Discover Heritage Areas
Where can you see and learn from archaeological resources? Listed below are
some of the many Parks Canada heritage areas in Canada where you can find
out more about archaeological resources in person or online.
Replica of wooden fence from Viking settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site of Canada (N.L.)
© Parks Canada / MacKenzie, S. / H.01.11.01.26(07), / 1980
Discover the sod buildings of the Vikings at
L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site of Canada in
Newfoundland. Reproductions have been built some distance away from the original
site in order to preserve the integrity of the authentic structures. Archaeological
data indicate that this is the oldest known European colony in the New World.
Traces of occupation by Aboriginal inhabitants going back 6000 years are also
found on this site.
More on archaeology at L'Anse aux Meadows
Howse Pass National Historic Site of Canada in Banff National Park of Canada (Alta)
© Parks Canada / Langemann, G / 9002R-7E / 2005
For 10 000 years, the valleys, passes and high alpine
areas of Alberta’s Banff National Park of Canada have
been occupied by people. These people had a profound knowledge of the resources
of the land and hunted and lived there, leaving many sites and objects behind.
Over 700 archaeological sites (both pre-contact and historic) have been recorded.
These sites contain artifacts, evidence of the presence of Aboriginal campsites,
butchering sites, quarries, mining towns and historical dumps.
More on archaeology in Banff
Maquette of the frigate The Machault at the Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site of Canada (Que.)
© Parks Canada / MacKenzie, S. / H.01.11.01.26(07),/ 1980
Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site of Canada is
located at the far end of Chaleur Bay, Quebec. It is the site of the last
naval battle between France and England over possession of the North American
continent. Vestiges of the frigate The Machault are on
display at the site’s interpretation centre. At this National Historic
Site, you will discover a splendid collection of archaeological objects retrieved
from the wreck and will relive one of the little-known events of the
Seven Years' War in North America.
More on archaeology at Restigouche
Milk can from the Gold Rush at Sheep Camp at Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site of Canada (B.C.)
© Parks Canada / Lynch, W. / H.10.99.06.01(60) / 1995
The trade route at Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site of Canada in
British Columbia and the Yukon was used by coastal Tlingit as a route to the
interior. After the arrival of European and North American traders at
the end of the 19th century, this trail began to be used extensively. The Chilkoot
Trail became a legend during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896–1899. Though there
were other routes available, the Chilkoot Trail was shorter and also the cheapest.
It became known as the poor man’s route to the Klondike because a man
could transport all his supplies without assistance. Tin cans, sleds,
boats, bottles, boots, stoves and hundreds of other items litter the trail,
bringing to life the story of the Klondike Gold Rush.
Blockhouse at Coteau-du-Lac National Historic Site of Canada (Que.)
© Parks Canada / Cattroll, F. / H.05.60.02.03(05) / 1983
Coteau-du-Lac National Historic Site of Canada,
approximately 40 kilometres southwest of Montréal, Quebec, is witness
to a rich history several thousand years old. At first it was a seasonal portage
for Aboriginal peoples and later a bypass for travellers from Great Britain
and France. By the late 18th century, the English had constructed a canal with
locks, the first work of its kind in North America and direct forerunner of
the modern-day St. Lawrence Seaway. The visitor centre at the historic
site contains an exhibit highlighting some of the objects discovered
during the archaeological excavations of the site.
More on archaeology at Coteau du Lac
Restored fort walls at Fort Beauséjour National Historic Site of Canada (N.B.)
© Parks Canada / Grant, T. / H.04.41.02.06(24) / 1977
Fort Beauséjour National Historic Site of Canada in
New Brunswick, you are taken back to an era when England and France were
rivals for the control of Acadia and learn about the origins and fate of the
inhabitants of that region. Fort Beauséjour, constructed in the form
of a star, was built by the French in the 1750s when the French and English
were fighting each another for control of Acadia. You can see the archaeological
remains of the fort as well as a visitor's centre with exhibits.
Fort Chambly National Historic Site of Canada (Que.)
