Fort Trois-Rivières National Historic Site of Canada

Trois-Rivières, Quebec
View of the HSMBC plaque mounted on a rock © Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2006
HSMBC plaque
© Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2006
Detailed view of the HSMBC plaque mounted on a rock © Parks Canada / Parcs Canada, 2009View of the HSMBC plaque mounted on a rock © Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2006
Address : Trois-Rivières, Quebec

Recognition Statute: Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
Designation Date: 1920-01-30
  • 1634 to 1653 (Significant)
  • 1634 to 1634 (Established)

Event, Person, Organization:
  • The Sieur de Laviolette  (Person)
  • Samuel de Champlain  (Person)
Other Name(s):
  • Fort Trois-Rivières  (Designation Name)
Research Report Number: 2011-CED-SDC-008


Existing plaque:  des Casernes Street, Trois-Rivières, Quebec

A WOODEN FORT BUILT ON THIS SPOT, IN 1634, BECAME THE CRADLE OF THREE RIVERS, AND A CENTRE FOR FUR-TRADE WITH THE INDIANS. IT WAS BESIEGED ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS BY THE IROQUOIS AND DEMOLISHED AFTER THE TREATY OF PEACE WITH THEM IN 1668. *Note: This designation has been identified for review. A review can be triggered for one of the following reasons - outdated language or terminology, absence of a significant layer of history, factual errors, controversial beliefs and behaviour, or significant new knowledge.

Description of Historic Place

Fort Trois-Rivières National Historic Site of Canada is located on rue des Casernes in the town of Trois-Rivières in southern Québec near the three mouths of the Saint Maurice River. There are no visible remains of this 17th-century French Regime fort which was constructed in 1634 overlooking the St Lawrence River. This wooden fort became a centre for fur trade with the local First Nations and eventually developed into the settlement of Trois-Rivières. The site is now an open public space marked by an HSMBC cairn with grass and trees bounded by a road, a parking lot and a former post office. Official recognition refers to the rectangular polygon of land surrounding the location of Fort Trois-Rivières.

Heritage Value

Fort Trois-Rivières was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1923. It is designated because: established in 1634, the fort marks the birth of Trois-Rivières which became one of the centres for fur trade with the First Nations.

Fort Trois-Rivières, a fort constructed by the French regime at Trois-Rivières, Quebec on the north side of the St Lawrence River, was established by the Sieur of Laviolette on behalf of Samuel de Champlain in 1634. The site was chosen for the strategic advantage it would offer both military and economic endeavours. The site was further down the St Lawrence than earlier forts and the fort itself was elevated from the river which offered natural protection as well as strategic control of the waterway. The original fort consisted of two buildings surrounded by a palisade. The original fort burnt down in December 1635 and was rebuilt on a larger scale and included a drawbridge to increase access. In 1653 the fort was proclaimed to be in ruins by Governor Lauzon and it was burnt to the ground. The site was also home to a Jesuit mission and other early buildings of the town of Trois-Rivières.

Character-Defining Elements

Key features contributing to the heritage value of this site include: - its location in Trois-Rivières, Quebec on the St Lawrence River and in close proximity to the three mouths of the Saint Maurice River; - its strategic location on an elevated flat space overlooking the St Lawrence River; - the integrity of any as yet unidentified surviving archaeological remains, features and artefacts relating to the period of the fort’s occupation between 1634 -1653, which may be found within the site in their original placement and extent; including the in situ vestiges of structural remains of buildings, and also associated non-structural archaeological features; - the retention of the knowledge associated with all period artifacts associated with the site; - the viewscape from the HSMBC cairn looking out over the St Lawrence River.