Canada has some impressive forts that will, no doubt, be packed with visitors during Canada’s Sesquicentennial Anniversary. It will be a fantastic time to visit and explore Canada’s historic places and experience Canadian history. Here are four Canadian forts you’ll enjoy visiting.
Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
Fortress of Louisbourg
Before Canada became the nation it is today, there were battles and rebellions. The Fortress of Louisbourg juts out from Cape Breton Island into the Atlantic Ocean and has a strong significance in Canadian history.
Originally a French fort in New France built in 1713, during its hey days, it was considered the jewel of France’s holdings in the New World. Louisbourg was a place of dreams.
It was France’s rêve imperial. To boot, it was one of the busiest 18th-century seaports in North America.
Plenty of trade with shiploads of raw materials and cod fish were shipped back to France coupled with a steady growing population of settlers. Fortress of Louisbourg paid a bloody price, though.
The Brits seized the settlement twice and completely destroyed the fortress.
For years the grass-covered ruin was a playground for local kids. But, in a huge monumental undertaking in 1961, then Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, in a national works project, had the fort recreated as a make-work project for the unemployed Cape Breton coal miners.
The recreated Fortress of Louisbourg was to open in 1967 for Canada’s Centennial. It sadly did not but did partially open in 1969. To this date, it is considered North America’s largest reconstruction project.
A Parks Canada operated National Historic Site, this bucket list experience along with Parks Canada’s other parks and sites will have free admission in 2017. Now you need to visit to see what the next chapter holds.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
For nearly 250 years this hilltop walled fortress has been seen by all who arrive in the capital of Nova Scotia, even if they decide not to venture inside. But trust us you will want to.
Guidebook publisher Fodor’s pegs this heritage landmark as Canada’s most visited National Historic Site. We like to think so too.
The best part is to head inside to see the barracks, guardroom, and powder magazine and to watch the parade of soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Royal Artillery and the 78th Highland Regiment Pipe Band (this is their home base). See the kilts and tall feather bonnets and watch the Noon Guns fire daily.
To get a real feel of Canadian history why not don a full uniform and enroll in the “Soldier for a Day” program?
Next year you’ll be beating a happy drum too as this National Historic Site run by Parks Canada will have free admission.
Location, location, location. This 19th-century British military fortress with its imposing features looms high atop a natural cliffside and gives a strong message: don’t mess with us.
So why is it here?
Originally it was set up to defend the Rideau Canal and the Naval Dockyard but it was mainly used to defend the city of Kingston and the busy harbour.
Originally built in 1832, the fort was added to over the years. The strangest discovery of Fort Henry is its purpose. While it was built for military action, it never saw any.
Instead, the grand complex was a prison. Fort Henry held prisoners from the Rebellions of 1837 and both World Wars.
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Fort William Historical Park
Go see only the largest reconstructed fur trading post in the world.
Dial back the clock to 1850 and feel like you’ve stepped back into the past. See recreated buildings in this old company town which stood as the headquarters of that other fur trading company, the North West Company.
Fort William’s hey days hailed during the great fur trading expeditions from the 1770s to the 1820s when beaver fur was considered high fashion.
Val Jalbert is a historic village in Quebec that is worth visiting. Camping Val Jalbert is one way to enjoy the attraction if you’re on a budget.
For more things to do in Canada see explore-canada.com.au
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