoned in 1871, and the site has since become urban in character. In 2000, The Rooms, a modern complex housing the Provincial Archives, Art Gallery and Museum was built on the site. There are currently no visible remains.

Originally built to protect one of the British Empire's key fishing colonies from potential threats from the French, Fort Townshend reflected Britain's commitment to the development of a residential fishery. The fort, a star-type fortification, occupied the centre of a system of defences, which in 1776 consisted of redoubts and batteries extending around the harbours of St. John's, Quidi Vidi, and Torbay. Due to the outbreak of war with France, Fort Townshend was enlarged and strengthened in 1796, as part of changes made to the entire defence system. In the same year, a French fleet under the command of Admiral Richery appeared off the Narrows, but was deterred by the formidable appearance of the defences, and the fleet withdrew. With the impending threat from America as a result of the War of 1812, the Fort was again refortified although no conflicts took place there.

The garrison was withdrawn from St. John's in 1871, from which date the fort was allowed to decay. Some storage cellars with a small building, which was used as a guardroom, still remain. While there are few accessible remains of the fort, some may still be found in situ in the basement of The Rooms, which was built upon the original site.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, M. Dawe, 2005
Fort William National Historic Site of Canada
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Fort William National Historic Site of Canada, of which there are no visible remains, is marked by a Historic Sites and Monuments Board plaque located on a retaining wall at the corner of Cavendish Square and Duckworth Street in downtown St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. The original fort was located in an area that has been significantly altered by urban development since the fort's demolition in 1881.

Replacing the earlier civilian-built King William's Fort after it was destroyed in 1696, Fort William was erected in 1697 by a British expeditionary force at a location further to the east. The arrival of a British garrison to Fort William marked the first official military presence in St. John's, which had previously been protected only by the navy and local militia.

Fort William was poorly situated and was not able to effectively protect the harbour or the settlement at St. John's. Because of its location, it was vulnerable to land attack and was captured by the French on three separate occasions during the 18th century. After surviving an attack by Daniel d'Auger de Subercase in 1705, Fort William fell to the French under Joseph de Mombeton de Saint-Ovide de Brouillon in January 1709. Though the British rebuilt the fort later that year, the garrison did not return and the fort began to fall into disrepair. Between 1709 and 1743, the only British garrison in Newfoundland was in Placentia, a location thought to be more defensible than St. John's. However, when the War of Austrian Succession (1740-1748) broke out, the British rehabilitated Fort William, completely rebuilding it by 1749. When the French successfully attacked the fort by land in June 1762, the British were able to recapture it in August of that year. Finally, in 1779, the British deemed Fort William to be too susceptible to attack and built Fort Townshend slightly further to the west. Fort William became a minor defence and one part of a larger system of forts and batteries that defended St. John's and the harbours of Quidi Vidi and Torbay. In 1881, it was demolished and its site cleared to accommodate the Canadian Pacific Railway hotel and rail yard.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1993
Government House National Historic Site of Canada
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

The Government House National Historic Site of Canada is a large, dignified mansion in the Palladian style. The two-storey building consists of a centre block flanked, to its east and west, by lower wings. The relatively plain exterior walls are of rough, red sandstone, with contrasting English Portland stone used for quoins and other details. The building stands in spacious treed grounds on a hill overlooking the harbour in St. John's, Newfoundland. It has been the official residence of Newfoundland's governors and lieutenant governors since 1829.

The heritage value of the Government House resides in its symbolic and functional role as an official residence and in its Palladian style architecture as expressed by its design, material and detailing. The site and setting also hold value. The house was built between 1827 and 1831 for Sir Thomas Cochrane, the first civil governor of the colony of Newfoundland, and marked the transition of the colony from a naval to civilian government. Cochrane commissioned plans from England, and the structure was built by imported Scottish craftsmen. Once Cochrane moved into the residence in 1829, it remained the official residence of Newfoundland's governors until Newfoundland joined the Canadian confederation in 1949. After that, it became the official residence of the lieutenant governor and continues to serve as such. The building's Palladian style remains intact and it retains much of its original interior furnishings and fittings.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Gros Morne National Park of Canada
Headquarters: Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador

UNESCO World Heritage Site amid Newfoundland's wild natural beauty.

Gros Morne National Park of Canada was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. It is an area of great natural beauty with a rich variety of scenery, wildlife, and recreational activities. Visitors can hike through wild, uninhabited mountains and camp by the sea. Boat tours bring visitors under the towering cliffs of a freshwater fjord carved out by glaciers. Waterfalls, marine inlets, sea stacks, sandy beaches, and colourful nearby fishing villages complete the phenomenal natural and cultural surroundings of Gros Morne National Park of Canada.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, Bryan Horton, 2005
Harbour Grace Court House National Historic Site of Canada
Harbour Grace, Newfoundland and Labrador

Harbour Grace Court House is a two-storey stone institutional building that stands at 2 Harvey St. in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland. Distinguished by a large central window flanked by two entry doors accessed by a split staircase, its design reflects the form and classically inspired aesthetic, typical of many British colonial courthouses. The building included a jail and the jailer's modest residence is still attached to one end of the courthouse.

Harbour Grace Court House was built in 1830 in one of Newfoundland's earliest and most prosperous settlements. It replaced an earlier courthouse with one of more substantial construction containing facilities for a court, a jail and jailer's residence. It was originally designed and built by Patrick Kough [also known as Keough], a Newfoundland resident, and has been restored since 1980.

