A national historic site designation is a place that has a direct association with a nationally significant aspect of the history of Canada. For example, it can be an archaeological site, a structure, a building or group of buildings, a district, or a cultural landscape.

National historic site designations are located in every Canadian province and territory. They can be found in almost any setting, from rural and urban to nature; they may be sacred spaces, archaeological sites, battlefields, heritage houses, districts, places of scientific discovery, and much more.

These sites allow us to learn more about Canadian history, including the diverse cultural communities who make up Canada, and the history and culture of Indigenous peoples.

Tourist information on national historic site designations

Would you like to explore Canada's national historic site designations ?

  • If the places you would like to visit are administered by Parks Canada, let us help you plan your trip.
  • Most national historic site designations are not administered by Parks Canada, but are the property of municipal governments, religious congregations, community groups, individuals or companies. Some are open to the public, some are not. Be sure to confirm accessibility before visiting.

Protection of national historic site designations

The designation of a national historic site is honorific. It does not legally protect the site, or transfer site ownership or management to Parks Canada. In Canada, protection of heritage property not owned by the federal government is the responsibility of each provincial and territorial government under its respective legislation. Only provincial and territorial governments have jurisdiction over private property, which enables them to pass and enforce legislation extending legal protection to designated properties.

Owners of national historic sites are encouraged to follow the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada for any alterations or maintenance of their site. You can download an electronic copy on the Parks Canada website under the Policy and Guidelines section or at the Canadian Register of Historic Places website.


National historic site designations

Profiled below are some of the national historic sites that have been designated through the recommendations of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC). Note that additional national historic designations will continue to be added to this page.

A full list of national historic persons, places and events can be found on the Directory of Federal Heritage Designations.

This list is sorted by alphabetical order. You can sort designated national historic sites by province/territory.

National Historic Site
The Underground Railroad

Kiix̣in Village and Fortress

Kiix̣in was the traditional capital of the Huu-ay-aht, one of the Nuu-chah- nulth peoples.

Image copyright: © Huu-ay-aht First Nations

Africville

Africville

For over a century African Canadians settled here, developing an independent community centred around church and family.

Image copyright: © Nathalie Ouellette / Parks Canada / 2021

Amherstburg First Baptist Church

Amherstburg First Baptist Church

Constructed by 1848–1849, at a terminus of the Underground Railroad near the United States border, this church offered sanctuary to African Americans fleeing slavery and helped foster a distinctive Black Baptist tradition in Ontario.

Apothecaries Hall

Apothecaries Hall

Apothecaries Hall was designated a national historic site because from 1810 to 1986 an apothecary shop was operated on this site, making it one of the oldest continually operated pharmacies in Canada.

Image copyright: © J. Butterill / Parks Canada / 1995

Buxton Settlement

Buxton Settlement

This cultural landscape, through the retention of land-use patterns and built resources, speaks to the successful realization of the block or planned refugee settlement in Canada; the cultural landscape continues as a living memorial to its founders and to the courage of every Underground Railroad refugee who took their life in their hands and chose Canada as their home.

R. Nathaniel Dett British Methodist Episcopal Church

R. Nathaniel Dett British Methodist Episcopal Church

An important community icon, this chapel bares witness to the early black settlement of the Niagara region and marks the role of the church in assisting newly arrived Underground Railroad refugees.

Image copyright: © S. Ricketts / Parks Canada / 1998

Massey Hall

Massey Hall

Since its opening in 1894, massey Hall has served as one of Canada's most important cultural institutions. A gift to Toronto from wealthy industrialist Hart Massey, it provided the city with professional concert facilities.

Image copyright: © Jim Molnar / Parks Canada Agency / 2005

Pier 21

Pier 21

This site witnessed the arrival of approximately one million immigrants, who have enriched the cultural mosaic of Canada.

Image copyright: © Ian Doull / Parks Canada / 1996

Rideau Canal

Rideau Canal

Built between 1826 and 1832, the Rideau Canal is the best-preserved, fully operational example from North America’s great canal-building era.

Signal Hill

Signal Hill

Signal Hill was designated a national historic site because it is importantly associated with Canada’s defence and communications history.

Image copyright: © F. Bergeson / Parks Canada / NFPO Collection, 011

Former Muscowequan Indian Residential School

Former Muscowequan Indian Residential School

The large, three-storey former school building was built in 1930-31 to replace residential school buildings dating to the late-19th century, and remained open until 1997.

