Hochelaga National Historic Site of Canada

Montréal, Quebec
General view of the Hochelaga National Historic Site of Canada, showing the location of the cairn used to represent the former Iroquois village, circa 2005. © Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, circa / vers 2005.
General view
© Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, circa / vers 2005.
General view of the Hochelaga National Historic Site of Canada, showing the location of the cairn used to represent the former Iroquois village, circa 2005. © Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, circa / vers 2005.Detailed view of the HSMBC plaque © Parks Canada / Parcs Canada, 2010
Address : Sherbrooke Street West, Montréal, Quebec

Recognition Statute: Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
Designation Date: 1920-01-30
Dates:
  • 1535 to 1535 (Significant)

Event, Person, Organization:
  • Jacques Cartier  (Person)
  • the Iroquois  (Organization)
Other Name(s):
  • Hochelaga  (Designation Name)
Research Report Number: 2007-CED-SDC-008

Plaque(s)


Existing plaque: on a boulder at the Main Gates of McGill University Sherbrooke Street West, Montréal, Quebec

Near here was the site of the fortified town of Hochelaga visited by Jacques Cartier, in 1535, abandoned before 1600. It contained fifty large houses, each lodging several families who subsisted by cultuvation and fishing.

Description of Historic Place

Hochelaga National Historic Site of Canada is a cultural landscape recalling a former Iroquois village, consisting of a grass-covered space about 79 square metres in area. The site is located to the left of the main entrance of McGill University on Sherbrooke Street, Montreal. The official recognition applies to the area within a radius of 5 metres around a stone, which was laid in 1925 and on which the plaque is mounted.

Heritage Value

Hochelaga was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1920 for the following reason: it is the Iroquois village of Hochelaga that was visited by Jacques Cartier in 1535 and abandoned before 1600.

Hochelaga National Historic Site of Canada represents the old Iroquois village of Hochelaga. The village is mentioned in the logbook kept by Jacques Cartier on his second voyage to the region of the St. Lawrence River in 1535. The village no longer exists, and its exact location is unknown.

The historical value of Hochelaga National Historic Site of Canada derives from its association with the Iroquois village of Hochelaga. According to Cartier’s log for October 1535, the palisaded village was home to about 1500 Iroquois living in some 50 longhouses approximately 8 metres high and of varying lengths, with groups organized according to maternal family ties. A subsequent French expedition in 1600 noted that the village of Hochelaga was abandoned. This coincided with the departure of all the Iroquois from the St. Lawrence Valley after they were excluded from new trading alliances between the French and the Montagnais, Algonquin and Huron nations. To consolidate their fur trade relations, the French became hostile toward the Iroquois, resulting in their departure.

Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, 2007; Report to the Status of Designations Committee, 2007.

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage character of Hochelaga National Historic Site of Canada derives from: the location of the cairn used to represent the former Iroquois village; the scenic views from the site; the integrity of potential archaeological resources, objects and sites.