The heritage value of Harbour Grace Court House National Historic Site resides in its age and longterm status as a public building as well as in the substantial, distinguished nature of its construction and architectural form.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Hawthorne Cottage National Historic Site of Canada
Brigus, Newfoundland and Labrador

Picturesque cottage, home of Captain Bob Bartlett from 1875-1946

Hawthorne Cottage was the Brigus, Newfoundland, home of famous Arctic explorer Captain Bob Bartlett. The cottage is a fine example of the Picturesque style of architecture in Newfoundland and is furnished with artifacts and memorabilia from Captain Bob's voyages.

Hawthorne Cottage National Historic Site of Canada is a picturesque, one-and-a-half storey wooden cottage with a wrap-around verandah. Set in the middle of a wooded lot in Brigus, Newfoundland, the house is noted both for its architectural style and as the former home of Bob Bartlett, captain of several notable Arctic expeditions in the early 20th century. The site was donated to the Canadian people in 1987 and is now maintained by Parks Canada as a historic house museum.

The heritage value of the site resides in its association with Captain Bob Bartlett and in its picturesque architecture. Built in 1830 for merchant John Leamon on his country estate, Cochranedale, the house was moved overland some ten kilometers to a lot in Brigus during the winter of 1833-1834. Between 1885 and 1946, it was the Brigus home of Robert Abram (Bob) Bartlett (1875-1946), designated a person of national historic significance because of his role in several Arctic expeditions. The house was acquired by Parks Canada in 1987, restored and opened to the public in 1995.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, I.K. MacNeil, 1994
Hebron Mission National Historic Site of Canada
Hebron, Newfoundland and Labrador

The surviving elements of Hebron Mission National Historic Site of Canada consist of a long interconnected series of buildings, including a church, mission house, and finally a store. The design has a Germanic flavour characterized by the steep, elongated roof punctuated by small dormer windows. The cupola is typical of church architecture of south-eastern Europe, from whence came the Moravians. Other buildings, including a forge, carpenter's shop, and other support structures are gone.

The mission buildings at Hebron, on the northeast coast of Labrador, were erected by the Church of the Brethren, more commonly called the Moravians. This mission was one of several built by the Moravians and it is possible that these buildings were pre-fabricated in Germany and shipped to this location. Construction began in 1829 but the site was not ready for habitation until 1837. The Moravians also engaged in trade, medical practice, and the administration of justice. This mission closed in 1959.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, David Henderson, 2007.
Hopedale Mission National Historic Site of Canada
Hopedale, Newfoundland and Labrador

Symbol of interaction between Labrador Inuit and Moravian Missionaires; representative of Moravian Mission architecture in Labrador

Hopedale Mission National Historic Site Canada is a complex of large, wooden buildings constructed by the Moravian Church at Hopedale, Labrador. These large, wooden structures stand starkly silhouetted against the rocky shoreline of the vast, barren landscape.

The heritage value of Hopedale Mission National Historic Site of Canada lies in the common purpose, spatial, architectural, and functional relationships of the grouped buildings in this complex, and in their architectural expression as illustrations of Moravian mission architecture.

The Moravian Mission at Hopedale was established in 1782. Today Hopedale Mission National Historic Site of Canada contains seven buildings: the Early Mission Building, the Mission House (workshop wing), the Mission House (main wing), the Church, a connecting link between the Church and the Mission House (all completed by 1850-1861), the Reserve Storehouse (1892), and the Dead House (1861). The Oil and Salt Storehouse that was in this complex of buildings when they were designated in 1970 and was demolished in 1999.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, Heiko Wittenborn
Kitjigattalik - Ramah Chert Quarries National Historic Site of Canada
Torngat Mountains National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador

Kitjigattalik is the source of a distinctive translucent stone known as Ramah chert, found only in Torngat Mountains National Park in northernmost Labrador. Actively quarried from 5,000 to 600 years ago by several ancient First Peoples cultures of the northeast, Ramah chert was used in the manufacture of everyday tools and other objects. The most widely traded tool stone known in the Canadian Northeast, it figured in long-distance exchange networks that extended throughout eastern Canada and into New England. Objects of Ramah chert have been found at archaeological sites along the entire length of the Labrador coast, along the Quebec North Shore, in the interior of Labrador and Quebec, in Ungava Bay, on Southampton Island, Baffin Island, on the Island of Newfoundland, in the Maritimes and in New England. One piece has been recovered as far south as Maryland, while the westernmost find was in Peterborough, Ontario. One specimen was even found during archaeological excavations in 1935 at the Norse settlement of Sandnes in Greenland. The study of Ramah chert has revealed something of the complexity of ancient trade systems and economies, and the important role that exchange played in keeping cultures alive. It has allowed an understanding of the long-distance travel capabilities and the inter-connectedness of ancient peoples who are too often assumed to have lived in isolation.

First discovered by the earliest Archaic settlers of Northern Labrador, Ramah chert was the tool stone of choice for many successive cultures despite the remote location of the quarries and the difficulties of travel along northern Labrador's forbidding coastline. The distances involved in reaching the quarries and then transporting the material southward were evidently factors of less importance than its desirability.

