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Management Plan

Cultural landscapes

Overall, the components of the cultural landscape of the site and its visual links will be protected and, if needed, reinforced . Accordingly, interventions designed to protect and present them will be undertaken with a view to enhancing appreciation of various areas and deepening understanding of quarantine station history ; however, this will not involve a faithful historical reconstitution of the landscape. The specific nature and scope of the steps to be taken are described in detail in the Plan de protection et de valorisation du paysage (Landscape protection and development plan) , approved in 1999. For the most part, the key actions recommended in the plan will seek to:

  • protect significant views and lookout points recognized as level 1 27 in addition to other viewscapes deemed to be valuable 28 ;
  • restore the traditional division of the station into three sectors, and stress the distinctive character of each as the reflection of its predominant use during the history of the human quarantine station;
  • accentuate the landscape components of the island so as to highlight the historical character of the significant areas dating to the period of human quarantine activities.

Measures designed to enhance and protect the landscape will be implemented primarily in the southern portion of the island, the main area of occupation during the period of the human quarantine. They fall into one of three categories: plantlife management, reminders of previous elements, and the integration of future facilities. The direction of this plan is summarized below:

Vegetation management

Although vegetation will be allowed to grow freely in certain areas of the inhabited portion of the island, other areas will be targeted for control. Thus, for example, distinctions will be made between areas maintained as lawn, areas maintained as managed meadows and areas of controlled vegetation.

Lawn areas will not be overabundant, in order to avoid giving the island an aseptic appearance and so as to limit upkeep expenses. Currently, lawn areas are located in the perimeter of buildings of historic interest as well as the developed portion of the Irish cemetery. New lawn areas will be created for the purpose of recalling the central and eastern sector cemeteries as well as a number of archaeological vestiges.

Viewed as an alternative to traditional lawns, managed meadow areas will be used to preserve the country character of various locations and reduce upkeep. Meadow areas correspond to locations receiving little visitation, and will require only occasional mowing (once or twice a year). Mowing time, frequency and height will be decisive for the adaptation of plant species. This method of management will be implemented in: the central area of the western sector, between the cemetery, the stable and the bakery; in the vicinity of the central sector cemetery; and in areas having no special designation throughout the village.

Some areas will be set aside as controlled vegetation areas , for the purpose of preserving or recovering perspectives and significant visual relationships. These areas will be managed via regular clearing and selective cutting, as part of efforts to limit the growth of shrubs and young trees. Grass cover and shrubs will be preserved in these areas. In some cases, portions of wooded areas will be converted into meadowland so as to protect the integrity of archaeological vestiges or certain visual perspectives.

A number of particularly outstanding or significant trees will be preserved. As a rule, the presentation and protection of landscapes will be performed in a way that is mindful of preserving and presenting currently extant plant life. Not only will this approach reduce ecological impact, it will also enhance the aesthetic qualities of the landscape and provide a tangible expression of the nature-culture approach referred to above.

Ornamental shrubs and perennials planted around various residences stand as reminders of human occupation and, in this capacity, should be protected, cleared of overgrowth and occasionally replaced. The planting of trees, shrubs and perennials will be conducted so that the current landscape will recover a degree of its previous appearance, as shown in old photographs, but will, however, account for the presence of archaeological vestiges. There will be no planting of new trees and shrubs in the cemeteries.

In areas requiring major clearing, such as the central sector cemetery, the areas surrounding the lazarettos, and the eastern sector cemetery, efforts will be made to limit its impact on the ecological balance of habitats.

Finally, poison ivy, a highly pervasive species on Grosse Île, will be managed according to the control plan implemented in 1991. 29

27. The list of significant viewscapes recognized as level 1 appears in the commemorative integrity statement.

28. See the Plan de protection et valorisation du paysage [Landscape protection and presentation plan], pp. 20, 21, 28, 29 and 36.

29. This plan calls for managing poison ivy in a way that ensures the safety and well-being of employees and visitors in the areas that they are likely to travel through.

Preservation and presentation concept

Respecting the spirit of the place
Comprehensive and specific view of history
Nature-culture approach
Grosse Île: looking to the future

Management objectives and key actions

Ensuring the commemorative integrity of the site

Cultural landscapes
Built heritage
Archaeological resources
Commemorative plaques and monuments
Movable cultural resources
Communicating the site’s messages and heritage values

Visitor services


Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada facilities

Preserving and presenting the natural environment

Shared management of the site