Framework for History and Commemoration

Learn more about the Framework for History and Commemoration and its importance in the work of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

Historical research documents

The Documentation Centre of Parks Canada Indigenous Affairs and Cultural Heritage Directorate holds a large collection of research reports and documents on Federal Heritage Designations (events, people and sites), heritage railway stations, federal heritage buildings and various Parks Canada publications.


Index of subjects prepared for the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada

Parks Canada is in the early stages of preparing an index of subjects that have been considered by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. As a first step, the index focuses on a limited number of subjects, where thematic studies have been prepared.

Thematic studies written by Parks Canada staff and/or external researchers expand upon or explore themes and topics related to potential subjects for designation under the National Program of Historical Commemoration. These studies are presented in a range of formats that include, but are not limited to, commemorative analyses, framework studies, projects and biographies.

The studies date from the 1960s until the late 2010s. Some may contain outdated language or terminology, the absence of a significant layer of history or factual errors. They are considered working documents, and in many cases, are only available in one official language. To request material associated with a subject listed on the index, please contact the HSMBC Secretariat at Parks Canada at

Subject titles Report year(s)
Broadcasting 2017
Medical Research Discoveries 2015
Purpose-Built and Adapted Clubhouses of Gentlemen's Clubs 2014
Extant Grain Elevators 2014
Planned Single-Industry Towns 2012
Indigenous People and the Exploration of Canada 2011
Early Human Migrations in Canada and the Americas 2010
Human Rights and Ethnocultural Communities 2010
Indigenous Political Organizations and Leaders (1870-1960) 2010
Indigenous Art Commodity Production 2010
European Explorers 2009
Political Parties 2008
Built Heritage of Banks 2008
First World War 2007
Organized Labour 2007
Political Relations between the Canadian Government and Indigenous Leaders in Southwestern Ontario (18th-19th centuries) 2007
Chinese Immigration/Communities (since 1788) 2007
Governors General (Mid-20th Century) 2005
Governors General (1760-1979) 2005
Governors of New France (1608-1760) 2005
Cold War 2005
Abolitionists and the Abolition Movement in British North America 2003
Canadian Architects 2003
Women's Religious Congregations and Healthcare 2003
Women and Education 2002
Policies related to Indigenous peoples and the Model Village Concept in Upper and Lower Canada (19th century) 2002
Coal Mining Landscapes (Alberta and Southeastern British Columbia) 2001
Women's Religious Congregations and Health Care in Quebec (1639-1962) 2001
Places of Worship (1919-1999) 2000
Huron-Wendat Peoples 2000
Immigration Sites on the West Coast (1840-1940) 2000
Second World War 2000
Canadian Military in the Second World War 2000
Métis History in the Mackenzie Basin 1999
Indigenous Cultural Landscapes 1999
Underground Railroad in Canada 1998
Traditional Cultural Landscapes 1998
Inuit Traditions and the History of Nunavut 1998
Lighthouses 1998
Origins of the Cable Television Industry 1998
Women and Work 1998
Canadian Settlement Patterns 1997
Literary and Artistic Achievements 1997
Built Heritage of the Modern Era 1997
Engineering Landmarks 1997
Coal Mining (Nova Scotia) 1997
Residential Buildings in Canada (1930s-1970s) 1998
Women's History 1997
Nursing Residences 1997
Women and Health Care 1997
Women and Political and Economic Power 1997
Inuit History 1996
Modernism in Railway Station Architecture (1930-1960) 1995
Shipbuilding (New Brunswick) 1995
Tugboats, Shipping, and Icebreaking on the Great Lakes 1995
Coal Mining 1995
Early Chief Justices of British North America 1995
Forest Products Industry (New Brunswick) 1994, 1999
Black History 1994
Engineering Achievements 1994
Gardens and Parks 1994
Mi'kmaq Cultural History at Kejimkujik National Park (Nova Scotia) 1994
First Nations and Inuit History 1994
Extant Engine Houses 1992
Indigenous Peoples' History 1992
Post-Secondary Educational Institutions 1992
Atmospheric Theatres 1991
Queen Anne Revival Style 1990, 1991
Northern Indigenous History 1990, 1991
Individuals of Importance in the Canadian Economy 1990
Petroleum Industry (Alberta) 1990
Penitentiary Design (pre 1950) 1990
Electrical Power Transmission 1990
Gothic Revival Style 1989, 1990
Primary Textile Industry 1989
Mid-19th Century Cathedrals 1989
Drill Hall Architecture 1989
American Military Presence in Newfoundland 1989
Waterways (1608-1987) 1988
Residential Schools 1988
Churchill Rocket Research Range 1988
Urban Schools (up to 1930) 1987
Urban Public Schools (before 1930) 1987
Rural School Architecture (before 1930) 1987
First Schools 1987
School Design (before 1930) 1987
Prarie Settlement Patterns (1870-1930) 1987
Urban Manufacturing Complexes 1987
Collegiate Gothic Architectural Style 1987
Extant Textile Mills Built (before 1940) 1986
Seigneuries (Québec) 1986
Hydro-Electric Development 1986
Commercial Fisheries of the Canadian Great Lakes 1986
Hydro-Electric Sites 1986
Arctic Indigenous History 1986
Mining History 1986
Theatres (pre 1920) 1985
Agreements between Indigenous Peoples and The Crown 1985
Cooperative Movement 1984
Immigration Stations 1984
Surviving Town Halls (pre 1930) 1984
Kingston Penitentiary 1984
Arctic Whaling Study 1984
Indigenous Communities 1984
Seigneurial Regime 1984
Commercial Fisheries Of The Great Lakes 1983
Pulp and Paper Industry (up to 1930) 1983
Prehistoric Sites (Southern Ontario) 1982
Chateau Style Hotels of Railway Companies 1980
Basque Whaling Sites (Labrador, Newfoundland) 1979
Prehistory Studies (Atlantic, Arctic and High Arctic) 1978
Indigenous History 1978
Prairie Examples of Romanesque Post Office 1977
Jurists 1977
Historic Ranches 1976
Sporting History 1976
Timber Trade In The Ottawa Valley (1806-1854) 1985
Prehistoric Early Indigenous Sites (Ontario) 1975
Musicians and Musical Figures 1974
Prehistoric Earthwork Sites (Southern British Columbia Coast) 1974
Governors and Governors General of New France 1974
Indigenous Peoples 1973
Indigenous Peoples (Haida and Tsimshian) 1972
Indigenous People and the North-West Rebellion (1885) 1970
Railroads 1970
Inkerman Cottage Architecture 1969
Fur Trade in the Canadian West (1670-1870) 1968
Indigenous Sites 1968
Suggested Thematic Studies 1968
Gaspé, Quebec 1967
Mining (British Columbia) 1964
Exploration of the Canadian Arctic (up to 1867) 1962