At certain periods, Ramah chert appears to have been closely aligned with cultural identity. This was the case during the late Archaic period in northern Labrador, the late Dorset period in northern Labrador, and throughout the Late Precontact period for Amerindian groups living along the length of the Labrador coast. It is notably linked to early belief systems and burial practices. Objects of Ramah chert are found in late Archaic-period burials (ca. 4,500 years ago) extending from northern Labrador to New England. It is quite likely that the quarries themselves were also imbued with symbolic meaning. Symbolic value is reflected in the unusual caches of carefully made Ramah chert objects that have been discovered in southernmost Labrador, which appear to have had no practical purpose. Symbolism and cultural identity are equally evident in the Late Dorset Palaeo-Eskimo and Late Precontact Innu periods of Labrador (spanning from 1,200 to 600 years ago) when Ramah chert was the only stone used to make tools, despite the availability of many other high quality tool stone varieties.

Indian Point National Historic Site of Canada
Red Indian Lake, Newfoundland and Labrador

Well documented Beothuk site.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
L'Anse Amour National Historic Site of Canada
L'Anse Amour, Newfoundland and Labrador

L'Anse Amour National Historic Site of Canada overlooks the waters of the Strait of Belle Isle near the small modern community of L'Anse Amour in southern Labrador. The burial mound forms part of an ancient, multi-component archaeological site occupied by the Maritime Archaic people between 9000 and 2000 years ago. Formed by a low mound of large stones, the circular burial mound is 8-10 metres in diameter and situated behind what was the main habitation area. Within the mound is a small stone burial chamber underneath which was found the well-preserved skeleton of a child along with a number of artefacts.

L'Anse Amour is the oldest known burial mound in the North America, and is part of one of the largest and longest used Aboriginal habitation sites in Labrador. The body had been covered with red ochre, wrapped in a shroud of skins or birch bark, and placed face down, head pointed west, in a large pit 1.5 metres deep. Evidence also indicates the use of ceremonial fires and the cooking and consumption of food. Offerings were made of tools and weapons made of stone and bone. These included a walrus tusk, a harpoon head, paint stones and a bone whistle.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site of Canada
St. Anthony, Newfoundland and Labrador

Only authenticated Viking settlement in North America

The reconstructions of three Norse buildings are the focal point of this archaeological site, the earliest known European settlement in the New World. The archaeological remains at the site were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. Exhibits highlight the Viking lifestyle, artifacts, and the archaeological discovery of the site. Visitors can also explore the hiking trails to nearby bays and lakes.

L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site of Canada comprises the archaeolgical remains of an early Viking settlement situated on the eastern shore of Epaves Bay, 1 km south of the village of L'Anse aux Meadows at the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula in Newfoundland. Parks Canada has erected a partial reconstruction of the habitation for purposes of public presentation.

The heritage value of the site lies in the archaeological evidence of early Viking presence in Canada. The location, surroundings and disposition of the site together with the nature of the remains it contains provide both an essential record and legible description of Viking life on the site. In ca. 1000 AD, l'Anse aux Meadows was established as exploration base Leifsbuoir/ Straumfjord, popularly known as Leif Ericsson's short-lived Vinland camp. It has been conserved and interpreted as a national historic site of Canada.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1993
Mallard Cottage National Historic Site of Canada
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Mallard Cottage is a picturesque one-and-a-half storey wood-frame house set on a small lot near the road in the hamlet of Quidi Vidi, a suburb of St. John's Newfoundland.

Mallard Cottage was designated a national historic site of Canada because, with its hipped roof and central chimney, it is typical of the vernacular housing built by immigrants from southeastern Ireland in the first half of the nineteenth century.

The heritage value of this site resides in the materials as well as the elements of vernacular design and craftsmanship deriving from Irish-Newfoundland vernacular building traditions. The Mallards, a family of Irish origin, lived in the house for over a hundred years.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Akami-uapishku - KakKasuak - Mealy Mountains National Park Reserve of Canada
Headquarters: Newfoundland and Labrador

The focal point of the park reserve is the Mealy Mountains themselves - the rugged mountains that give the area its name. Their glacially-rounded and bare rock summits, which overlook Lake Melville, reach to 1,100 metres.

Easterly from the mountain tundra of the Mealy Mountains is a dramatic transition to a lush forested landscape, which gently descends toward the coast until it meets the frigid waters of the Labrador Sea. This is a landscape of undisturbed watersheds and pristine wild rivers with breathtaking rapids and waterfalls.

The beautiful White Bear, North and English rivers include both Atlantic salmon and trout, and their valleys will offer exceptional hiking opportunities to visitors. Where the park reserve fronts the Labrador Sea, an extensive, 50-kilometre stretch of unbroken sandy beaches known as the Wunderstrand can be found. This spectacular beach is recorded in Viking sagas relating their voyages of exploration along the Atlantic Coast.

The park reserve will play an important role in wildlife conservation. It protects a significant portion of the range of the threatened Mealy Mountains caribou herd, including key habitat along the coast and on offshore islands. Extensive landscapes of boreal forest, which are home to caribou, wolves, black bear, marten and fox can be found both just north of Sandwich Bay as well as along the south shore of Lake Melville. Toward the south, extensive wetlands provide important habitat for migratory birds such as ducks and geese.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1994
Murray Premises National Historic Site of Canada
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Murray Premises National Historic Site of Canada is located on the waterfront in downtown St. John's, Newfoundland. The site is comprised of three adjoining former warehouses of varying heights associated with Newfoundland's fisheries industry. The stone and brick premises have been rehabilitated to serve as shops and a hotel.

