Grosse Île has an impressive number of architectural resources. Although the commemorative integrity objectives for the site require that the 30-odd buildings with heritage value be preserved and protected, only half will, at some point, be open to visitors. Others will be used for operational purposes, and will be open only to Grosse Île personnel on duty or Parks Canada partners. The following guidelines will be used to frame Agency action:
- An architectural intervention plan will be produced for all the heritage buildings on the island. It will describe the specific problems involved in preserving and using each work/ structure, produce an assessment of the state of knowledge concerning the resource, specify the intervention principles to be given priority and list the work to be done in the short, medium and long term. Implementation of this plan will be a priority in the national historic site’s business plan.
- The interventions recommended under the plan will respect cultural resource management principles and will comply with Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office standards. 32 In order to maintain the commemorative integrity of the site, the interventions proposed under the plan will aim to:
- – protect the structure and exterior features of buildings;
- – protect the details and coherence of the spatial division and interior design of buildings;
- – protect the organic and visual relationship between buildings and their environment.
Buildings open to visitors
The following fifteen surviving buildings will be partially or fully open to visitors:
1- the disinfection building
2- the carpentry and plumbing workshop
3- the second-class hotel
4- the third-class hotel
5- the wash house
6- the bakery
7- the kitchen
8- the first-class hotel
9- the assistant physician’s house
10- the Anglican chapel
11- the Public Works Officer’s residence
12- the Catholic chapel
13- the Catholic presbytery
14- the Marconi station
15- the lazaretto
- Generally speaking, all interventions affecting these buildings will accord with the heritage character, history and special atmosphere of the site. In keeping with the principles of cultural resources management, the architectural intervention concept will seek to preserve and restore all building components.
- Where necessary, the outer shell of certain buildings will be reinforced and restored in order to bring out their architectural coherence. If necessary, interior spaces will be restored and/or upgraded to meet modern standards and respond to new use requirements (interpretation, visitor services, etc.).
- All buildings open to the public will be properly protected and equipped to meet current fire regulations.
- The scale of the electrical and mechanical systems earmarked for installation will depend on visitor use, investment and operating costs, technical and environmental restrictions inherent to an island and the desire to minimize impacts on heritage resources. Generally speaking, the systems installed will not be designed to meet museum standards of preservation.
- Although current universal access standards will not be fully met, access to buildings open to the public will be improved as much as possible. In order to minimize the impact on the heritage character of buildings, the spaces made accessible to the public will be restricted and rationalized (e.g., upper floors will be kept off limits).
32. CANADIAN HERITAGE, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, FHBRO Code of Practice, 1996, 52 p.
Preservation and presentation concept
Respecting the spirit of the place
Comprehensive and specific view of history
Grosse Île: looking to the future
Management objectives and key actions
Ensuring the commemorative integrity of the site
Commemorative plaques and monuments
Movable cultural resources
Communicating the site’s messages and heritage values
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada facilities
Preserving and presenting the natural environment
Shared management of the site