Image copyright: © Allison Sarkar / Parks Canada / 2020

Former Shingwauk Indian Residential School

Former Shingwauk Indian Residential School

Opened in 1875 by the Anglican Church, Shingwauk IRS was part of the system of residential schools in Canada. This system was imposed on Indigenous Peoples by the federal government and certain churches and religious organizations, who worked together in a deliberate effort to assimilate Indigenous children and convert them to Christianity by separating them from their families, cultures, languages, and traditions.

Image copyright: © Nathalie Ouellette / Parks Canada

Magog Textile Mill

Magog Textile Mill

Only 19th century mill where the entire process of spinning, weaving, bleaching and printing was carried on at one site; built in 1883.

Image copyright: © Historical Society of Magog / Fonds Studio RC

Newfoundland National War Memorial

Newfoundland National War Memorial

Unveiled in 1924 to commemorate the Dominion of Newfoundland’s contributions to the First World War, the Newfoundland National War Memorial is an imposing monument featuring a rare combination of allegorical and realistic bronze sculptures designed by British artists Gilbert Bayes and Ferdinand Victor Blundstone.

Image copyright: © Sean Graham / Parks Canada / 2019

Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead

Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead

Born in Ontario, Adelaide Hoodless sought to release the full potential of women for social action.

Chapais House

Chapais House

Chapais House was built in 1833 for the merchant Jean-Charles Chapais Sr. (1811–1885), one of the Fathers of Confederation.

Image copyright: © Frédéric Roy 2016, © Ministère de la Culture et des Communications

Chiefswood

Chiefswood

Completed in 1856, Chiefswood owes its importance to its architecture and the prominence of the people who lived here.

Erland Lee (Museum) Home

Erland Lee (Museum) Home

This 19th-century farmhouse is the birthplace of Women's Institutes (WI), an organization that played a vital role in thousands of small communities.

Image copyright: © Dianne Dodd / Parks Canada / 2002.

John and Olive Diefenbaker Museum

John and Olive Diefenbaker Museum

Built circa 1912, the John and Olive Diefenbaker Museum in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, was John Diefenbaker’s home from 1947 to 1957.

Louis-Joseph Papineau

Louis-Joseph Papineau National Historic Site

Built in 1785, this stone house has the rectangular shape and gable roof typical of contemporary urban architecture in Quebec.

Central Memorial Library and Park

Central Memorial Library and Park

Central Memorial Library and Park, located just south of Calgary’s downtown, opened to the public in 1912 and reflect official efforts to create an attractive and cultured new city in the west.

Reader Rock Garden

Reader Rock Garden

Established in 1913 and developed until 1942, this garden is a showcase for the horticultural, ecological, and aesthetic possibilities of gardening in the harsh climate of Calgary.

Image copyright: © J. Cousineau / Parks Canada

Miners’ Union Hall

Miners’ Union Hall

Located at 1765 Columbia Avenue in Rossland, British Columbia, the Miners' Union Hall was built in 1898 to serve as a meeting place for Local 38 of the Western Federation of Miners.

Image copyright: © Christine Boucher / Parks Canada / 2018

Tsekwa

Tse’K’wa

Tse’k’wa is an exceptional archaeological site in northeastern British Columbia that has contributed to the understanding of environmental changes and human settlement from the end of the last glacial period (12,500 years ago) to 1,000 years ago.

Image copyright: © M. Stopp / Parks Canada

Uplands

Uplands

Uplands is a residential subdivision of 188 hectares located in the northeastern section of Oak Bay, the oldest suburban municipality in Greater Victoria.

Image copyright: © Dr. Larry McCann

Vancouver Japanese Language School

Vancouver Japanese Language School

The Vancouver Japanese Language School, located at 487 Alexander Street, was the first and largest Japanese language school in Canada and one of 50 such schools in use before 1941.

Image copyright: © Jennifer A. Cousineau / Parks Canada / 2018

Former Portage La Prairie Indian Residential School

The former Portage La Prairie Indian Residential School

Built in 1914-1915, the former Portage La Prairie Indian Residential School is located on Keeshkeemaquah Reserve, part of the reserve lands of Long Plain First Nation.