The heritage value of these buildings resides in their association with the mercantile activities tied to the fisheries industry and in their illustration of 19th-century construction techniques. Although their builders are unknown, their construction belongs to the 19th-century Atlantic waterfront tradition as illustrated by the regular façades topped by pitched roofs, and sturdy masonry walls encasing heavy timber framing. Originally owned by Richard O'Dwyer, later by A. H. Murray, these buildings were occupied by numerous merchants from the mid-nineteenth century to the twentieth century.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, Jim Molnar, 2005
Okak National Historic Site of Canada
Okak, Newfoundland and Labrador

Okak National Historic Site of Canada is a grouping of over 60 archaeological sites dating from 5550 B.C.E to the present, which are located on Okak Bay off the northern coast of Labrador. The sites are spread across three nodes of varying landscapes: the forested mainland surrounding Okak Bay, which lies just south of the tree line; the partially forested inner islands, with small stands of spruce and patches of brush; and the outer (seaward) islands, which are characterized by a landscape of bare rock and tundra vegetation. The sites cluster near the shore on raised beach terraces where cultural material may be found in both surface and buried contexts. Foundations of buildings, walkways and a wharf from Okak Mission, located on Okak Island, are visible amid vegetation on tundra-covered hills.

The archaeological remains found at Okak span more than 6000 years, including its occupation by Maritime Archaic (5550 B.C.E.- 1550 B.C.E.), Pre-Dorset (1850 B.C.E. — 250 B.C.E.), Intermediate Indian (1550 B.C.E. — 250 B.C.E.), Dorset (550 B.C.E. — 1450 C.E.) and Labrador Inuit (1200 C.E. — Present) cultures. Many of the sites are multi-component, incorporating occupations during two or more of these cultural periods. A range of site types, from small surface scatters to groups of sod houses are represented within the site. The cultural material consists primarily of stone tools and flakes documenting changes in tool form, manufacturing techniques, and raw material sources among the various cultural periods. The oldest archaeological finds date from the Maritime Archaic period on Cut Throat Island.

In 1776, Moravian Missionaries established a mission site in northern Labrador, and settled off Okak Harbour on Okak Island. It was the second successful mission to be established by the Moravian Missionaries on the Labrador Coast, the first being founded at Nain, 400 kilometres to the south in 1771. The Okak Mission was prefabricated at Nain, and then transported north to Okak, along with a provisions house and bake house. Inuit houses were also constructed here as families gradually relocated to be closer to the mission. Between changing hunting patterns and the Spanish Influenza epidemic of 1918-1919, which decimated the population at Okak, the mission was abandoned in 1919.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Port au Choix National Historic Site of Canada
Port au Choix, Newfoundland and Labrador

Pre-contact burial and habitation sites.

Port au Choix, on the west side of Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula, has been populated for thousands of years. The rich waters off this coast have supported many different groups of people, including those who live here today. The remains of four ancient cultures have been found at Port au Choix to date: Maritime Archaic Indian, Dorset and Groswater Paleoeskimo, and Recent Indians. Archaeologists searched many years for a site such as this one, which sheds new light on our understanding of native peoples in this part of the world.

Port au Choix National Historic Site of Canada consists of two exceptionally rich pre-contact archaeological sites located at Port au Choix Newfoundland where the Port au Choix and Point Riche peninsulas jutting into the Strait of Belle Isle are joined by a narrow isthmus. Constructed from approximately 4,400 BCE to 1,300 BCE, both sites are located on long, flat raised terraces running beside the water. The designation refers to both a Maritime Archaic cemetery in the form of a burial terrace overlooking Back Arm and also the Phillip's Garden Palaeo-Eskimo habitation site; a flat grassy place situated on the outer shore of the Point Riche Peninsula where land forms and vegetation indicate the remnants of two early settlements scattered over an area of some two hectares.

The heritage value of Port au Choix National Historic Site of Canada resides in the site itself and in the exceptional rarity, richness and quality of the archaeological evidence its two designated places contain. Considerable archaeological investigation has occurred on these sites under the auspices of Parks Canada and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, R. Goodspeed, 1998
Port Union Historic District National Historic Site of Canada
Trinity Bay North, Newfoundland and Labrador

The Port Union Historic District is the original part of a small town on the south of the Bonavista Peninsula in Newfoundland. Dominated by imposing commercial buildings on the harbour, it rises up a rocky hillside with scattered clusters of wooden houses and outbuildings. An associated hydroelectric station lies almost a kilometre and a half to the west on the Catalina River.

Port Union is the only town in Canada founded by a union. In 1916, the Fishermen's Protective Union, led by William Coaker, began constructing buildings along an empty stretch of shoreline. By 1926, the union had established premises for its retail, export, shipbuilding and publishing companies; the town also included a large meeting hall, a railway station, a church, and duplexes for workers. A hydro-electric plant, located over a kilometre away, supplied the community. The town's original layout and many intact buildings speak to its commercial and industrial success during is heyday (1918-1925) as a vibrant international port.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Red Bay National Historic Site of Canada
Red Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador

16th-century Basque whaling industry complex.