© Parks Canada / Pratt, B. / H.05.56.06.15(12)/ 1990
Fort Chambly National Historic Site of Canada in
Quebec is an imposing stone sentinel that protected New France from British
attacks. Dating from the early 18th century, Fort Chambly attests to the history
of the French in North America. Objects from archaeological excavations carried
out in the 1970s can be found here.
More on archaeology at Fort Chambly
Ruins at Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site of Canada (Ont.)
© Parks Canada / Vandervlugt, G. / H.06.70.06.19(13) / 2001
Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site of Canada in
Ontario symbolizes the commercial and military alliance that existed between
the British and the First Nations peoples of the western Great Lakes region
after the American Revolutionary War up until the War of 1812. In addition
to the fort itself, the site contains a remarkable assembly of archaeological
features that, in their unspoiled state, reveal in part the complex pattern
of life for military personnel, families and traders — Aboriginal and
European — who lived in this remote frontier outpost.
More on archaeology at Fort St. Joseph
North West Mounted police fort at Fort Walsh National Historic Site of Canada (Sask.)
Fort Walsh National Historic Site of Canada in
Saskatchewan was the headquarters of the North West Mounted Police from
1878 to 1882. The site commemorates the fort’s key role in imposing Canadian
law, implementing Canada’s Indian policy, and overseeing the settlement
of Sitting Bull’s Sioux band refugees after the Battle of Little Bighorn.
But the site at Fort Walsh also has 7000 years of Aboriginal history. Teepee
circles, storage pits for provisions and stone tools scattered around the
site or exhibited in the visitor reception centre evoke winter encampments
of earlier Aboriginal and Métis communities.
Military remains of fortifications at Fort Wellington National Historic Site of Canada (Ont.)
© Parks Canada / Wyett, W. / H.06.60.02.06(12) / 1972
Fort Wellington National Historic
Site of Canada is located in the old town of Prescott, Ontario. It was constructed to defend the
border along the St. Lawrence River during the War of 1812 and was occupied
by British soldiers and Canadian militiamen until 1923. In 1925, the fort was
designated a place of national historic importance by the Historic Sites and
Monuments Board of Canada. Archaeological excavations have been conducted at
the fort and in 1990, excavations of the latrines unearthed several thousand
objects that had belonged to members of the Royal Canadian Rifle Regiment and
Civilian establishments at The Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada (N.S.)
© Parks Canada / Barrett & MacKay / H.03.30.01.04(53) / 1995
Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada,
in Nova Scotia, 20 percent of the fortified town could and has been
re-created with great authenticity because of the large amount of data collected
during the archaeological excavations. Go back to 1744! In the past, the
Fortress of Louisbourg was one of the most important ports in North America
and one of the military and commercial centres of France in the New World.
The themes interpreted there are well worth any detour.
Statue of Evangeline at Grand-Pré National
Historic Site of Canada (N.S.)
© Parks Canada / Reardon, C. / H.03.36.04.04(11) / 2003
Grand-Pré National Historic Site of Canada in
Nova Scotia commemorates the Grand-Pré area as a centre of Acadian
settlement from 1682 to 1755. It also marks the Deportation of the Acadians
that began in 1755 and continued until 1762. Archaeologists have discovered
ruins of buildings and other objects on this site. Additional information
can be found at
Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site f Canada (B.C.)
© Parks Canada / Butterill, J. / H.10.106.01.31(11) / 1993
Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site of Canada in
British Columbia commemorates the history of Canada’s West Coast fishing
industry from the 1870s to the present time. The collection of archaeological
objects is composed of approximately 10 000 items, including canning
More on archaeology at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery
Model of Fort built by the Gitwangak Fort National Historic Site of Canada (B.C.)
© Parks Canada / H.10.101.06.12(02) / 1982
The Gitwangak Battle Hill Fort National Historic Site of Canada in
British Columbia is the first major Aboriginal site in the West to be commemorated
by Parks Canada. It is located near a trade route that Aboriginal peoples
used between the Nass and Skeena rivers. The Gitwangak Battle Hill is a vibrant
expression of the culture and history of the Tsimshian people. The site is
formed of a defensive knoll, or Ta'awdzep, on top of which are archaeological
remains of fortified residences that were occupied during the historical period.
