Parks Canada is committed to providing updates on the important conservation project at Province House National Historic Site. For more information about this project, visit our Conservation Project schedule page.

Province House National Historic Site is more than 169 years old and the Government of Canada is proudly investing $47 Million for the conservation of this heritage building.  Improvements to this historic site will enable Parks Canada to continue sharing the rich and varied heritage of our nation and provide an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about our diverse history. 

The story of Province House - the Charlottetown Conference and the original meeting of the Fathers of Confederation - is one that is near and dear to the hearts of many Canadians as it symbolizes the birth of our nation.  As important but not as well-known, is the story of the Province House construction:  the story of the building's fabric, structure and components.  This is a story that must be fully understood as we move forward with our conservation efforts, to ensure we are effectively protecting the building and conserving its character-defining features for generations to come. 

Learn more about the conservation project's background and timeline by reading our backgrounder, updated May 2017.

Stone by Stone - September 2017 newsletter (PDF, 935 KB).

A Landmark Conservation Project: Province House National Historic Site

Transcript

Narrator: This is Province House National Historic Site in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

In 1864, Fathers of Confederation met here to discuss the creation of Canada.

This building is now known as the birthplace of Confederation.

Parks Canada protects and presents this important part of our national heritage.

Today, the Agency is working hard to conserve this building

in order to preserve the unique history of Province House for years to come.

To help with this work, Parks Canada has engaged Public Services and Procurement Canada.

Its team of experts is managing this project.

Susann Myers: It’s our role to engage the consultants and manage their contribution,

review their documents, provide input throughout the process and help to manage a successful project.

With a new building, you have to analyse the site conditions, the soil and so on,

but with a heritage building, you have to analyse the building itself and that understanding

of the existing building is the absolute necessity at the beginning of the project,

in order to move forward successfully and address the right issues in the best ways.

The biggest challenges have to do with understanding the building: understanding its history,

its heritage values, its construction, its present condition,

therefore the causes of the deterioration that have occurred,

the impact of all the factors that have contributed to the building over the past hundred and fifty years.

This is a very significant building in Canada.

It’s uniquely important as a heritage building,

"

Important to the history of Canada and to Prince Edward Island,

"

where it was an amazing achievement of its time.

It was well designed,

tremendous resources went into it and they were largely Island resources.

So it is very significant to the people of Prince Edward Island.

and in relation to its contribution to Canadian Confederation,

it has a uniquely important place in the history of Canada.

So, conserving that, the building

and that heritage significance is uniquely difficult with this building,

We have a tremendous consultant team,

We have a wonderful team on the client side with Parks Canada,

we have a strong team on the part of Public Works and we’re working well together.

It’s a little gem of a building;

everything about it is, is so lovely.

"

There’s every reason to hope that the

"

project is going to go very well.

Narrator: Parks Canada works every day to protect and present Canada’s cultural heritage.

That is why the work at Province House National Historic Site is so important.

It will ensure that this special place will be appreciated and enjoyed for many years to come.

Susann Myers: This is one of my favourite projects ever.

[Laughing]

"Conserving our heritage:  A Step back in Time" 

Design and methods used during the construction in 1847 are not the same as modern building techniques. In conservation projects like this, initial investigations are time consuming and these first steps are crucial to ensure a successful project
.  
Province House National Historic Site closed in January 2015 to allow for the investigation of the buildings' structure to begin. Since the building's closure, Parks Canada and Public Services and Procurement Canada Project Team have undertaken a series of detailed investigations to gain an understanding of the buildings' unique structure.

Province House is a very complex building and the Project Team is being extremely thorough and cautious.  Through this initial work, the Project Team is gaining a comprehensive knowledge of the character-defining elements (PDF, 2.25 MB) of the building and its construction, so as to be able to determine the appropriate methods to apply to conserve Province House.

"The Next Chapter"

The investigative stage of the project is now complete and the Project Team is considering various design options. They will be guided by the principles set out in the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada. These principles are aimed at conserving the unique qualities and character of this historic structure. The team is focusing on the heritage defining characteristics of Province House, as well as ensuring the long life of the building.

Parks Canada is proud of its role in protecting and presenting this important symbol of our shared national heritage and is committed to sharing details of this landmark conservation project with Canadians. 

Please stay tuned to our website for project updates.  To subscribe to our mailing list for stakeholder updates, please e-mail us at ParcsCanadaIPE-ParksCanadaPEI.pc@pc.gc.ca

Story of Confederation

Parks Canada’s commitment to telling to the story of Province House National Historic Site, the birthplace of Confederation and site of the Charlottetown Conference, will remain a priority even during a period of closure. We are working closely with Confederation Centre of the Arts to provide a multi-media visitor experience for Province House that will allow us to continue to share that story with visitors in ways that will build lasting, memorable connections between them and this very important symbol of Canadian history. For more information please see the Story of Confederation.