Image copyright: © Parks Canada / Allison Sarkar

Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral

Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral

Designed and built in 1939-1940, Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral speaks to the history of the Acadian people. Decorative elements related to their religious and secular history are found throughout the cathedral; these include an exterior sculpture of the Virgin Mary, patron saint of the Acadians, and stained glass windows depicting significant religious and historical events.

Image copyright: © Radio Canada

Beinn Bhreagh Hall

Beinn Bhreagh Hall

Built in 1892-93, Beinn Bhreagh Hall (BBH) was the summer residence, estate, and laboratory of inventor and scientist Alexander Graham Bell and his wife, Mabel Bell.

de Gannes-Cosby House

de Gannes-Cosby House

The de Gannes-Cosby House is located at 477 St. George Street, and is within the Annapolis Royal Historic District.

Image copyright: © Kate MacFarlane / Parks Canada / 2018

Former Shubenacadie Indian Residential School

The former Shubenacadie Indian Residential School

The former Shubenacadie Indian Residential School was built in 1928-29 in the Sipekni’katik district of Mi’kma’ki, at the top of a small hill between Highway 2 and the Shubenacadie River overlooking the village of Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia, and 7 kilometres from Sipekne’katik First Nation (Indian Brook).

Image copyright: © Sisters of Charity / Halifax / Congregational Archives

Truro Old Normal College

Truro Old Normal College

A major landmark in downtown Truro, this impressive, three-storey brick building is an excellent example of Second Empire architecture. Designed by Nova Scotia architect Henry Frederick Busch, it features a mansard roof, a well-proportioned central pavilion, pedimented gable dormers, ornate brackets under its pronounced eaves, and arched windows.

Image copyright: © C. Boucher / Parks Canada / 2017

David Dunlap Observatory

David Dunlap Observatory

When it opened in 1935 in what was then an isolated setting 20 kilometres north of Toronto in Richmond Hill, Ontario, the David Dunlap Observatory (DDO) featured the world’s second-largest telescope and was central to establishing academic astronomy in Canada.

Image copyright: © Jennifer A. Cousineau / Parks Canada / 2018

Former Paris Town Hall

Former Paris Town Hall

Built in 1854, according to the plans of architect John Maxwell, this former town hall is a rare Canadian example of a civic building in the Gothic Revival-style.

Image copyright: © County of Brant Public Library

Hart Massey House

Hart Massey House

The heritage value of Hart Massey is based on its architectural and environmental interests.

Park House

Park House

Park House, an 18th-century dwelling located on the commercial main street of Amherstburg, Ontario, is considered one of the oldest houses in the region.

Image copyright: © J. A. Cousineau / Parks Canada / 2017

Spadina

Spadina

Begun in 1866 for Toronto entrepreneur James Austin and his wife Susan Bright Austin, this Toronto landmark is a rare example of a country estate and villa transformed into an opulent Edwardian residence.

Image copyright: © Jennifer A. Cousineau / Parks Canada / 2018

Cormier House

Cormier House

Located at 1418 Pine Avenue West in Montréal, Cormier House is a spectacular example of an Art Deco residence.

La Petite-Ferme du cap Tourmente

La Petite-Ferme du cap Tourmente

La Petite-Ferme is located in a landscape of remarkable beauty, where the St. Lawrence River meets the great coastal marsh and the tidal plain.

Image copyright: © J. Dufresne / Parks Canada

Village of Val-Jalbert

The Historic Village of Val-Jalbert

Founded in 1901 around a pulp and paper mill, and deserted since 1927, the village of Val-Jalbert is a prime example of an early 20th century pulp and paper industry company town.

Image copyright: © Christine Boucher / Parks Canada / 2018

Roger Gaudry Building

Roger Gaudry Building, Université de Montréal

Located at the heart of the Université de Montréal campus, the Roger Gaudry Building is a prominent Montréal landmark.

Gillies Grove and House

Gillies Grove and House

Gillies Grove is one of the few remaining accessible Ottawa Valley woodlots with significant stands of old growth white pine, long the mainstay of the region’s lumber industry.

Montréal Botanical Gardens

Montréal Botanical Garden

Founded in 1931, this garden is the work of renowned botanist Brother Marie-Victorin, who initiated and directed the project, and landscape architect Henry Teuscher, who conceived the design.

Image copyright: © Parks Canada/Nathalie Clerk, 2006

Jardins de Metis

Jardins de Métis

Created by Elsie Reford between 1926 and 1958, these gardens are an inspired example of the English art of the garden.