Right and bowhead whales, once plentiful in the waters of coastal Labrador, attracted whalers from the Basque region (northern Spain and southern France) during the 16th century. A thriving industry based on the production of whale oil for export to Europe developed along the Labrador coast during the mid to late 1500s. The busiest port for this historic enterprise was the sheltered harbour of Red Bay.

Red Bay National Historic Site of Canada encompasses one of the most protected harbours on the coast of the narrow Strait of Belle Isle between Labrador and the northern tip of Newfoundland. The site extends from the reddish coloured bluffs around the harbour to its islands and shoreline. It also extends from the bottom of the harbour basin to the hills and vantage points surrounding it. The harbour holds remains of 16th-century Basque whaling ships and the beaches and shorelines hold relics of the shore stations that once supported a thriving whaling industry.

The heritage value of the site lies in the evidence of Basque whaling activities provided by the landscape and the surviving remains of the 16th-century whaling activity found there. Red Bay National Historic Site of Canada was one of the largest whaling ports used during the 1550-1620 period by whaling expeditions sponsored by Basque merchants from France and Spain. In search of whale oil, they sent European fisherman to the Strait of Belle Isle, and then mounted regular seasonal expeditions from harbours along its coast to the south coast of Labrador and the north shore of Québec. Red Bay is of particular value because the remains within the site are numerous, diversified, and exceptionally well preserved.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, J.F. Bergeron, 2002
Rennie's Mill Road Historic District National Historic Site of Canada
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Rennie's Mill Road Historic District National Historic Site of Canada is an upper middle-class residential suburb located just beyond the centre of St. John's, Newfoundland. Comprised of a harmonious group of large, wooden houses from the late 19th to the early 20th centuries, whose owners were for the most part prominent Newfoundlanders, it includes fine examples of Second Empire and Queen Anne Revival-style domestic architecture, set on well-treed lots.

Built after the Great Fire of 1846, Rennie's Mill Road Historic District was a safe and tranquil retreat from downtown St. John's. The heritage value of the district resides in it association with prominent Newfoundlanders and in the physical illustration of a prosperous, stylish suburb of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Ryan Premises National Historic Site of Canada
Bonavista, Newfoundland and Labrador

East Coast fishing industry complex.

The Ryan Premises, a restored merchant's premises, commemorates the role of the East Coast fishery in Canadian history from the early 1500s to the present day.

Ryan Premises National Historic Site of Canada is a cultural landscape associated with the fishery. It consists of domestic and commercial structures typical of a 19th-century Newfoundland mercantile complex in their original setting by the sea, adjacent to the intersection of Ryan's Hill and Old Catalina Road, in Bonavista.

The heritage value of Ryan Premises lies in its long association with the Atlantic fishery and in its related physical resources, including the buildings in their setting in the historic community of Bonavista. The Ryan's company was established in Bonavista in 1857 as James Ryan. Over the years, the company expanded its activities to King's Cove (1874, as James Ryan and Company) and Trinity (1906, as Ryan Brothers) to accommodate the Labrador fishery. The company continued to engage in the salt fishery until 1978. It is now operated as a historic site open to the public.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Signal Hill National Historic Site of Canada
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Commemorates defence of St. John's; includes the Cabot Tower.

Signal Hill National Historic Site of Canada, located at the northeastern end of St. John's harbour, is composed of two cultural landscapes — Signal Hill itself and the south side of the Narrows. Signal Hill is the steep hill that frames the entrance on the north side of St. John's Harbour from St. John's Bay. Identifiable by the castellated profile of Cabot Tower, Signal Hill descends gently in ridges and valleys towards St. John's to the west and Quidi Vidi waterway to the north. Across the Narrows, a ribbon of land at the base of the steep Southside Hills contains several fortification and communication sites including Noone Room, South Castle, Frederick's Battery and Fort Amherst National Historic Site of Canada. Today the historic place of Noone Room and its mooring area known as Ring Noone are buried beneath an industrial marine boat basin built in the 1980s.

Signal Hill was designated a national historic site of Canada because it is importantly associated with Canada's defence and communications history. The heritage value of Signal Hill lies in the historical associations of both sides of the Narrows as illustrated by the physical resources of the two cultural landscapes, including their locations, settings, natural and built resources, particularly evidence of defence and communications activities.

Signal Hill has been a military site since the 17th century, but most importantly during the four periods 1660-1697, 1697-1870, World War I, and World War II. Today it contains a broad range of military and civilian resources, among them works on the south side of the harbour narrows, notably the remains of Fort Amherst, a British fortification completed by Captain Robert Pringle, R.E. in 1777 to guard the entrance to the Narrows. Fort Amherst was also declared a national historic site of Canada in 1951. The hill was also the site of the Battle of Signal Hill (15 September 1762) when Lieutenant Colonel William Amherst led an expeditionary force to recapture St. John's from the French, itself an event of national significance.

