2. Commemorative Integrity of the Site
2.5 Other Heritage Resources
• The state of the site's commemorative integrity
A brief assessment of the site’s cultural resources can be found in the 1997 State of the Parks Report. Generally speaking, the report mentions the poor state of the roof on the superintendent’s house and its lack of ventilation; it should be noted that repairs have since been carried out. The ventilation of the attic space still needs to be upgraded, however. The report also pointed out that the upper and lower gates of the lock were at the end of their working life and needed replacing: this too has been accomplished since. While the stone shed and the dam were judged to be in good condition, other navigational structures were judged to be in “poor” to “acceptable” condition depending on the facility. Those archaeological resources whose condition was known were considered to be in good condition; the report noted, however, that there was no complete inventory of resources or a more comprehensive assessment. The objects in the ethnological and archaeological collections stored in Québec City were reported to be in good (50%) or acceptable (50%) condition. An assessment of the condition of the site’s integrity was also produced in 2002. The designated site, taken as a whole, was considered to be in relatively good condition. Level 2 cultural resources were judged as follows:
- The site of the old lock: poor condition15;
- The present-day lock: good condition;
- The upper lead caissons: acceptable condition;
- The lower lead caissons: poor condition;
- The dam: good condition;
- The superintendent’s house: poor condition;
- The stone shed: good condition.
As more than 15% of the cultural resources were judged in “poor” condition, the site was given a “red” mark (poor).
The archaeological remains as a whole were, however, judged “acceptable.” It was stressed that there is no imminent threat to the remains buried in the first lock, and the old dam is protected by being under water. The remains relating to the lead caissons were judged to be in “poor” condition, however, and the collections were classified as “acceptable,” given that their state had not been audited since 1995 and they have not undergone any interventions.
In terms of communicating heritage values, it was judged that the exhibition housed in the superintendent’s old residence clearly conveyed the principal messages related to the site’s commemorative intent. It was noted, however, that few visitors come in contact with this exhibition and no guided visits are presently on offer. As for the level 2 messages, they are barely communicated to visitors, if at all.
15 The classifications “good”, “acceptable” and “poor” are used as general definitions of the condition of cultural resources. The term “good” refers to a resource that shows no significant signs of deterioration in its essential features and which is provided regular upkeep. As applied to archaeological remains, it means they are not threatened and only require routine inspection. As for objects, their condition is considered stable and they do not require immediate attention. The classification “acceptable” signifies some minor deterioration in the essential features of the resource that requires repairs, or a resource that will soon be at risk if the situation is not improved within a given time. As applied to archaeological remains, it means they are threatened and need some attention, and with objects, there is no immediate danger although some intervention will be required in the long or short term. Finally, the classification “poor” is applied to a resource whose condition is visibly deteriorating, or decaying unusually quickly. As applied to archaeological remains, serious intervention is needed to deflect an immediate threat, and as for objects, measures must be taken to prevent further damage.