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Fort Wellington National Historic Site of Canada

Vision for the new Visitor Centre

 Arist's rendering of the south side of Fort Wellington's Visitor's Centre.
Arist's rendering of the south side of Fort Wellington's Visitor Centre.
© Parks Canada

The new Visitor Centre for Fort Wellington will provide an interactive, inviting and informative space orienting visitors to the site. It will engage the whole site, considering how visitors will move through the visitor centre, to the fort and across the site.

  • The main focus of the visitor centre will be the presentation of a preserved War of 1812 era shipwreck, raised from the St. Lawrence River. This exhibit area will tell the story of “War on the River.”
  • A multipurpose room will be available for various activities such as meetings, art shows, special exhibits and programs, classes and demonstrations. This room will assist the site to connect with local residents and facilitate partnering opportunities.
  • The visitor centre experience will create meaningful connections for those who have come to explore Fort Wellington, allowing them to create their own unique experience and perspectives of this special place.
  • The visitor centre experiences will be integrated and will complement the historic site experience.
  • The footprint of the current visitor centre will remain and the addition to house the gunboat and new 1812 exhibit will extend from the south west corner of the building towards the parking lot.
  • The total square footage of the visitor centre, including the new addition will be approximately 6990 square feet.

Parks Canada’s Green Building Directive

Sustainable building features that are currently in the design include:

  • material re-use;
  • use of reclaimed material and material with a high recycled content;
  • highly reflective roofing;
  • a well insulated building envelope;
  • low emitting materials (paint, adhesive, sealants, carpet);
  • no landscape irrigation;
  • minimizing off-site disposal;
  • limiting site disturbance;
  • bike racks.

Strategic Objectives

  • Improve heritage presentation programming, particularly to better communicate the role of Fort Wellington during the War of 1812;
  • Improve visitor experience of the site through the provision of up-to-date facilities in the visitor centre that enhance their enjoyment of their visit;
  • Enhance visitor experience program offer by exhibiting an early 1800s gunboat, a vessel related to the War of 1812 and the fort’s role in the defence of the St. Lawrence River;
  • Work more closely with First Nations, the community and other stakeholders, and providing a community gathering place that is flexible in how it can be used.
  • Make the best possible use of human resources, time, and money to achieve expected results.

 Arist's rendering of Fort Wellington's Visitor's Centre.
Arist's rendering of the west side of Fort Wellington's Visitor Centre.
© Parks Canada

 Floor plan
Floor Plan
© Parks Canada