Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
Browse the links below for useful up-to-date visitor information to plan your trip, and check out our Activities section to see what you can do while you're here.
Be inspired by Canada's history...and remember it for a lifetime!
Bus service to and from the Fortress of Louisbourg operates through the Parks Canada Visitor Centre. Buses leave from the Parks Canada Visitor Centre parking lot. This service is available during the peak season, and up to the last Thursday in September. After hours and from late September to the last Thursday of June, access to the site is by personal vehicle via Gate 2.
Costumes, Furnishings and Gardens
Two-thirds of our interpretive staff dress in period-style clothing which are faithful reproductions of colonial garb. Our curator of textiles researches patterns, fabrics and extant descriptions as well as preserved originals to create the clothing that brings the class, gender and occupations of the 18th century into tangible reality. Our staff are proud to discuss the authentic details and individual variations of the costumes they wear.
Our buildings are furnished with a wide variety of furniture and daily-life objects. Some are precious originals. Others are antiques from the 18th century. The majority are reproductions. All of the furnishings are in place to help visitors connect with the past.
The ornamental and potager (kitchen) gardens that you see throughout the Fortress of Louisbourg are replicas of original gardens. The style and types of herbs and vegetables planted reflect gardens of the 18th century. Much of the produce is used in our restaurants and in our cooking programs within the animated houses. If you have a keen interest in gardening, our gardens and animals interpreters are available to speak with you about traditional techniques and points of interest. They might even put you to work!
Guided tours are offered during the peak and shoulder seasons. Tickets can be purchased at the Visitor Centre (peak season) or De la Plagne (shoulder and peak seasons), or pre-booked by calling 902-733-3552. There is maximum of 50 participants.
As well, private guide services can be arranged by phoning in advance. If interested, please call 902-733-3552.
Historical Research / Genealogy
Thousands of archival documents pertaining to 18th century Louisbourg still exist in French, British and North America archives. Parks Canada historians have studied these records to guide the rebuilding of the fortifications and homes of Louisbourg. They continue to use them to understand how the community functioned politically, economically and socially, and to understand the events that occurred from Louisbourg's founding to its final fall and abandonment.
Parish records and court documents from Louisbourg have been digitized and placed in a searchable database. A computer kiosk is available at the Lartigue House and at the Parks Canada Visitor Centre so that you can search for any relatives who may have lived here in the 18th century.
Information Desk / Lost and Found
During our regular visitor season, the Information Desk is located in the de la Plagne House. Here you can find out what the latest changes are in daily programming, what activities are special for the day and which buildings have animation. This is also our Lost and Found Centre, so if you've lost an item or a person, check in here and the attendant will help you. In the off-season, please phone 902-733-3552.
In Case of Emergency
Our staff is here to help you in any way they can. If you need assistance, you can be sure of finding a staff person in the following areas:
- The Lartigue House
- The de la Plagne House
- The restaurants
- The Visitor Centre
Staff can also be found throughout the site in animated areas, in the streets and gardens, and in the King's Bastion.
Meetings / Conferences
Looking for a unique place to hold a meeting for a company, board or other group? The Fortress of Louisbourg provides a setting, second to none, with experiences not offered anywhere else. We can customize a day, two days, or more, any time of the year.
Imagine a small board meeting in a room where grand plans were made, a town was created, and issues of great magnitude were resolved in the 18th century...with no technology to distract you. Take notes with quill and ink. Feel the safety of a soldier at the door. Or perhaps, for your group, technology works. We can also accommodate that need. Ask us about the technology we have available, including our state-of-the-art screen and sound system.
For your meeting and conference needs, contact us at 902-733-3552.
Parking sites vary both with the time of year you visit and with the particular part of our site that you are visiting. During peak season, parking is available at the Parks Canada Visitor Centre. From there, buses will transport visitors to the reconstructed site. For after hours events and when there is no bus service, parking is available on site. To access on-site parking, proceed to Gate 2 in your personal vehicle. Please remember that when the site is closed, on-site parking is only accessible through participation in a special program or event arranged through the Fortress Louisbourg Association.
Working animals are welcome within the fortified town and may be transported on our buses. All animals must be leashed and managed by their owners for the safety and comfort of all visitors while on Parks Canada property. This includes while you are on our walking trails and at our beaches. If travelling with a pet, please call in advance to discuss your pet care options. Leaving pets in a parked vehicle during your visit is strongly discouraged as it can be harmful to the animal.
Our boutiques are operated by the Fortress Louisbourg Association. During our peak season we have two boutiques to serve you: one of these is located at the Parks Canada Visitor Centre and carries a full range of souvenirs, while the other, located within the fortified town, carries items such as books, other printed materials and unique reproduction items. See the Fortress Louisbourg Association Web site for further information or to shop on-line.
Two accessible washrooms are available at the Parks Canada Visitor Centre during the peak season. Within the Fortress of Louisbourg, accessible washrooms are located near the public well on Rue Toulouse and in the Grandchamp House.
Other washrooms within the fortified town are located in the King's Bastion Barracks, at the McLennan Centre, on the second floor of the Ordonnateur's Residence, and on the second floor of Hôtel de la Marine. Baby change stations are located at the Parks Canada Visitor Centre, on Rue Toulouse, and in the King's Bastion Barracks washrooms. During the shoulder season, washrooms at King's Bastion Barracks, Rue Toulouse, and the McLennan Centre are available for use. During the off-season, there are no accessible washroom facilities available. The only washroom available for use is located at the McLennan Centre.
The Fortress of Louisbourg is located on the Atlantic Ocean and, therefore, we experience frequent fluctuations in the weather. With a shift in the wind, a hot, sunny day can turn cold and foggy, with plummeting temperatures. Since much of your visit requires walking outside, you will be more comfortable if you dress for variable conditions and temperatures and wear comfortable footwear.
Our period restaurants offer free wireless Internet connection (wi-fi). So, too, does our McLennan Centre for meetings and conferences. Please connect to SSID "Museum" or SSID "PublicWiFi". No password is required.