Pointe au Baril National Historic Site of Canada
General view of the HSMBC cairn and plaque
(© Bryan Horton, Historical Services Branch, Parks Canada, August 2009)
20m on north side of Highway 2 (between 1284 and 1286), Maitland, Ontario
Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
1758 to 1759
1758 to 1760
Event, Person, Organization:
Seven Years War
Lieutenant-Colonel John Broadstreet
Captain Pierre Pouchot
Pointe au Baril
Research Report Number:
Existing plaque: on metal fence surrounding stone cairn 20m on north side of Highway 2 (between 1284 and 1286), Maitland, Ontario
The Barques "Iroquoise" and "Outaouaise" the last french ships of war that navigated Lake Ontario, were built on this point, then called Pointe au Baril.
On 17th August, 1760, the Outaouaise commanded by Captain La Broquerie, was taken after a gallant fight by five British row-galleys, under Colonel George Williamson.
Description of Historic Place
Pointe au Baril National Historic Site of Canada is located on the northern shore of the St. Lawrence River, near the village of Maitland, Ontario. This small 18th-century shipyard, of which there are no visible remains, was the site of the construction and launching of the French naval vessels, Iroquoise and Outaouaise, the last war-ships constructed by the French on the Great Lakes. The shipyard was constructed alongside a star-shaped fort that enclosed barracks, ships’ stocks, and workshops. Both the shipyard and the fort were abandoned and destroyed in 1760. Official recognition refers to the designated irregular polygon.
Pointe au Baril was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1923 because: the barques “Iroquoise” and “Outaouaise,” the last French ships of war that navigated Lake Ontario, were built on this point.
The Pointe au Baril shipyard was constructed by the French in the fall of 1758, during the Seven Years War. Earlier that year, Fort Frontenac and the entire French fleet on Lake Ontario had been destroyed by Lieutenant-Colonel John Broadstreet’s British forces, thus taking naval control of the lake from the French. In an attempt to regain control of Lake Ontario, the French constructed a fort and shipyard at Pointe au Baril from which they could launch a new naval force. A large French force arrived at the fort in 1759 and, under the command of Captain Pierre Pouchot, completed and launched the barques Iroquoise and Outaouaise. However, by the summer of that year, it had become evident to the French that Pointe au Baril was indefensible and they subsequently destroyed the installations and retreated to nearby Galop Island and built Fort Lévis.
Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, May 1925; August 2009
Key elements contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
- its location on the northern shore of the St. Lawrence River, in Maitland, Ontario;
- its semi-urban setting that includes the grassed area surrounded by a small iron picket fence where
the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque and cairn commemorating the site are
- its geographic relationship with Lake Ontario, attesting to its naval use;
- the integrity of any surviving or as yet unidentified archeological remains relating to the original
shipyard and its activities, which may be found within the site in their original placement and
- the viewscapes between the site and the St. Lawrence River.