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Ontario Historic Sites

Battle Hill National Historic Site
Battle Hill National Historic Site is located on a rolling landscape in the valley of Battle Hill near Highway 2 (also known as Longwoods Road) west of Wardsville, Ontario. The site is associated with the Battle of Longwoods, which occurred on March 4, 1814 on an open landscape near what is now Battle Hill Creek. Following a short skirmish between the British Regulars and American forces, the British were forced to retreat back to Delaware, while the Americans abandoned their advance and retreated to Detroit. There are no known extant remains of the battle; however, the site is marked by a plaque and cairn positioned on a small rise of land and surrounded by an iron fence. Official recognition refers to a polygon of land near Highway 2 in Wardsville Ontario.

To find out more about this place, visit www.HistoricPlaces.ca.

Battle of Cook’s Mills National Historic Site
The Battle of Cook’s Mills National Historic Site is a rolling semi-rural landscape east of the Welland Canal bordering the north bank of Lyon’s Creek in the City of Welland, Ontario. It was the site of an engagement between British and Canadian troops and American forces during the War of 1812. There are no known extant remains of the battle; however, a cairn and plaque erected by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada in 1977 marks the south-west corner of the battle site. Official recognition refers to the designated polygon north of Lyon’s Creek.

To find out more about this place, visit www.HistoricPlaces.ca.

Battle of the Windmill National Historic Site
Visit a windswept hill, overlooking the St. Lawrence River, where a red-roofed stone windmill was the scene of a bloody turning point in Canadian history. From the grounds of the Battle of the Windmill Historic Site, gaze at the waves and imagine the boats of an invading force of American ‘Hunters’ sailing across the river to do battle with British soldiers and local militia in the fight for Upper Canada.

Battlefield of Fort George National Historic Site
Battlefield of Fort George National Historic Site is located near Fort George National Historic Site in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. The rolling open landscape near the shore of Lake Ontario at Two Mile Creek was the site of one of the fiercest and most important battles of the War of 1812. There are no extant remains of the 1813 battle between American invading forces and British regulars and Canadian militia; however, a cairn and plaque erected by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC) marks the northeast corner of the battle site. Official recognition refers to the irregular polygon encompassing the battlefield.

Beausoleil Island National Historic Site
Representative of the cultural landscape of the Anishinaabeg of the southern Georgian Bay region. A setting for traditional narratives that record the island’s creation and meaning.
Georgian Bay Islands National Park of Canada, Ontario

Bellevue House National Historic Site
Tour the restored home and gardens of historic Bellevue House knowing that seeds were planted here for the birth of a country. Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, and his family made Bellevue House their home from 1848 to 1849. Wander through the family’s preserved kitchen garden, bite into an heirloom apple, and watch costumed gardeners wielding scythes to cut the lawn in the method of the 1840s.

Bethune Memorial House National Historic Site
Welcome to the birthplace of an international hero. During the early 20th century, Dr. Norman Bethune became a medical pioneer, advocate for Canada’s universal health care system and revered Chinese cultural icon. Take a tour of Bethune Memorial House, a charming Victorian-era home set on a manicured property alongside an informative Visitor Centre, and immerse in an incredible legacy of accomplishment that strengthens the bond between nations to this day.

Bois Blanc Island Lighthouse National Historic Site
The scene of an 1838 invasion by Canadian “Patriots” and their American supporters, the Bois Blanc Lighthouse near Amherstburg, Ontario has stood for more than 100 years. This tall limestone lighthouse marked the entrance/gateway to the mouth of the Detroit River and access to the Upper Great Lakes and though not now open to the public, still reminds us of her importance to those who relied on her beams.

Butler’s Barracks National Historic Site
Butler’s Barracks is a historic military complex comprised of five wooden buildings located at the edge of the Commons behind the Fort George National Historic Site in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Carrying Place of the Bay of Quinte National Historic Site
Carrying Place of the Bay of Quinte National Historic Site is located on the isthmus at the west end of the Bay of Quinte on Lake Ontario. The site, at the intersection of the Trenton and Carrying Place roads, marks the location where Sir John Johnson and the Chiefs of the Mississauga negotiated a treaty in 1787. The site is comprised of a small plot of land owned by Parks Canada containing a solitary Historic Sites and Monuments Board cairn and plaque. Official recognition refers to the property owned by Parks Canada.

