Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site
Confluence of the Lairet and Saint Charles Rivers, Quebec City, Quebec
2013 Ecclesiastical Insurance Cornerstone Award (Adaptive Reuse/Rehabilitation)
Cartier-Brébeuf is a cultural heritage landscape that commemorates the time in 1535-1536 when Jacques Cartier and his shipmates wintered near the Iroquoian village of Stadacona. The site also bears witness to the first residence of the Jesuit missionaries, established in Québec in 1625-1626. Designated a National Historic Site in 1957, the area had suffered environmental changes over the decades, including the channeling of the Lairet River into a 2 km-long storm sewer. When the sewer collapsed, Parks Canada and PWGSC collaborated on a long-term vision for the site’s rehabilitation. Extensive research helped to ascertain the original flow of the meandering river and how best to revitalize its banks. Along with developing an ecologically sustainable reclamation plan, the project focused on communicating the site’s historic importance and adapting it for greater community use. The rehabilitated landscape includes a bike path, footpaths, and artwork inspired by Cartier’s ship, the Grande Hermine. The site has emerged as a magnificent urban park offering a range of activities and events that engage people and raise awareness about the historic significance of a place that for many symbolizes the birth of Canada.
Owner: Parks Canada Agency
Project lead: Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC)