Facilities and services
All in all, the facilities established on Grosse Île by Parks Canada have been designed to improve the comfort of visitors, ensure public safety and provide island personnel with reasonable living and working conditions.
A number of permanent works have been completed over the last several years. A visitor reception centre was set up in the former carpentry and plumbing workshop, next door to the disinfection building. In addition, the VRC houses a souvenir shop run by the Grosse Île Development Corporation. Full public washroom facilities were set up in the disinfection building.
Since 1997, visitors may use a modern cafeteria/ restaurant located in the third-class hotel. From May to October, meals are also served to staff posted to the historic site and the employees of companies performing work on the island.
On account of the dispersion of Grosse Île’s heritage resources over more than two kilometres, guided tours are conducted in part aboard a tourist trailer train linking the eastern and western sectors. This service was set up by the Grosse Île Development Corporation in the early 1990s and was upgraded in 1999 when Parks Canada purchased a more efficient, quieter trailer train that also produced less pollution. Once the Corporation’s second trailer train is replaced as planned, the historic site will be equipped with a transportation system that is fully adapted to visitors’ needs.
There have been requests for access and accommodation facilities for pleasure craft at Grosse Île. Given the dilapidated state of the wharf and the limited mooring capacity, Parks Canada has preferred to use public transport run by ferry operators in order to receive and handle the maximum number of visitors. Thus, pleasure craft have not been authorized, except under special circumstances.
Finally, it should be pointed out that a number of island buildings have, during the last several years, undergone rebuilding and rehabilitation so as to satisfactorily accommodate staff posted to the site and provide office space. The upper floor of the third-class hotel, the inoculation and medical examination office, the laboratory, the electrician’s house, the school as well as the former homes of station employees are now used for these purposes. Finally, universal access conditions have been upgraded in most of the restored buildings that will be open to the public.
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
Impacts of activities past and present
Public visitation and use
Facilities and services
Regional tourism context