Fort George National Historic Site
Soldiers in redcoats fire muskets, clouding the air with black powder smoke. Fifers’ and Drummers’ tunes drift past blockhouses, a historic powder magazine and cannons on the lookout. Step straight from the genteel Victorian town of Niagara-on-the-Lake into the War of 1812 at Fort George, a military post that defended Upper Canada against American attacks. Experience that era by tasting food cooked 19th century-style over an open flame, then fire a musket yourself!

Fort Henry National Historic Site
British fort completed 1836 to defend Rideau Canal.
Historic site not operated by Parks Canada – Fees continue to apply in 2017.
Kingston, Ontario
Kingston Fortifications National Historic Site

Fort Malden National Historic Site
The location of an historic meeting between Major General Sir Isaac Brock and Shawnee Chief Tecumseh, the British stronghold on the Detroit frontier during the War of 1812 and the Rebellions of 1837-38, and the site of the longest American occupation on Canadian soil, Fort Malden National Historic Site, in Amherstburg, Ontario opens a fascinating doorway into Canada’s early military history.

Fort Mississauga National Historic Site
Fort Mississauga is a large, square, brick defensive tower set within the remains of earthworks on the shoreline of the Niagara River. On the landward side, it is surrounded by golfing greens located within the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site
Explore the ruins of Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site and feel the rich War of 1812 history that lingers – a history that saw a powerful alliance struck between the British and the First Nations People of the western Great Lakes region. Hike to Lake Huron’s edge, conjure friendly spirits on the Ghost Walk, watch for more than 100 species of birds and view authentic artefacts from the old fort.

Fort Wellington National Historic Site
First built during the War of 1812 to defend the St. Lawrence River shipping route from attack by the United States, Fort Wellington also helped thwart another American invasion during the 1837-38 Upper and Lower Canada rebellions. Explore the wreck of an 1812-era gunboat, try on a costume and take part in military drill, witness a cannon firing, savour period treats cooked over an open fire, or play games from long ago.

Glengarry Cairn National Historic Site
Conical stone monument, with stairway, to the Glengarry and Argyle Regiment, erected in 1840
Cairn Island, Ontario

HMCS Haida National Historic Site
Canada’s proud history of wartime naval service is vividly on display aboard legendary HMCS Haida, a Tribal class destroyer that served in the Second World War, the Korean Conflict and the Cold War. Distinguishing herself in several historic battles, the Royal Canadian Navy’s most famous ship now proudly rests in Hamilton. Explore its historic decks and imagine yourself as a crew member of the destroyer dubbed ‘Canada’s most fightingest ship’.

Inverarden House National Historic Site
Enjoy a welcome back to the 1800s with a view of Inverarden House, on the shores of the St. Lawrence River near Cornwall, Ontario. Built in 1816, this stately Regency style house was restored to its original glory in 1970 and served as a museum for thirty years. Though no longer open to the public, Inverarden House remains a grand relic of eastern Ontario architectural history.

Kingston Fortifications National Historic Site
Kingston Fortifications National Historic Site is located in and around the harbour area of Kingston, Ontario. Situated at the mouth of the Cataraqui River, and overlooking the confluence of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, the fortifications consist of five separate 19th-century military installations, including Fort Henry National Historic Site of Canada (NHSC), Fort Frederick, part of the Point Frederick Buildings NHSC, the Murney Tower NHSC, Shoal Tower NHSC, and Cathcart Martello Tower. An inter-related defense system, the concentration and orientation of the limestone fortifications towards the water convey their essential purpose as a defensible platform for guns. Built between 1832 and 1840, the Kingston fortifications represent the apogee of smooth bore technology. Official recognition refers to the boundaries of each of these installations situated around the Kingston Harbour.