The history of signaling on Signal Hill embodies the fundamentally modern transition from visual signals to wireless ones. Signal Hill is the site of the Cabot Tower, built between 1898 and 1900 to continue the port signaling service which originated in 1704; flag signaling continued from the deck of Cabot Tower until 1958. On 12 December 1901 Guglielmo Marconi received the first transoceanic wireless signal in a former military barracks on Signal Hill. From 1933 to 1949 the Canadian Marconi Co. operated a wireless station on the second floor of Cabot Tower; from 1949 until 1960, the Canadian Department of Transport operated the station.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, J.F. Bergeron, 2002
St. John the Baptist Anglican Cathedral National Historic Site of Canada
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

St. John the Baptist Anglican Cathedral National Historic Site of Canada is an austerely magnificent stone cathedral built in the Gothic Revival style. It is located on a hillside overlooking the harbour of St. John's in a mixed commercial and residential neighbourhood of late-19th-century buildings.

Construction of the original St. John the Baptist Anglican Cathedral, for Canada's oldest Anglican parish, began in 1847. It was built under the direction of Right Reverend Edward Field, Bishop of Newfoundland, and designed by the well-known English church architect George Gilbert Scott. The Cathedral is a faithful example of Scott's ecclesiastical work, which conformed to the tenets of the Cambridge Camden Society. The Society was dedicated to recapturing the spirit and form of 13th-century Gothic church architecture. This was of particular significance in the British colonies, where a prescriptive approach to church design was intended to create a distinct and recognizable Anglican architectural identity consistent with the Anglican creed.

St. John the Baptist Anglican Cathedral, as designed by Scott, fully reflected the Society's intentions and expectations. It was a correct Ecclesiological interpretation of Gothic architecture as articulated by the English architectural theorist A.W.N. Pugin. It occupied a dramatic site on the side of the hill near the harbour of St. John's, which added to its monumentality. Constructed of Irish limestone and local sandstone, its symbolic cruciform plan, tall ceiling and interior arrangement followed Ecclesiological tradition. In 1892 the unfinished cathedral was almost completely destroyed during one of the great fires of St. John's. Using surviving exterior walls, the architect's son George Gilbert Scott Jr. rebuilt the cathedral according to his father's original plans, with careful attention paid to local climatic conditions. It remains an early and fine example of the ecclesiological Gothic Revival style in North America. Its setting in a well-preserved turn-of-the-century neighbourhood strengthens the original design intentions.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1993
St. John's Court House National Historic Site of Canada
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

St. John's Court House is a imposing, early-20th century, granite and sandstone, Romanesque Revival-style public building, prominently located on the main commercial street of the city of St. John's, Newfoundland. Its siting on a steep hill overlooking the harbour, permits unhindered views to and from the harbour.

St. John's Court House was designated a national historic site in 1980 because it is representative of the judicial institution in Newfoundland; and it is the most striking and elaborate court house in the province.

Built in 1901-04 to replace an earlier courthouse and market on the same site, the St. John's Courthouse was designed to house the Supreme Court, Police Court, judges' chambers, law library, and the Colonial Secretary's office. For a brief time the legislature also met here. It continues to be used as a court house today. Designed by architect William H. Greene, the monumental scale and Romanesque Revival-style design of the building convey an impression of solidity and power appropriate to its legal function. The building's commanding presence is accented by its dramatic siting on a steep hill overlooking the St. John Harbour. The heavy grandeur of its exterior is matched by the elaborate wood detailing of the interior.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, R. Goodspeed, 2006
St. John's Ecclesiastical District National Historic Site of Canada
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

St. John's Ecclesiastical District National Historic Site of Canada is a large, linear shaped parcel of land located in St. John's Newfoundland, overlooking the north side of Saint John's Harbour. The district, located in the centre of town, is largely composed of 19th- and 20th-century buildings and landscape features associated with the Roman Catholic, Anglican, United (formerly Methodist) and Presbyterian denominations. All but one of the buildings are of masonry construction. The district includes three separate nodes in the downtown area. The first, most northern node contains eight buildings and a cemetery. The second node, to the east, includes a number of largely interconnected buildings, the centrepiece of which is the Basilica of St. John the Baptist National Historic Site of Canada. The third, most southern node contains seven buildings associated with three Protestant denominations, including St. John the Baptist Anglican Cathedral National Historic Site of Canada.

St. John's Ecclesiastical District was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2008 because: this cultural landscape represents the breadth of involvement of the Anglican, Roman Catholic, Methodist/United and Presbyterian denominations in the establishment and evolution of the spiritual, philanthropic, charitable and educational institutions of St. John's and Newfoundland during the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as in the political life of the colony; it speaks to the evolution of the province's unique denominational system of education, established in stages from 1832 to 1879 and lasting until 1998, and especially to the competition among the denominations that brought this system about; it is important architecturally for its ecclesiastical buildings and spaces in unusual proximity to each other and located on an outstanding and unique site on the steep hill overlooking St. John's Harbour, where many of them serve as visual landmarks both from the harbour and within the downtown. The Roman Catholic precinct in particular conveys a sense of time and place through its architecture and spaces.

St. John's Ecclesiastical District is valued for its historical associations with religion and education in Newfoundland and Labrador. The four denominations represented in the district made considerable contributions to the spiritual, educational, charitable, and political fabric of society. The Roman Catholic Church led by Bishop Michael Anthony Fleming and later by Bishop John T. Mullock, created institutions such as the Orphan Asylum School, the Presentation Convent and St. Bonaventure's College to provide education for the Catholic community. With the help of the Benevolent Irish Society (BIS), several orders of nuns, and the order of the Irish Christian Brothers, a Catholic system of education was established. Other denominations also contributed to education with similar initiatives. For example, Bishop Edward Field, the second Anglican bishop of Newfoundland, founded the Bishop Feild Collegiate in 1844. The Presbyterians and Methodists founded similar educational facilities, such as the Wesleyan-Methodist College in 1858 and the General Protestant Academy in 1876.