Descriptive panels along the self-guided path tell the history of the site
and provide information about the culture of the Tsimshian people.
Southwest Bastion at Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site of Canada (Man.)
© Parks Canada / Kopelow, G. / H.07.70.02.12(13) / 2003
Treaty #1 between the British Crown and the Ojibway and Swampy Cree of Manitoba was signed at
Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site of Canada.
Lower Fort Garry was also an important agricultural and industrial supply centre
for the fur trade in Western Canada. Visit the buildings and grounds of the
fort and go back in time. Years of historical and archaeological research allowed
the restoration of the Governor's residence, guest lodge, blacksmith's shop,
bakery and all the other buildings of the fort. Today, the fort looks and functions
as it did in the 1850s.
Coastline where the Dorset Paleoeskimos lived at Port au Choix National Historic Site of Canada (N.L.)
Port au Choix National Historic Site of Canada,
on the west side of Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula, has been the subject
of many archaeological excavations. Researchers at the Port au Choix have found
remains of four ancient cultures (Maritime Archaic Indian, Dorset and Groswater
Paleoeskimo, and recent Indians) and have shown that human activity at this
site dates back thousands of years.
More on archaeology at Port aux Choix
Earthworks of former British and French forts at Port-la-Joye–Fort Amherst National Historic Site of Canada (P.E.I.)
© Parks Canada / Cattroll, F. / H.02.20.01.10(12) / 1983
Port-la-Joye–Fort Amherst National Historic Site of Canada commemorates
the first permanent European colony in Prince Edward Island. You can still see
the grassy remains of the fort, and the exhibits on site explain its special
Centuries Old Whale Skeleton on Saddle Islandat Red Bay National Historic Site of Canada
© Parks Canada / McQuarrie, J. / H.01.15.10.10(05) / 2003
If you go to Red Bay National Historic Site of Canada in
Labrador, you will discover how more than 25 years of archaeological research
has revealed some 20 whaling stations around the harbour of Red Bay that
were established by 16th-century fishermen from the Basque country. Marine
archaeological excavations resulted in the discovery of three galleons and
several small Basque crafts that are remarkably well-preserved examples of
16th-century shipbuilding techniques.
More on archaeology at Red Bay
Reconstructed chimneys at Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site of Canada (Alta)
© Parks Canada / Dahlin, K. / H.09.90.06.03(11) / 2002
At Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site of Canada,
Alberta, the visitor reception centre has an educational exhibit area devoted
to the fur trade, the exploration of the West and the Aboriginal peoples.
From the time the first two fur-trading posts were opened in 1799 until the
last post was abandoned in 1875, hundreds of people passed through the different
Rocky Mountain House trading posts. You can walk the short distance
to the place where the forts were built during the periods 1835–1861
and 1864–1875; the reconstructed chimneys are in the last fort. A longer
walk leads to the place where the first two forts of Rocky Mountain House
were built in 1799.
Thule Dwelling at Tuktut Nogait National Park of Canada (N.W.T.)
© Parks Canada / Savauge S. / 2003
Tuktut Nogait National Park of Canada in
the Northwest Territories contains archaeological sites showing evidence of
human occupation since AD 1000. The oldest known archaeological sites in the
park are most likely Thule or Copper Inuit from the period AD 1200 to 1500.
More recent sites are Inuvialuit and possibly early trappers and traders.
More on archaeology at Tuktut Nogait
Hudson's Bay Company fur- trading post at York Factory National Historic Site of Canada (Man.)
© Parks Canada / Mercier, F. / H.07.73.09.01(02) / 1990
Strategically located on the Hayes River near Hudson Bay, Manitoba,
York Factory National Historic Site of Canada
wasan important fur-trading post and warehouse in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
Although today the site consists only of two buildings, a cemetery and some
other visible ruins, the extreme isolation of the site reinforces the value
of the historical interrelationships between individual elements on the site.
More on archaeology at York Factory