Laurier House National Historic Site
Entering the former residence of two of Canada’s most important Prime Ministers is like stepping into the inner sanctum of our country’s political history. For over fifty years this Second Empire mansion in downtown Ottawa was at the heart of Canadian political life, serving as the residence of both Sir Wilfrid Laurier and the Rt. Hon. William Lyon Mackenzie King. Here they entertained dignitaries and politicians while often conducting the business of state.

Merrickville Blockhouse National Historic Site
Part of lock system of Rideau Canal, 1832-33
Merrickville, Ontario
Rideau Canal National Historic Site

Mississauga Point Lighthouse National Historic Site
Located on the shoreline of the Niagara River in Niagara-on the-Lake, Ontario, Mississauga Point Lighthouse National Historic Site marks the site of the first lighthouse built on the Great Lakes in 1804. While archaeological remains are believed to be situated below what is now the eastern mortar bastion of Fort Mississauga National Historic Site, no aboveground evidence survives. Official recognition refers to the symbolic significance of the vanished lighthouse as represented by the commemorative plaque affixed to the west gate of Fort Mississauga National Historic Site, with a perimeter of 5 metres in radius from the plaque.

Mnjikaning Fish Weirs National Historic Site
Mnjikaning Fish Weirs National Historic Site is located on portions of the bottom of the Narrows between Lakes Simcoe and Couchiching, a part of the Trent-Severn Waterway. This includes the navigable marked channel, the old channel that runs to the northeast and marshland surrounding these channels. The constriction of the Narrows allows fish to be caught as they move between the lakes, and the shallowness of the channel permits wooden weirs to be built there. The channel today is divided in two: the original channel curves to the northeast, and the navigation channel runs straight to the north. The navigation channel was first dredged in 1856-57, and dredging has also taken place in the original channel south of the junction. A linear island has been created along the eastern side of the navigation channel. A causeway for an old Canadian Pacific Railway bed runs across the north end of the narrows. Marshland lies in between these channels, and also east of the old channel. A third channel seems to have existed in the past, curving to the west of the navigation channel and it has been largely filled in by modern development. The official recognition refers to the location of the weirs underwater in the channel between the two lakes.

To find out more about this place, visit www.HistoricPlaces.ca.

Murney Tower National Historic Site
Mid 19th-century British imperial masonry fortification
Kingston, Ontario
Kingston Fortifications National Historic Site

Navy Island National Historic Site
Navy Island National Historic Site is a heavily wooded, uninhabited island on the Canadian side of the Niagara River just above Niagara Falls, Ontario. In the 1760s, Navy Island became the first British shipyard to serve the Upper Great Lakes and, during the Rebellions of 1837, was the seat of William Lyon Mackenzie’s exiled government. The island features many surviving archaeological resources. Official recognition refers to the entire island.

Peterborough Lift Lock National Historic
World’s highest hydraulic lift lock, 1896-1904
Peterborough, Ontario

Point Clark Lighthouse National Historic Site
Standing guard on the shores of Lake Huron, the Point Clark Lighthouse, built between 1855 and 1859, is part of an important system of “Imperial” lighthouses on Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. Visit the still-functioning 24 m/78 ft limestone tower to see the 12-sided lantern that shines a bright light on the historical significance of lighthouses to Great Lakes navigation. Nearby, the lightkeeper’s house museum illuminates the lives led on lonely shores.

Queenston Heights National Historic Site
Explore the site of one of Canada’s most famous battles, where Major-General Sir Isaac Brock, Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in Upper Canada, and his aide-de-camp John Macdonell made the ultimate sacrifice leading their men in the protection and preservation of Niagara during the Battle of Queenston Heights in the War of 1812. Climb the spiral stairs of the monument that commemorates Major General Brock’s heroic leadership and courage and marks his final resting place. Enjoy a sweeping view of the Niagara landscape and learn about Brock’s early life from costumed guides.

