The Forks is a public space where the Red and Assiniboine rivers meet in the heart of what is now the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba. It occupies the waterfront zone east of Main Street and south of the CN mainline rail bridge. The Forks has played a complex role in the history of the region and of Canada as a whole. It has been a traditional gathering place for thousands of years and was an important hub of the fur trade in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many immigrants stopped at the Forks on their journey west. It was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1974 and is home to other sites of historical and archeological significance, as well as museums, monuments, parks and theatres.
Old Montreal is the historic district of the city of Montreal, located in the south-central part of Montreal Island and bounded by the St. Lawrence River to the south, Saint-Antoine Street to the north, McGill Street to the west and Saint-Hubert Street to the east. In the second half of the 20th century, this area came under pressure from urban change, as business and port activity shifted elsewhere, depriving Old Montreal of its historic roles. But in the 1960s, a long process began that completely transformed it into a heritage district (it was at this time that the name Old Montreal came into common use). The designation of the Arrondissement historique de Montréal by the Quebec government in 1964 marked an important step in this transformation. With massive investments from the three levels of government, as well as from businesses and individuals, a lengthy rehabilitation effort began. Nearly 60 years later, visitors can now follow the traces of Montreal’s history back to pre-colonial times, and the changes that the city has undergone since the first European settlers arrived in 1642.
In 1848-49 Bellevue was leased to John A. MacDonald, then a member of the Legislative Assembly and receiver general for the Province of Canada. Bellevue was purchased by Parks Canada in 1964 and is now operated as a national historic park. It has been restored to the late 1840s period.
The Empress Hotel is a luxury waterfront hotel and national historic site in Victoria, British Columbia. Designed primarily by architect Francis M. Rattenbury, it is noted for its picturesque Château-style design and decadent interiors. It opened in 1908 and was built by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) as part of its network of hotels, which also includes the Banff Springs Hotel, Chateau Lake Louise and Le Château Frontenac. Now officially known as the Fairmont Empress, the hotel, along with its afternoon tea, is arguably Victoria’s most popular tourist attraction.
Located in Nova Scotia, Port-Royal National Historic Site features a reconstruction of the Port-Royal Habitation, one of the first settlements attempted by the French in North America (1605). Administered by Parks Canada, this historic site offers interpretive activities that convey the French settlers’ challenges in implementing the new colony. Visitors can also learn about the culture of the Mi’kmaq, the area’s first inhabitants of the land.
Chateau Lake Louise is a world-renowned mountain resort and UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Banff National Park, Alberta. Known as the “Diamond in the Wilderness,” the chateau was built beginning in the late 1800s, and was developed as part of the CPR’s network of hotels. It shares a lineage with the Banff Springs Hotel, Le Chateau Frontenac in Québec City and the Empress Hotel in Victoria. Considering its remote location and its eventual scale, the Chateau Lake Louise marked an important point in the development of the Canadian West.
Castle Frank was a concession of land in the colonial town of York, purchased by John Graves Simcoe in the name of his son, Francis, in 1793. A log house later built on the site also bore the same name. Today the name Castle Frank is preserved as a street, a brook and a station on Toronto’s transit line.
“Meet me at the Birks clock” was the standard Vancouver rendezvous plan in the pre-cell phone era of 1913 to 1974. But the Birks clock itself has been a wandering timepiece. It started at Granville & Hastings, moved to Granville & Georgia, and returned to its original intersection — but across the street!
Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal is located at the intersection of Notre-Dame Street West and Saint-Sulpice Street in the borough of Ville-Marie in Montréal. This jewel of Québec’s religious heritage was built by the Sulpicians over the years 1824 to 1829, to serve as a parish church. It is one of the oldest examples of Gothic Revival religious architecture in Canada. At the time it was built, it was a daring, innovative edifice on a scale unequalled anywhere else in North America. The architect was James O’Donnell, an Irish immigrant to New York City. Its interior decor, which was overseen by Victor Bourgeau, along with its rich ornamentation, are unique and evoke a true sense of wonder in visitors. The Basilica is also one of the major tourist attractions in the city of Montréal.