Commemorative Integrity Statement
RIDEAU CANAL and MERRICKVILLE BLOCKHOUSE NATIONAL HISTORIC CANALS OF CANADA (Approved September 2000)
The Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada which includes the Merrickville Blockhouse National Historic Site of Canada is owned by the federal government and administered by the Parks Canada Agency for the benefit, education and enjoyment of all Canadians. While the Canal contains a remarkable collection of engineering structures and buildings that survive from its early history, the Rideau is not an historic enclave or museum piece. Rather, this historic waterway remains an integral link in a corridor of communities running 200 kilometers between the Ottawa River and Lake Ontario. It is also an operating canal, providing local and through navigation for tens of thousands of boaters annually. Furthermore, managing the Rideau Canal carries with it an important environmental stewardship role because the waterway and the corridor’s ecosystem are inextricably joined. In fact, many of the natural ecosystem features of the Rideau corridor are a direct creation of Canal construction. Given the Canal’s size and complexity and its important roles in both the human and natural environment, the task of safeguarding its irreplaceable heritage places and cultural resources and effectively telling its story to Canadians is a challenging responsibility.
The Merrickville Blockhouse is wholly contained within the designated place for the Rideau Canal. Its designation as a national historic site in its own right highlights its excellence as a type of structure, others of which are also found along the waterway and all of which constitute Level I resources under the Rideau Canal’s designation.
For the purposes of this CIS, a statement of commemorative intent, designated place, values and messages of national significance are identified for the blockhouse. The other heritage values for this national historic site are fully subsumed into the other values and messages for the Rideau Canal.
1.1 National Historic Sites of Canada Objectives
The Government of Canada’s objectives for National Historic Sites of Canada are:
- to foster knowledge and appreciation of Canada’s past through a national program of historical commemoration;
- to ensure the commemorative integrity of national historic sites of Canada administered by Parks Canada, by protecting and presenting them for the benefit, education and enjoyment of this and future generations, in a manner that respects the significant and irreplaceable legacy represented by these places and their associated resources;
- to encourage and support the protection and presentation by others of places of national historical significance that are not administered by Parks Canada.