Archaeology is a historical science aimed at the discovery and understanding of past human behaviour through the study of material remains. Archaeologists draw the bulk of their information from physical artifacts left at locations where people lived, worked, visited and were buried long ago. The Canadian Encyclopedia features articles on many of the country’s archaeological sites, organized here by the provinces and territories in which they are found.
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.
Fort Wellington National Historic Site, designated in 1920, was one of the first HISTORIC SITES in Canada to receive national recognition of its historical importance. The first Fort Wellington was built by the British at PRESCOTT, Ont, on the north bank of the St Lawrence River.
The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada designated the battleground at Cook's Mills as a national historic site in 1921. Two years later, a plaque summarizing the story of the skirmish was mounted on a stone cairn on the field of action.
In 1976, the cairn was moved to the newly created Battle of Beaverdams Park in Thorold. Also moved to the park was a stone monument, erected in 1874, marking the grave of 16 American soldiers found during the construction of the third Welland Canal.
Fort Mississauga National Historic Site, located in NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont, was designated as a national historic site in 1931 by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. The British built Fort Mississauga between 1813 and 1823 to guard the mouth of the NIAGARA RIVER.
Fort St Joseph National Historic Site, near Sault Ste Marie, Ont, was designated by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada in 1923 to recognize Fort St Joseph's significance as the most westerly British post and for its importance to the fur trade and to the alliances with First Nations.
The Battle of Queenston Heights National Historic Site commemorates a battle fought on 13 October 1812, when the British army and Canadian militia, assisted by First Nations allies, defeated an invading American army on the Niagara Escarpment overlooking the village of Queenston.
Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site, near Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, commemorates a series of fur-trade posts built between 1799 and 1864 by the North West Co and the Hudson's Bay Co (HBC) near the junction of the North Saskatchewan and Clearwater rivers.
L’Anse aux Meadows is the site of an 11th-century Norse outpost at the tip of Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula. Arguably the location of Straumfjord of the Vinland sagas, it is believed to be the first European settlement in North America. L’Anse aux Meadows was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1968 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. Today, it is the site of a popular interpretive centre and ongoing archeological research.
Stirling, Alberta, incorporated in 1901, population 978 (2016 census), 1,090 (2011 census), area 2.71 km2. The Village of Stirling is located in the County of Warner, approximately 30 km southeast of Lethbridge on Highway 4 and 70 km north of the United States border. Stirling is significant as a national historic site and is Canada’s best-preserved example of a Mormon agricultural village.
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.