Newfoundland's unique denominational system began with the first Education Act, passed in 1836, in support of a non-denominational system of education. However, in 1843, Protestant-Catholic friction on the school boards produced the second Education Act, which established separate boards for Protestants and Catholics and allotted grants to other denominational schools. Among the proponents of the system was Bishop Feild, who helped create a system of separate academies (for Catholics, Anglicans, and "General Protestants") in 1850. In 1875, the denominational system came into effect, which legislated division of educational grants according to denominational strength, and made education the responsibility of state-subsidised individual churches. The system was entrenched in the Terms of Union and continued until 1998 when it was replaced by a secular system of education.

St. John's Ecclesiastical District is also valued for its architectural importance. Located on a steep hill overlooking St. John's Harbour, it serves as a visual landmark from the harbour and downtown. It includes many ecclesiastical buildings and spaces in unusual proximity to each other, such as St. John the Baptist Anglican Cathedral, founded by Bishop Feild in 1846. Overall, visual impact is achieved through the use of varying materials, architectural styles, and open spaces.

St. John's WWII Coastal Defences National Historic Site of Canada
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

St. John's WWII Coastal Defences National Historic Site of Canada is a defence complex strategically located at the approaches and entrance of St. John's inner harbour on the east coast of Newfoundland. The site comprises the ruins of three coastal fort batteries: Fort Cape Spear, Fort Chain Rock and Fort Amherst. All three batteries stand on rocky promontories overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. During the Second World War these coastal artillery batteries presented a formidable defensive line of fire which along with machine guns and protected the harbour and allied convoy ships. Resources from this period remain on all three locations and include concrete gun emplacements, magazines, searchlight emplacements, trenches and building foundations.

During the Second World War, attacks by enemy submarines and raiding ships in the North Atlantic posed a considerable threat to the vital supply lines to Great Britain. To combat enemy attacks on Allied ships, Canada's coastal ports were reinforced and a convoy system adopted. As part of this integrated system for the defence of the Atlantic, the outer defences of St. John's harbour were strengthened. Facing directly on the open sea St. John's harbour was armed with anti-submarine and anti-torpedo defences. The fortifications at the three batteries, Fort Amherst, Fort Chain Rock and Fort Cape Spear, manned by the Royal Canadian Artillery, kept enemy ships and submarines away from the harbour entrance. As a result St. John's offered a safe anchorage and repair facilities for supply convoys that sailed across the North Atlantic. It also provided a well-defended base for the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force squadrons who played a key role in the protection of those convoys. St John's was an extremely important war-time naval base.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2007
St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church National Historic Site of Canada
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church National Historic Site of Canada is a large, stone, Gothic Revival-style church completed in 1881 to plans drawn in 1853, with a single, majestic bell tower and spire added between 1912 and 1914. The building sits on a tight, fenced property at the western edge of downtown St. John's, Newfoundland. Sited on a hill overlooking the harbour, it is surrounded by 19th-century residences. Due to its large scale and tower, it serves as a landmark in the area.

St. Patrick's was built in the late Gothic Revival style to a design attributed to J.J. McCarthy, an Irish architect and associate of A.W.N. Pugin. Construction began almost a decade after the plans were drawn. As built, the church represents collaboration between the architect and builder, T. O'Brien. In its style, St. Patrick's Church reflects the strong link between Ireland and Newfoundland, as well as the direct impact of Victorian church design on colonial churches. Its bold simplicity and its polychromatic masonry is a hallmark of the late Gothic Revival style, demonstrating the continuing adherence, in the mid-19th century, to the use of medieval forms and principles in the design of ecclesiastical buildings for many Christian denominations. The church's deteriorating stone facing was replaced in 1911 and a bell tower was added the following year. It received a spire in 1914, which was replaced in 1997.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2005
St. Thomas Rectory / Commissariat House and Garden National Historic Site of Canada
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

St. Thomas Rectory / Commissariat House and Garden National Historic Site of Canada is a large, dignified, two-and-a-half-storey residence featuring a steep hip roof and a projecting enclosed porch. The Corps of Royal Engineers constructed this classically inspired wooden building from 1818 to 1820 for the British military garrison in St. John's, Newfoundland. It stands with its side elevation to the street on a large lot shared with the Church of St. Thomas.

The heritage value of this site resides in its historical associations with the British military in Newfoundland as illustrated by its site, setting, design, form and materials. St. Thomas Rectory is closely associated with the city's early-19th-century military and administrative history. The house was built as a residence for the Assistant Commissary General of the British garrison in Newfoundland and as offices for the management of the garrison's accounts and records. The severe vernacular structure executed in the British Classical style reflects the time period and designs by the Royal Corps of Engineers. The St. Thomas Rectory / Commissariat House and Garden is part of a group of buildings built before 1840 for military, administrative and religious purposes. The group also includes the Government House National Historic Site of Canada (1832), the Colonial Building (1834), and the garrison Church of St. Thomas (1836). After the withdrawal of the garrison in 1871, the commissariat house became a rectory for St. Thomas Church, with few changes made to the building. Its military associations continued from 1918 to1921 when it was used as a convalescence home following the First World War.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Terra Nova National Park of Canada
Headquarters: Glovertown, Newfoundland and Labrador

Remnants of the Eastern Newfoundland Ancient Appalachian Mountains.

