Culture and history

Canso Islands National Historic Site

Canso Islands National Historic Site offers a glimpse back to a time when British and French forces fought for control of the continent and the Atlantic coast was speckled with remote outports.

Prepare for your island experience with a tour of the mainland visitor centre, where life-sized dioramas depict 18th century day-to-days, a short film documents the former settlement on Grassy Island and a replica of functioning Fort William Augustus sheds light on the area’s strategic military importance.

Your experience continues with a boat ride to Grassy Island—a small, crescent-shaped landmass of sandy shores and coarse grasses—just 500 metres offshore. Follow an interpretive walking trail to eight significant sites—including the remnants of a stone fort and houses of the island’s prominent residents—as you learn the trials and achievements of the people who called this tumultuous settlement home some three centuries past.

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