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Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site

Learning Experiences

For Teachers: "The Key to" School Kit

“The Key to” School Kit, a unique tool designed for primary students (cycles 2 and 3), is an educational adventure that examines multiculturalism and Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site.

Get Your ’The Key to’ School Kit

The Key to is free. When making a reservation, only transport and handling fees are applicable. You may reserve your kit at the following address:

Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site
2 Auteuil Street
Québec, Quebec
G1R 5C2
Phone: 418-234-8841

The Key to

With the key you can discover the secrets hidden inside the suitcase of an early 20th century immigrant, and learn about the history of Grosse Île. You can also reflect on immigration today, and on intercultural relations in our society. The suitcase is all set for the educational adventure, and contains the material required to organize the activities, including a teacher's guide and sheets for students. Pay attention! The suitcase does not open easily. Students have to earn the keys for access to the many secret compartments. Prepare for the journey!


The suitcase contains five main activities that last four to seven hours in total.

1-On Our Way to

Students reflect on the experience of immigrants. If the students were to leave, what would they pack in their suitcases?

2-History Revisited

Students investigate why Irish immigrants had to leave Ireland. Students also learn about their stay on Grosse Île, and their integration into Canadian society.

3-Around the World

Students learn more about Grosse Île's role in welcoming new arrivals, and discover how immigration continues to affect various regions of the world.

4-Sharing Dreams

Through the testimonies of young people from different cultural communities, students realize that, despite their apparent differences, expectations for the present and future stem from universal needs.

5-Living in Hamony and Solidarity

Students reflect on how they can incorparate intercultural values into life at school.


The main goals of The Key to school kitare for students to discover the historic role played by Grosse Île in the arrival of immigrant communities, to reflect on the importance of immigrant integration, and to develop attitudes and skills that promote positive intercultural relations. The Key to educational approach also combines many school subjects.

Antique Photography of Men
© National Archives of Canada

Did you or your parents enter Canada or North America via Québec or Grosse Île? Do you have any memories to share, photographs or documents to show, or even objects that mark your journey or that of your ancestors?

Are you a former employee of the quarantine station at Grosse Île? Do you have memories to share, photographs or documents to show, or objects that bear witness to life on Grosse Île?

If so, you may be able to help us with our historical research. We look forward to hearing your stories and collecting any information you wish to share with us.

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