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Management Plan


  • Wharf
  • Landing strip
  • Water supply and waste water treatment system; power supply

Owing to the site’s insularity, access and service infrastructures play a key role at Grosse Île.


The island’s present wharf is the result of a physical and structural evolution over the years. Structures were enlarged and superimposed on one another throughout the station’s long history, particularly during the last several decades. In 1994, the wharf was thoroughly investigated to assess its condition and structural stability. Experts found that the wharf, which had become badly deteriorated in parts (particularly the south end) has virtually outlived its usefulness. Major rebuilding would therefore be required to guarantee the durability of the structure and the safety of users. It was also noted that in terms of its new use as a public landing, wharf approaches were inconvenient for the boarding/disembarkation of visitors and daily supplies, especially at low tide, due to the poor draught in mooring zones. The extensive sedimentation which also occurs at this location means that the shoals off the wharf will have to be dredged periodically.

In response to the expert advice, Parks Canada began major rebuilding work on the wharf in 1999, in consideration of the following directions:

  • wherever possible, repair work will leave intact the most significant vestiges of earlier wharves;
  • reconstruction interventions should respect the previous dimensions of the wharf and the relationship between the wharf and the disinfection building;
  • the dimensions and configuration will remain substantially the same. However, the current approaches, which are ill-situated owing to poor draught at low tide and the heavy sedimentation in this sector of the river, will be relocated and designed in such a way as to simplify boarding and disembarkation of passengers and goods;
  • the wharf will be designed to allow for future compliance with universal access standards.
Landing strip

The landing strip in the eastern part of the island was laid out in the mid-1950s by the Department of Defence and later extended and upgraded by Agriculture Canada. This gravel runway is some 400 metres long. It is not certified by Transport Canada. Although it can be used year-round, the absence of runway lights means it is only suitable for use during daylight hours. Only small aircraft requiring short takeoff and landing distances can use the strip. 19

Water supply and waste water treatment system; power supply

All water supply, wastewater and power systems described in the 1992 Development Concept presented major shortcomings, including:

  • low water pressure and poor water quality;
  • outdated water pipes and water storage system;
  • no wastewater treatment system;
  • overloaded electrical system;
  • worn-out generators;
  • obsolete fuel supply system.

Following an exhaustive study of infrastructure, various corrective measures were recommended in order to meet the projected user demand and comply with current environmental standards and safety requirements (fire protection). Upgrading work began in 1996 with the installation of a modern wastewater treatment plant.20 Water mains were also partially rebuilt.

Plans call for removing the heating oil tanks situated strategically in the vicinity of the wharf and relocating them to a place where they can continue to serve their essential purpose without disturbing the heritage character of the island.

19. This strip is strictly reserved for Parks Canada use.

20. In addition, an analysis of wells and chlorination operations was conducted by Health Canada in 1998. Measures have been enacted since, and tests of water quality (physico-chemical and bacteriological) are conducted on a monthly basis.

Analysis of the current situation

Ownership and legal context
Commemorative integrity of the site
Condition of landscapes and level-1 resources
Communication of site messages of national historic significance
General status
Impacts of activities past and present
Public visitation and use
Visitation figures
Facilities and services
Regional tourism context