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Management Plan

Origin and context of the project

The national historic significance of the former quarantine station on Grosse Île was first recognized in 1974 by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada ( HSMBC ). This recognition led to the unveiling of a commemorative plaque in 1980.

In 1984, following a thematic study of immigration to Canada and the various potential sites where this theme could be illustrated, the Board expressed the opinion that “the peopling of Canada through immigration is a theme of great national significance which should be the subject of major commemoration.” The Board added that “in light of the number and quality of the in situ resources on Grosse Île related to the theme of immigration, the Minister should consider acquiring the Island, or portions of it, and there developing a national historic park.”

The Minister accepted this recommendation and asked Agriculture Canada, which was then managing the island, to transfer the buildings and sites of historical interest to Parks Canada. In August 1988, the Environment Minister (then responsible for Parks Canada) and the Agriculture Minister signed a formal agreement to this effect.

Grosse Île map

The project was launched in 1989 with the preparation of a “Themes and Objectives” document based on the HSMBC recommendations. 1 In March 1992, a comprehensive information document 2 was made public in order to inform Canadians about how Parks Canada intended to preserve and present Grosse Île as a national historic site. The consultation began in spring 1992 with public hearings in Montmagny, Quebec City and Montreal. Following requests from the Irish-Canadian community, further public meetings were also held across Canada in spring 1993. A full report of the opinions voiced during the consultation was published in 1994. 3

In August 1994, the Minister of Canadian Heritage announced that an advisory panel would be set up and would suggest to Parks Canada ways by which it could address the many expectations and concerns expressed during the consultations. The committee’s report was made public in March 1996, thus coinciding with the ministerial announcement that the site would henceforth be known as “Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site of Canada.” The report of the advisory panel 4 covers some 75 recommendations dealing with different aspects of the project, most of them based on the comments and suggestions gathered during the public consultations.

1. ENVIRONMENT CANADA, PARKS SERVICES, Grosse Île National Historic Site Themes and Objectives, Quebec Region, Quebec, February 1989, 24 p.

2. ENVIRONMENT CANADA, PARKS SERVICES, Grosse Île National Historic Site Development Concept, Quebec, March 1992, 87 p.

ENVIRONMENT CANADA, PARKS SERVICES, Grosse Île National Historic Site Development Concept Supplement, Quebec, 1992, 24 p.

3. CANADIAN HERITAGE, PARKS CANADA, Report on The Public Consultation Program, Quebec, March 1994, 55 p. plus appendices

4. CANADIAN HERITAGE, PARKS CANADA, Report of The Advisory Panel, Quebec, August 1995, 12 p. plus appendices


Origin and context of the project
Management plan
Quarantine and public health
1847, year of tragedy
Canadian immigration in Québec City during the years of the Grosse Île quarantine station