Terra Nova National Park of Canada is a place where long fingers of the North Atlantic Ocean touch the island boreal forest of Eastern Newfoundland. Rocky headlands provide shelter from the awesome power of the open ocean. The landscape of the park varies from the rugged cliffs and sheltered inlets of the coastal region to the rolling forested hills, bogs and ponds of the inland. Cultural history abounds in the remnants of sawmills and past human cultures.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, Rhona Goodspeed, 2001
Tilting National Historic Site of Canada
Tilting, Newfoundland and Labrador

Tilting National Historic Site of Canada is an outport landscape created by a coastal fishing community on the east coast of Fogo Island in Notre Dame Bay on Newfoundland's northeast coast. The site includes small wooden vernacular dwellings and outbuildings as well as more modern structures scattered on the rocky island landscape, surrounded by gardens, pathways, the shoreline and the harbour. It is a continuing cultural landscape that encompasses natural, built and living places that together depict traditional outport life.

An outport community that began to take shape in the 1730s, Tilting is a small community whose residents have long been dependent upon animal husbandry, farming and fishing. The designated site comprises landscape, shoreline, harbour, ponds, small island, one summer trail and portions of two others, portions of slide paths, three cemeteries, gardens, fences, buildings including a church, parish hall, former school, post office, two stores, houses, and a range of outbuildings including fishing buildings, stables, barns, one milk shed, haysheds and root cellars.

The heritage value of Tilting resides in the ability of the cultural landscape to illustrate the outport way of life. Value lies in the nature, diversity and range of the individual resources within its cultural landscape, their complex interrelationships, and the clarity with which their composition, forms and settings reflect the community's Irish roots and on-going evolution.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Torngat Mountains National Park of Canada
Headquarters: Nain, Newfoundland and Labrador and Kangiqsualujjuaq, Québec

The spectacular wilderness of this National Park comprises 9,700 km2 of the Northern Labrador Mountains natural region.

From the Inuktitut word Torngait, meaning "place of spirits," the Torngat Mountains have been home to Inuit and their predecessors for thousands of years. The spectacular wilderness of this National Park comprises 9,700 km2 of the Northern Labrador Mountains natural region. The park extends from Saglek Fjord in the south, including all islands and islets, to the very northern tip of Labrador; and from the provincial boundary with Québec in the west, to the iceberg-choked waters of the Labrador Sea in the east. The mountain peaks along the border with Quebec are the highest in mainland Canada east of the Rockies, and are dotted with remnant glaciers. Polar bears hunt seals along the coast, and both the Torngat Mountains and George River caribou herds cross paths as they migrate to and from their calving grounds. Today, Inuit continue to use this area for hunting, fishing, and travelling throughout the year.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Walled Landscape of Grates Cove National Historic Site of Canada
Grates Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador

The Walled Landscape of Grates Cove National Historic Site of Canada is a visually distinct, grassy landscape of approximately 150 acres (60.7 hectares), situated on the windswept headland of the Northern point of Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland. Across the treeless landscape, jagged stone walls snake over the contours of the land, defining small fertile gardens and creating a landscape representing the relationship between the land and the residents of Grates Cove.

In a context where people made their living primarily from the fisheries, the residents of Grates Cove developed a fluid relationship with the land, cultivating small garden plots to supplement their diets. Rocks were removed from pockets of arable soil and stacked around these pockets to protect them from wind and foraging animals. Gardens nearer the houses were generally devoted to root crops and those farther away to pasturage. The system of shared ownership and informal transfer of land owes its origins to Ireland, the native land of many of the original settlers.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, J. Harris, 1986
Water Street Historic District National Historic Site of Canada
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

This district comprises some twenty neighbouring former mid-19th-century mercantile buildings on either side of Water Street between Beck's Cove and Mahon's Lane, near the St. John's harbour.

Water Street Historic District was designated a national historic site of Canada because it is a contiguous group of commercial structures that are, for the most part, representative of the mercantile establishments built in St. Johns in the mid 19th century, by those associated with the Newfoundland fisheries and the Atlantic trade.

Erected (with two exceptions) soon after the Great Fire of 1846, the buildings represent the commercial architecture in St. John's before the 20th century. Their site and setting is also part of their heritage value, illustrating their historical access to the harbour.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1984
Winterholme National Historic Site of Canada
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Winterholme National Historic Site is a large, Queen Anne Revival-style residence located on a landscaped urban lot at 79 Rennie's Mill Road in the Rennie's Mill Road Historic District of St. John's.

Winterholme was designated a national historic site in 1991 because it is a fine example of the conservative approach to the Queen Anne Revival Style in Canadian domestic architecture.

Its heritage value resides in the physical attributes illustrating a conservative example of the eclectic, picturesque Queen Anne Revival style, typical of grand homes in late nineteenth-century Atlantic Canada.

Winterholme was built by the Horwood Lumber Company in 1905-1907 as a residence for Sir Marmaduke Winter (1857-1936).

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Last Updated: 24-Oct-2016