Rideau Canal National Historic Site
Cast a fishing line from a rocky outcrop. Visit Victorian towns and military blockhouses. Cycle a woodland pathway and picnic alongside hand-operated locks on the 19th century Rideau Canal, an historic waterway linking a scenic string of rivers and lakes. Quickly constructed in a time of military threat, the length of the canal is now a diverse outdoor playground where history mingles with the mellow Eastern Ontario countryside.

Ridgeway Battlefield National Historic Site
Ridgeway Battlefield National Historic Site is located within a four-hectare parcel of parkland in the small community of Ridgeway in southwestern Ontario, approximately five kilometres west of the Town of Fort Erie. The site consists of the 1866 battlefield, which now includes privately owned rural agricultural properties. Official recognition refers to the approximate limits of the 1866 battlefield.

Saint-Louis Mission National Historic Site
Saint-Louis Mission National Historic Site lies on a tableland beside the Hogg River, 3 kilometres inland from Georgian Bay, near Victoria Harbour, Ontario. This 2-hectare archaeological site was an open field when it was investigated in the first half of the 20th century. Since that time the field has been left fallow, while part of the site area has grown into a mixed hardwood forest and the rest has been planted with pine trees. There are mounds and surface depressions indicative of past archaeological investigations. Official recognition refers to the limits of the village and mission as defined by the palisade on the south and west sides, and by the riverbanks on the east and north sides.

Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site
The Sault Ste. Marie Canal, built in 1895, was the world’s longest lock, the first to operate using electricity and the last link in an all-Canadian navigational chain from the Atlantic to Lake Superior. Today the Canal, used by recreational craft, is a great spot for boat-watching and picnics – but you can do more than watch! Let a Parks Canada interpreter/guide introduce you to the Canal’s fascinating history.

Shoal Tower National Historic Site
Mid 19th-century British imperial masonry fortification
Kingston, Ontario
Kingston Fortifications National Historic Site

Sir John Johnson House National Historic Site
Sir John Johnson, a loyalist who moved North to Montreal following the American Revolution, left behind a considerable estate in Mohawk valley to fund and lead the King’s Regiment of New York. In 1784 he was instrumental in resettling many loyalists in what is now Ontario. Johnson himself built a home and mills on the banks of Raisin river between 1784 and 1792. The home remains one of the oldest in Ontario.

Southwold Earthworks National Historic Site
Walk where Canada’s earliest inhabitants did and imagine the Attiwandaron longhouses and palisade walls that once stood proudly at Southwold Earthworks National Historic Site. Close your eyes and imagine a rare fortified village of 800-900 Attiwandaron, also known as the Neutral Iroquois, who inhabited Southwold from 1500 to 1650 AD.

Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site
Salute human ingenuity navigating the heritage canals and locks along the 386 km Trent-Severn Waterway, connecting the playgrounds of Lake Ontario and Lake Huron. Cruise Canada’s renowned inland passageway through historic lockstations. Travel into cottage country by water or by car and watch the Big Chute Marine Railway in action. Stare up at the towering Peterborough Lift Lock and learn about its history at the Visitor Centre. Explore lumber towns, farm villages and the spectacular pre-Cambrian landscape of the Canadian Shield.

Waterloo Pioneers Memorial Tower
The Waterloo Pioneer Memorial Tower is an 18.9 metre high tower on the banks of the Grand River that pays tribute to the contributions of the hardworking Pennsylvania-German pioneers who settled the Waterloo Region between 1800 and 1803. Its shimmering Swiss-style copper roof, random-coursed fieldstone construction and Conestoga wagon weather vane can be seen for miles, paying tribute to the German heritage of the farming community that built it.

Woodside National Historic Site
Explore Canada’s history at Woodside National Historic Site in Kitchener, Ontario, the boyhood home of William Lyon Mackenzie King, Canada’s tenth, and longest-serving Prime Minister. This lovingly preserved Victorian home, filled with King family heirlooms and period reproductions, and set on 11.5 acres of mature forest, is a portal to the Victorian era in Canada.

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