The Fur Trade at Lachine National Historic Site Management Statement 2017

The Fur Trade at Lachine National Historic Site

Table of contents

November 2017

© Sa Majesté la Reine du chef du Canada, représentée par le directeur général de l’Agence Parcs Canada, 2017.

Cette publication est aussi disponible en français.

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

  • Parks Canada

Issued also in French under the title:
Lieu historique national du Canada Commerce-de-la-Fourrure-à-Lachine Énoncé de Gestion 2017

  • Paper : R64-105/51-2017E 978-0-660-09538-7
  • 978-0-660-09538-7
  • PDF : R64-105/51-2017E-PDF
  • 978-0-660-09540-0

For more information about the management statement or about

Mailing address:
   Location: The Fur Trade at Lachine National Historic Site
     1255 Saint-Joseph Boulevard
     Lachine Borough Montréal QC H8S 2M2

   Phone number: 514-637-7433

   Fax number: 514-637-5325

Front Cover Image Credits

Gabriel Lafond, 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 The Fur Trade at Lachine 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 The Fur Trade at Lachine National Historic Site of Canada Management Statement.

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


Recommended and original signed by:

Daniel Watson
Chief Executive Officer
Parks Canada

Nadine Blackburn
Field Unit Superintendent
La Mauricie and Western Quebec Field Unit
Parks Canada


Parks Canada manages a network of the world's most breathtaking and extensive historic sites. Its mandate is to protect and showcase these sites for the benefit of present and future generations. This management statement details Parks Canada's management approach, and outlines specific goals for The Fur Trade at Lachine National Historic Site.

The Fur Trade at Lachine National Historic Site is located in the Lachine borough in the western part of the island of Montreal (Quebec), at the edge of Lac Saint-Louis and within the limits of the Lachine Canal National Historic Site.

The site was recognized as having national historic importance in 1970, as illustrated in the following commemorative statement:

“The Fur Trade at Lachine National Historic Site commemorates the fur trade in the Montreal area.”

The site is a testament to the significant role the Montreal area played in Canada's fur industry. It was the departure and arrival point for Great Lakes trading expeditions, and the hangar that was built there in 1803 served as a repository for trading furs and goods. The former Lachine fur repository, which was renovated at the beginning of the 1980s by Parks Canada, became an interpretation centre for the history of the fur trade in Canada.

The site is open to the public for self-guided visits during the summer months. However, the spring and fall seasons see the most traffic due to the special guided tour designed for groups (students and tourists). In 2016–2017, the site drew 7,219 visitors, more than half of whom came as part of a group. Visitors tour the interpretation center's permanent exhibition on the height of the fur trade and view a short film on the voyagers who worked for fur merchants and companies. They can touch various animal pelts as well as the clothing and hats made from them.

To support its reach and operation, the national historic site works with several educational, municipal and museum community partners, including: Montréal Museums, Tourisme Montréal, the Musée de Lachine, the Lachine borough and the Commission scolaire de Montréal.

Management approach

Parks Canada's aim is to continue on the management path established for The Fur Trade at Lachine National Historic Site, which will remain a protected heritage site dedicated to discovery and education. Its intention is to present the historic role of the fur trade in the Montreal area. Parks Canada will also continue to foster partnerships in an effort to take advantage of opportunities that further the discovery of the national historic site through increased visitor attendance.

Management goals

Resource Conservation:

Parks Canada protects the cultural resources at its heritage places sites in accordance with its Cultural Resource Management Policy and the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada. To maintain the site's integrity, The Fur Trade at Lachine National Historic Site's purpose is to preserve cultural resources for current and future generations. These efforts include the continued oversight of cultural resources, the implementation of special preservation initiatives, as well as the documenting of on-site initiatives.

Public understanding and appreciation:

Parks Canada aims to effectively convey the topic of the Lachine and Montreal fur trades by welcoming visitors both on site and online. To best respond to the expectations of recurring clienteles (student and tourist groups) and to increase attendance, the site will focus its efforts on adapting its scheduled activities and hours of operation.

Building relationships with local and regional partners:

The national historic site would like to strengthen existing partnerships and periodically participate in upcoming Montreal museum and tourism initiatives to take advantage of opportunities that encourage an increase in group visits. These partnerships provide for a greater number of Canadians to enjoy the site while ensuring its integration in currently established networks.

Site maintenance:

Parks Canada maintains the property it manages to support the site's heritage value, to present a positive image to the public and to affirm Parks Canada's brand.

Strategic environmental assessment summary

In compliance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals (2010), a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) was carried out on the Fur Trade at Lachine National Historic Site's management statement proposal.

The SEA assessed the potential effects on natural and cultural resources, as well as on established visitor experience objectives. The assessment confirmed that the Fur Trade at Lachine National Historic Site's management statement proposal would have a positive effect on cultural resources and visitor experience, and that significant negative environmental impacts would be unlikely.

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