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada meeting minutes

Established in 1919, the Board met annually until the 1950s, when it began to hold bi-annual meetings. The majority of the official minutes from these meetings are available and are bilingual. Copies of the minutes can be obtained via PDF or Microsoft Word format by contacting the Board' Secretariat.


Access to information and privacy

The Access to Information and Privacy Online Request Service offers a convenient way to submit access to information or personal information requests. Visit the Access to information and privacy section of the website to submit a request online and consult the current and previous reports on Access to Information Act and Privacy Act.

Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information 2013

Info Source: Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information provides information about the functions, programs, activities and related information holdings of government institutions subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. It provides individuals and employees of the government (current and former) with relevant information to access personal information about themselves held by government institutions subject to the Privacy Act and to exercise their rights under the Privacy Act.

The Introduction to Info Source: Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information and an index of institutions subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act are available centrally.

The Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act assign overall responsibility to the President of Treasury Board (as the designated Minister) for the government-wide administration of the legislation.

General information


The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada grew out of the interplay of disparate elements of public opinion concerned with heritage preservation and Government of Canada policy before the First World War. A growing heritage movement encouraged the government to preserve and develop sites with important historical associations. At the same time, the government was looking to extend its national parks system from the west into the east and the idea of creating historic parks around significant historic structures was conceived. The War delayed the introduction of a government program to identify and preserve Canadian heritage; however, in 1919, James B. Harkin, the Commissioner of Dominion Parks, suggested that "An Advisory Board for Historic Site Preservation" be established, and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada was born.

The Board was given a statutory base for its operations through the Historic Sites and Monuments Act of 1953.


Under the Historic Sites and Monuments Act, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada has the statutory responsibility to advise the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and, through them, Parks Canada on the commemoration of nationally significant aspects of Canada's past, including the designation of national historic sites, persons and events. Under the Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act and the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act, the Board also advises the Minister on the designation of heritage railway stations and heritage lighthouses respectively.

The full Board meets twice a year to consider submissions related to potential subjects of national historic significance from the general public, heritage organizations, provincial and municipal governments. The various committees, which the Board has established to expedite its work, namely the Inscriptions Committee, the Status of Designations Committee and the Lighthouse Committee meet as required.

Institutional functions, programs and activities

National commemoration programs

Description: information on the commemoration and designation of places, persons and events of national historic significance under the National Program of Historical Commemoration; the designation of heritage lighthouses and heritage railway stations; and, the National Program for the Grave Sites of Canadian Prime Ministers.

Document types: Nomination files (including supporting documentation, photos and contact information), Board minutes, reports, plaque inscriptions, heritage character statements, statement of significance, correspondence, criteria and guidelines, and manuals.

Record number: HSM HSM 005


  • HSMBC Criteria and Guidelines
Additional information

Please see the Introduction to the Info Source publication for information on formal access procedures under the provisions of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.

To make a formal request, please visit Parks Canada Access to Information and Privacy website.

For additional information about the programs and activities of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, please contact:
30, Victoria Street
3rd Floor, (PC-03-M)
Gatineau, QC
J8X 0B3
Toll-free phone number: 1-855-283-8730

Reading room

In accordance with the Access to Information Act, an area on the premises of this institution has been designated as a public reading room. The address is:

Parks Canada
Indigenous Affairs and Cultural Heritage Directorate
30 Victoria St
3rd Floor, (PC-03-M)
Gatineau QC
J8X 0B3

Useful links

Historic designations in Canada

Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada

There are different types of heritage or historic designations in Canada. A place may be designated by a municipal, provincial/territorial or federal government and even by several of these authorities. Provincial designation is not a prerequisite to a federal designation, and vice versa. In some territories and provinces, responsibility for making designations has been given to municipal authorities.

Canadian Register of Historic Places

Discover more than 12,500 historic places designated by national, provincial, territorial and local governments.

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Directory of Federal Real Property

The Directory of Federal Real Property is the core real property system of the federal government. It contains common real property data for 72 custodian organizations.

Federal heritage buildings

Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office

Buildings owned by the Government of Canada may also be classified or recognized by the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office.

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