The Celtic Cross erected in 1909 on Grosse Île by The Ancient Order of Hibernians.
Jeanne Martineau-Boulet Collection
Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site of Canada is located in the upper estuary of the St. Lawrence River, some 48 km downstream from Québec City. The significance of Grosse Île in the history of Canada stems from the key public health role it played as quarantine station for the port of Québec, for many years the main point of entry for European immigrants to Canada. In 1847, thousands of Irish immigrants fled the devastation of the Great Famine, only to die of typhus during the sea voyage or upon reaching Canadian shores. More than 5000 of them were buried on the island. That is why Grosse Île has been regarded as sacred ground both in Ireland and among members of the Irish diaspora. The Celtic cross was erected in 1909 to serve as a memorial to that tragic time.
Origin and context of the project
Quarantine and public health
1847, year of tragedy
Canadian immigration in Québec City during the years of the Grosse Île quarantine station