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Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site of Canada

On-Line Visit

Grosse Île at a glance - Eastern Sector

The Marine Hospital
The Marine Hospital The Marine Hospital
© Parks Canada / Fonds Rose Dompierre

The Marine Hospital was built in 1881 as part of the quarantine station's modernization effort. It was the most modern of Grosse Île's hospitals, and burned down in 1968.

The Lazaretto
Le lazaret
The Lazaretto
© Parks Canada / P. Gauthier

This building is the last shelter constructed on Grosse Île in 1847 that is still standing. It was first designed to house immigrants; however, just like the eleven other surrounding buildings of similar size, it was turned into a hospital. The lazaretto was prefabricated in Québec and was erected on the island. At first, it was used to treat immigrants afflicated with smallpox, the most common disease on the island. Other than its size, the building still has some original features: multipane casement windows, aeration vents, and so on. The lazaretto's architecture recalls the first temporary infrastructures built on Grosse Île. In fact, it is the oldest building on the island, and bears witness to the tragedy of 1847. It is the only remaining evidence of Grosse Île's role as a hospital unit-a major role of the quarantine station. You can see an exhibition on the passage of the Irish immigrants, developed in collaboration with the Government of Ireland.

The Eastern Cemetery
Le cimetière de l'est
The East Cemetery
© Parks Canada / P. Gauthier

Located at the east end of the island, the cemetery was created in 1847-1848. It was extensively used until 1866-1868, when Superintendant Von Iffland opened another cemetery in Grosse Île's central sector at the head of Cholera Bay. As of 1875-1880, the cemetery was used once again. The burials were performed individually and the tombs were identified with numbered wooden stakes. Around 1910, some sepulchres were identified with crosses made out of pipes. Grosse Île's eastern cemetery was divided into two sections: the east side was for the Catholics and the west side for the Protestants. A north-south division seperated the two sides. Many family members of the workers were buried in Grosse Île's Catholic cemetery.