Management Plan

Respecting the spirit of the place

  • The spirit of the place refers to the character and meaning that a site has acquired over time; before a site can be grasped and understood intellectually, it must first be felt emotionally.
  • Visitors setting foot on the island experience this emotion in varying degrees. It is not difficult to appreciate the special value and meaning of Grosse Île for Canadians of Irish descent. For the families of those who worked at the station, Grosse Île is also a particularly moving place, which brings back memories of the people who were born and lived there. Thus it is only natural to regard this site as a place of pilgrimage, remembrance and quiet reflection.
  • But whatever their links with the people who lived on Grosse Île or lie buried there, today’s visitors are also moved by the indefinable atmosphere. They soon realize that this is a place that time has left behind. As Jeannette Vekeman Masson has so aptly written, “the pilgrim arriving on Grosse Île is struck by the feeling that time came to a standstill.” 26
  • Grosse Île is indeed like an open-air history book. To remove this feeling of stepping back in time would be like smothering the voice of the island, at the very moment it can finally speak out to us. Thus the development of Grosse Île will not be allowed to jeopardize the spirit of the place under any circumstances.

26. VEKEMAN MASSON, Jeannette, Grand-maman raconte la Grosse Île , Québec: Daillac Éditeur, 1990. 163 p.


Preservation and presentation concept

Respecting the spirit of the place
Comprehensive and specific view of history
Nature-culture approach
Grosse Île: looking to the future

Management objectives and key actions

Ensuring the commemorative integrity of the site

Cultural landscapes
Built heritage
Archaeological resources
Commemorative plaques and monuments
Movable cultural resources
Communicating the site’s messages and heritage values

Visitor services

Facilities

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada facilities

Preserving and presenting the natural environment

Shared management of the site