Culture and history
Coteau-du-Lac National Historic Site
Learn more about Coteau-du-Lac National Historic Site, which celebrates 100 years of historic designation in 2023.
100 years of historic designation importance
Many stories and significant moments surround the designation of Coteau-du-Lac National Historic Site on May 25, 1923. Learn more about historic designation.
With a history spanning 7,000 years, the site was a portage and encampment location used by Indigenous to avoid the rapids, a military fortification, and a canal that opened the way for commercial shipping. The site at Coteau-du-Lac represented a major point of transit for British military logistics efforts. Between 1781 and 1814, the army developed large-scale infrastructures on the site, which testify to the importance the colonial authorities attached to improving and protecting transportation and communications along the route linking Montréal and Kingston.
The discovery of artifacts dating from 6000 to 4000 years ago testifies to the Indigenous population on the site.
The "Coteau rapids" are located between Lake St. François and Lake St. Louis, and are the narrowest and most turbulent section of the entire St. Lawrence River. In the less than 13 km separating the Great Lakes from the St. Lawrence Valley proper, the River hurtles over three sills for a total drop of 25.6 m.
The remains of the fortifications and the blockhouse are the focus of this outdoor virtual tour of Coteau-du-Lac National Historic Site.
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