Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site of Canada Management Statement 2018

Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site

Management statement cover 

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Chief Executive Officer of Parks Canada, 2018.

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Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site of Canada Management Statement 2018.

  • Paper: R64-105/12-1-2018E
  • 978-0-660-26503-2
  • PDF: R64-105/12-1-2018E-PDF
  • 978-0-660-26502-5

For more information about the management statement or about Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site of Canada

Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site of Canada

Mailing address:
2, D'Auteuil Street
Québec (Québec)
G1R 5C2

1 888-773-8888


Front cover image credits

Parks Canada


The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

Canada’s national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas belong to all Canadians and offer truly Canadian experiences.

These special places make up one of the finest and most extensive systems of protected natural and cultural heritage areas in the world.

The Government is committed to preserving our natural and cultural heritage, expanding the system of protected places and contributing to the recovery of species-at-risk. At the same time, we must continue to offer new and innovative visitor and outreach programs and activities so that more Canadians can experience Parks Canada places and learn about our environment, history and culture.

This new management statement for Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site of Canada supports this vision.

Management statements are developed through extensive consultation and input from various people and organizations, including Indigenous Peoples, local and regional residents, visitors and the dedicated team at Parks Canada.

National parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas are a priority for the Government of Canada. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this management statement for their commitment and spirit of co-operation.

As the Minister responsible for Parks Canada, I applaud this collaborative effort and I am pleased to approve Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site of Canada Management Statement.

Catherine McKenna
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada


Recommended by and original signed by

Daniel Watson

Chief Executive Officer, Parks Canada
Gatineau, Canada

Trevor Swerdfager

Senior Vice-President, Operations
Parks Canada

Maryse Lavigne

Field Unit Superintendent, Québec Field Unit
Parks Canada


Parks Canada manages one of the world’s most beautiful and vast networks of protected historic sites. Its mandate is to protect and valorize these spaces for the enjoyment of present and future generations. This management statement describes Parks Canada’s management approach and the objectives it has set for the Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site.

The Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site is located on the north shore of the Saint-Charles River, in the Limoilou district, at the heart of a predominantly residential sector of Québec City. It was designated a site of national historic significance in 1958 by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. The site commemorates the wintering location of Jacques Cartier and his crew in 1535–1536, near the Iroquois village of Stadacona. It was also at this location that the first Jesuit missionaries' residence was established in Québec City, in 1625–1626. The site has great symbolic value as the start of French colonization in Canada and is synonymous, for many Canadians, with Canada’s beginnings as a country.

At the Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site, the cultural resources that justify its designation are the site itself and its landscapes. The elements that characterize the landscape are the confluence of the Lairet and Saint-Charles Rivers and the uneven terrain on either side of the Lairet River, both reasons Cartier chose to winter there. While the landscape has changed considerably since the time of Jacques Cartier, these elements are still present.

This site has several commemorative monuments: to Cartier’s wintering, to the establishment of the first Jesuit missionaries' residence in Québec City and to the meeting of Indigenous and European cultures.

From 2007 to 2009, Parks Canada restored the Lairet River bed near where Jacques Cartier set up camp, thus recreating the natural landscape present at that era. This restoration helps better convey the site’s commemorative values, while fostering the development of an aquatic ecosystem and improving the wildlife habitat. Covering 6.8 hectares, the site allows visitors to undertake leisure and recreational activities while experiencing its underlying rich history.

In 2013, the site adapted its management approach to new realities. The visitor experience was reviewed and the interpretation program was modified.

Management Approach

Parks Canada intends to continue applying a management approach that focuses on conveying heritage values unique to the Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site. The site will continue to be a protected heritage space in which visitors can discover and learn about the commemoration themes.

Parks Canada will seek to better situate the national historic site in time and in space, by defining the different commemoration periods, and affirming its boundaries while remaining well integrated in the city’s urban park network.

The Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site will thus continue to be a space that invites the discovery of heritage values, the bridging of cultures, and dialogue. Relationships with Indigenous and cultural communities will be at the heart of the exchanges.

Parks Canada will continue to seize opportunities that favour the Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site’s conviviality and appreciation, by improving partnerships and community relations to ensure the site’s continued use and to strengthen community appropriation of it.

Management objectives

Meeting and bridging of cultures

Parks Canada works closely with partners to ensure that the national historic site remains an appreciated place in harmony with its environment:

  • Closer ties are forged with the Huron-Wendat Nation, particularly through the Nionwentsïo Office and Tourisme Wenkake, to highlight the role of First Nations in the history of the site.
  • Partnerships with communities, users and stakeholders are maintained and enriched to foster a sense of shared ownership.

Conveyance of heritage values

Parks Canada effectively conveys the site’s heritage values to facilitate the meeting of visitors and cultural resources, notably via the cultural landscapes.

  • Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site is integrated within Park Canada’s network of national historic sites.
  • The national historic site's heritage values integrated seamlessly in the park’s recreational activities.

Conservation and protection of the heritage site’s resources

Parks Canada protects cultural resources in heritage spaces in accordance with the Cultural Resource Management Policy and the Standards & Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada.

Further, Parks Canada maintains the administered good in a manner that respects the site’s heritage values.

  • The identified cultural landscapes are maintained to preserve the site’s commemorative value, while taking into account the urban canopy and green space.

Summary of the strategic environmental assessment:

In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals (2010), a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) was conducted on the management statement proposal for the Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site of Canada.

The SEA assessed the potential impacts on the natural and cultural resources and on the visitor experience objectives. It concluded that the management statement proposal for the Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site will have positive impacts on the cultural resources and the visitor experience. The SEA identified the potential environmental impacts on plant life and suggested means of mitigating these. The proposed management statement is not expected to have significant negative environmental impacts.

For more information:

Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site of Canada

Parks Canada, Québec City Field Unit
2 D’Auteuil Street
Québec QC G1R 5C2
Tel: 418-648-3381

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