Royal Botanical Gardens

Royal Botanical Gardens of Canada

The Royal Botanical Gardens National Historic Site is an extensive botanical garden that was developed over the course of the 20th century.

Image copyright: © National Film Board of Canada / Library and Archives Canada / PA-112663

Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens National Historic Site is an internationally-known public attraction that has been open to visitors since 1904.

Image copyright: © Parks Canada/M. Trépannier, 2001

Halifax Public Gardens

Halifax Public Gardens

The Halifax Public Gardens National Historic Site is one of the rare surviving Victorian gardens in Canada.

Image copyright: © Photographer Markjt

Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site

Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site consists of a 20th-century museum building containing Bell memorabilia, set on a 10 hectare property overlooking Baddeck Bay, part of Bras d'Or Lake, and Beinn Bhreagh, Alexander Graham Bell's summer home.

Abbotsford Sikh Temple

Abbotsford Sikh Temple

In 1911, determined Sikh pioneers from India built this temple, or Gurdwara, with lumber carried from the nearby sawmill where many of them worked.

Image copyright: © Parks Canada / Danielle Hamelin, 2002

Tilting

Tilting

Tilting National Historic Site is an outport landscape created by a coastal fishing community on the east coast of Fogo Island in Notre Dame Bay on Newfoundland’s northeast coast.

Image copyright: © Parks Canada, Rhona Goodspeed, 2001

Vimy Ridge

Vimy Ridge

For Canadians the taking of Vimy Ridge stands as a great feat of arms, an exceptional example of courage and sacrifice, and an important milestone in the development of their nation.

Wasyl Negrych Pioneer Homestead

Wasyl Negrych Pioneer Homestead

Wasyl Negrych Homestead National Historic Site is believed to be one of the most complete and best-preserved example of an early Ukrainian farmstead in Canada.

University College

University College

The University College National Historic Site, built between 1856 and 1859, is associated with both the development of the University of Toronto, and with a national system of non-denominational institutions of higher learning supported by government.

Fall caribou crossing

Fall caribou crossing

Fall Caribou Crossing National Historic Site spans a section of the lower Kazan River (Harvaqtuuq) between the Kazan Falls and the narrows in Thirty Mile Lake (Quukilruq) in the Territory of Nunavut.

Royal Botanical Gardens

Royal Botanical Gardens

The Royal Botanical Gardens National Historic Site is an extensive botanical garden that was developed over the course of the 20th century.

Image copyright: © Mark Zelinski

Áísínai'pi

Áísínai'pi

Áísínai'pi National Historic Site, also known as Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, is located on the Milk River in southern Alberta 150 km east of the Rocky Mountains.

Image copyright: © Photo courtesy of Alberta Parks

HSMBC commemorative plaque unveiling ceremony for Mehtawtik (Meductic) Village National Historic Site

Mehtawtik (Meductic) Village

The ancient village of Mehtawtik (Meductic) was the principal settlement of the Wəlastəkokewiyik (Maliseets) from before the 17th century.

The Fortifications of Québec

The Fortifications of Québec

The principal military stronghold in Canada during the colonial period, Québec City was protected by an elaborate defence system developed between 1608 and 1871.

The Gate of Harmonious Interests, Victoria's Chinatown

Victoria's Chinatown

The oldest and most intact Chinatown in Canada, this district represents an important chapter in the complex history and heritage of Chinese Canadians.

Image copyright: © Photographed by Barry Swackhamer

S.S. Klondike

S.S. Klondike

The largest vessel ever to ply the Canadian portion of the Yukon River, this sternwheeler was built by the British Yukon Navigation Co. and launched at Whitehorse in 1937 to replace her namesake, which sank the year before.

Mount Pleasant Cemetery

Mount Pleasant Cemetery

Designed by Henry Adolph Engelhardt and officially opened in 1876, this cemetery is an outstanding example of landscape design inspired by the European and American garden cemeteries of the 19th century.



Want to see more heritage designations?

Search through over 3,600 designations listed in the Directory of Federal Heritage Designations (DFHD)


The Directory of Federal Heritage Designations offers a complete list of federal designations stemming from various programs managed by Parks Canada. It includes information on designated persons, places, and events of national historic significance under the National Program of Historical Commemoration, as well as railway stations, lighthouses, and federal buildings that are of national historic value or interest.