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Coteau-du-Lac National Historic Site © Parks Canada, 2020.

The Coteau-du-Lac National Historic Site Management Plan 2018 sets out the long-term strategy for the site as well as how the site is administered. Parks Canada’s mandate is to protect and present nationally significant examples of Canada’s natural and cultural heritage, and foster public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment in ways that ensure the ecological and commemorative integrity of the places for present and future generations.

The purpose of this annual update is to share 2019 achievements with partners, stakeholders and the public.

« The site attracted 12,443 visitors, a 59% decrease from 2016 (20,908 visitors). This drop in visitors was due to the closing of the ``Marché Champêtre`` farmer’s market, an activity organized by a partner that attracted a large number of visitors. Despite this, several Management Plan objectives have been achieved. »

This short summary reports on the progress made in implementing the Management Plan over the past year.

Key strategy #1: turn the national historic site into a vital area of convergence for the community and regional partners.

Objective : Renew and expand our collaboration with stakeholders, Indigenous communities, and partners to organize activities and events that align with the site’s vocation.

  • Parks Canada is working closely with partners to enhance and diversify the ways the national historic site can be enjoyed. This fruitful collaboration is the driving force behind the site and has made it possible to carry out six activities during the summer season : the Coteau-du-Lac family celebration (June 4), Canada Day (July 1), Nautical Festival (July 20-21), outdoor movies (July 24), LearntoCamp (July 27-28), and Archeology Month (August 17-18).
  • The historic site, in collaboration with the Ville de Coteau-du-Lac, has also established a Monarch Garden. This space helps protect this butterfly species by protecting pollinators and biodiversity.

Objective : Integrate the national historic site into regional tourism development.

  • The site has collaborated with the Association touristique régionale de Vaudreuil-Soulanges on various promotional initiatives, including creating a brochure (for weddings), holding networking activities and the site manager’s sitting on the tourism advisory committee.

Key strategy # 2: promote the national historic site’s significance as a heritage centre.

Objective : Improve visitor reception, orientation, and flow.

  • Access to the site and exhibits is now free for all individual visitors. This will allow more people to discover the history of the site and enjoy the beautiful landscape.
  • New tables have been installed in the picnic area.

Objective : Improve the public’s understanding of the site’s heritage value and present the diversity of historical perspectives through interpretation services.

  • Reception areas have been redesigned and new interpretation panels are being developed.

Objective : Work together with Indegenous communities, linked to the site, in order to honour and showcase their culture and to present their contributions to the site’s history.

  • Parks Canada has established contact with several First Nations. In the longer term, the purpose of these relationships will be to provide more opportunities for them to present their culture, their perspectives on the history of the site, and their traditions.

Objective : Continue to ensure the protection of cultural resources.

  • The archaeological ruins are monitored to ensure that they remain in good condition.
  • The condition of the site’s cultural resources is improving with the completion of work on the Blockhouse, the removal of the cannon platforms, and the completion of visual improvements near the river.

Conclusion — next steps

Parks Canada Agency is proud of its 2019 achievements at the Coteau-du-Lac National Historic Site.

Given the COVID19 pandemic, over the next year Parks Canada will be working to provide public access to commemorative messages and certain facilities, in compliance with current health standards, and to protect the cultural resources of the national historic site.

Following this major crisis, Parks Canada will resume implementing the objectives identified in the 2018 Management Plan.

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