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Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada

Hours of Operation

Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site

Fortified Town:

Time of YearLevel of ServiceHours of Operation
Victoria Day to June 30th
(May 19 - June 30, 2014)
Shoulder Season Open 7 days per week
9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Canada Day to Labour Day
(July 1 - September 1, 2014)
Peak Season Open 7 days per week
9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Post-Labour Day to Thanksgiving Day
(September 2 - October 13, 2014)
Shoulder Season Open 7 days per week
9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Post-Thanksgiving Day to Pre-Victoria Day
(October 15, 2013 - May 18, 2014;
October 14, 2014 - May 17, 2015)
Low season Open Monday to Friday
(except statutory holidays)
9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Low season

Opportunities to experience the Fortress of Louisbourg's quiet streets during the low season allow visitors to imagine life in the toughest of conditions almost 300 years ago. While there are no services available, a low season visit may provide the best opportunity for visitors to experience the stillness of the streets, take in the beauty of the exterior architecture of the buildings, or simply enjoy the treasures that life's quietest moments may bring.

For a new way to experience the site in the low season, try our new Explora hand-held audio tour.  Through sound, video, photos, quizzes and text, you will hold stories about Louisbourg in your hands as you walk through both the reconstructed town and the fortress's ruins.  Explora devices are available at De la Plagne house.

Shoulder season

For those seeking quiet opportunities and some on-site services, visiting during the shoulder season is recommended. Visitors have the opportunity to enjoy an inspiring setting with beautiful visuals as they stand on our history-laden grounds. Several buildings with exhibits are open for you to discover. Explore the site on your own or embark on an audio-guided tour of the grounds. To enhance your visit you may purchase a guided tour, offered daily at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., or participate in the Time Travel program. We recommend reserving a place on this tour in advance by calling 902-733-3552 or emailing us.

By the end of June, the site will begin to fill with costumed interpreters as we ramp up for peak season. After Labour Day, the Fortress of Louisbourg winds down once again with costumed animators interpreting some buildings into September. No matter the season, be sure to find out from reception what activities and experiences may be on offer that day.

Peak Season

Peak season brings a different kind of magic on-site as costumed people add life to the streets and the homes. A foggy day cloaks the site in mystery and creates scenes and images not to be forgotten. A cold day with wind and rain may draw visitors to the warmth of a welcoming fire or to the cozy inn for a warming bowl of soup. A hot day shows the town and its various gardens at their brightest. On summer feast days colour and pageantry break the routine of daily life as the townspeople promenade in their finery. Chores are the order of the day on summer and fall mornings. With the rooster's crow comes bread from the ovens that supplies both soldiers and hungry visitors.

During the peak season Louisbourg's inhabitants, who are happy to share their stories, can be found working the forge, tending the gardens and running the kitchens. The beat of drums and the chime of the garrison clock order the soldiers' day. The sound of a cannon marks midday. Music might be heard from a waterfront tavern. Children play games in the streets, while the sentry at the gate challenges those who wish to enter the walled town. A public punishment gathers spectators. Sheep run through the streets, called home by the stable hand. Each hour offers something unique and real.

Guided tours, offered twice daily, are available for purchase at De la Plagne House.  There is a maximum of 50 participants.

During the peak season you can immerse yourself in an 18th century dining experience, available daily, at the Hôtel de la Marine and Grandchamp House. For those who prefer a modern experience L'Épée Royale Café offers a cozy stop for hot and cold beverages and a variety of pastries. Groups can pre-arrange a dining experience by calling 902-733-3552. The daily fare varies with the season. Please check in advance for menu options and our ability to accommodate any special dietary requirements.

Dining - Hours of Operation
Dining EstablishmentExperienceHours of Operation
Grandchamp House Lower class
(Less formal dining)
July 1 - August 25
(Doors open at 10:30 a.m.)
Hôtel de la Marine Upper class
(More formal dining)
July 1 - August 25
(Doors open at 11 a.m.)
Hôtel de la Marine Lower class
(Less formal dining)
August 26 - Thanksgiving Day
(Doors open at 10:30 a.m.)
L'Épée Royale Café Café Victoria Day - Thanksgiving Day
(Doors open at 10 a.m.)

When the Fortress of Louisbourg is closed, programs and services are provided through the Fortress Louisbourg Association after-hours programs. Enhanced programming throughout the day, evening or overnight is also provided by the Fortress Louisbourg Association.

Whether it's the bustling street or the solitude of the shore, a visit to the Fortress of Louisbourg offers many opportunities for memorable experiences.