The bat colonies on Grosse Île are currently recognized as being among the largest in Canada. This situation is related to the presence of several buildings and facilities that, over time, have fostered the establishment of maternity colonies. Restoration of heritage buildings is likely to impact these colonies directly. Any disturbance of maternity colonies is also likely to adversely affect female bats during this critical period of their life cycle. In that regard, Parks Canada will enact the measures necessary to maintain bio-diversity, while also conserving and preserving the productivity of bat maternity colonies on Grosse Île. In addition, Parks Canada will sensitize the public to the necessity of conserving and protecting these animal species.
White-tailed deer have been present on the island for some years now. They originated on a number of private islands in the archipelago, where island-owners probably introduced them for sport hunting purposes. The arrival of these mammals on the island may cause a number of safety problems in the medium term, but above all may result in significant impact on island vegetation, including the disappearance of a number of plant species. It is important to monitor the dynamic of the deer population in the short term so as to assess its impact on plants. In accordance with its directives, Parks Canada will enact the necessary management measures upon receiving the findings of these monitoring activities.
Strategic direction respecting site visitation
One of the fundamental objectives of the national historic sites program is to promote fuller knowledge and appreciation of the history of Canada among Canadians. By stimulating visitors’ interest in heritage and history, Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site of Canada is destined to play a decisive part in achieving this objective.
Recent studies show that Canadians, like international tourists, are increasingly interested in heritage sites and authentic experiences. While ensuring respect for the commemorative integrity of the sites presented by it, Parks Canada wishes to take advantage of this trend, with the objective of positioning Canada among the major world tourist destinations. That is why the Agency, in collaboration with its partners, periodically updates its integrated marketing communications plan, which is designed to offer products and experiences of outstanding quality.
One of this plan’s objectives is to maintain and increase visitation at national historic sites, based on site visit capacity, and to increase awareness and use of these heritage areas. In 1999, Grosse Île registered more than 29 000 visits. The island can certainly cater to larger numbers because it has extremely valuable resources and undeniable drawing power. However, the site’s maximum capacity has been estimated at 50 000 visitors for a six-month operating season. This takes into account the landing capacity of the wharf and the site’s infrastructure (water supply, wastewater treatment system, etc.).
It should also be noted that the Chaudière- Appalaches tourism region has established the objective of increasing visitation and occupation rates at its attractions and facilities, spreading demand over the whole year and throughout the entire territory, extending the average length of stay, and firming up its market niche and visibility. A number of market segments have been targeted, some of which fit in well with current and future visitation objectives for this national historic site. Given the interest that this site should arouse among the descendants of Irish immigrants across North America, there is certainly a substantial market potential for individual and group tours, although the real size of the current market and the outlook for growth have yet to be determined.
Mindful of the above considerations, over the next few years (i.e., during the development phase), the site could welcome from 25 000 to 30 000 visitors annually. Once the major development work has been completed and integrated into a well-defined visit experience, an action plan will be prepared with a realistic annual target of 40 000 visitors spread out over several months.
Preservation and presentation concept
Respecting the spirit of the place
Comprehensive and specific view of history
Grosse Île: looking to the future
Management objectives and key actions
Ensuring the commemorative integrity of the site
Commemorative plaques and monuments
Movable cultural resources
Communicating the site’s messages and heritage values
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada facilities
Preserving and presenting the natural environment
Shared management of the site