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UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canada
World Heritage sites are areas designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), with the goal of preserving places of cultural, natural and historic significance. There are 20 World Heritage sites in Canada.
National Historic Sites in Canada
National historic sites are places that are recognized for their importance in Canadian history. National historic sites are designated by the federal government, upon recommendation from an organization called the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. In addition to sites, the board also designates people and events of national significance. These people and events are often commemorated by a plaque at a physical place. As of February 2020, there are 999 national historic sites in Canada. (See also Historic Sites in Canada; UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canada).
Historic Sites in Canada
Historic sites are places that are recognized for their importance in Canadian history. Provincial or territorial historic sites are designated by provincial and territorial governments, while national historic sites are designated by the federal government. At the federal level, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada also designates people and events of national significance, in addition to sites. These people and events are often commemorated by a plaque at a physical place. Municipalities also often have the authority to designate historic sites of local significance, as do Indigenous organizations under self-government agreements. Finally, historic sites may be designated at more than one level (e.g., provincial and national). (See also National Historic Sites in Canada; UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canada).
Samuel Wilmot, pisciculturist, farmer, politician (born 22 August 1822 in Clarke Township, West Durham, Upper Canada; died 17 May 1899 in Newcastle, ON). Samuel Wilmot established one of North America’s first fish hatcheries on his farm in Newcastle, Ontario. He began as an amateur working in his basement and became a leading authority on fish culture. Wilmot established 15 hatcheries across Canada and his designs influenced other hatcheries in North America.
Pimachiowin Aki (pronounced Pim-MATCH-cho-win Ahh-KEY) was designated as Canada’s 19th World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2018. Pimachiowin Aki means “the land that gives life” in Anishinaabemowin, a local Ojibwe language. It was recognized as an exceptional example of the cultural tradition of Ji-ganawendamang Gidakiiminaan, or “keeping the land.” The site represents Canada’s first, and only, mixed World Heritage Site. Mixed sites commemorate both the area’s natural value as well as its cultural significance. Pimachiowin Aki is also one of four Canadian World Heritage Sites that recognize Indigenous history. The other three are Writing-on-Stone/Aisinai’pi, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, and SGang Gwaay.
Vancouver Feature: Birks Clock Moves Downtown
“Meet me at the Birks clock” was the standard Vancouver rendezvous plan in the pre-cell phone era of 1913 to 1974. But the Birks clock itself has been a wandering timepiece. It started at Granville & Hastings, moved to Granville & Georgia, and returned to its original intersection — but across the street!
Vancouver Feature: Birks Building Demolished
The sparkling white terra cotta tiles of the Birks building lit the southeast corner of Granville and Georgia from 1913. Inside, sparkling jewelry, silver and fine china attracted the most demanding, and wealthy, clientele. It was a shock to the city when the Birks family decided to tear the impressive grand dame down in 1975.
Liberation of the Netherlands Quiz
Historica Canada released a new Heritage Minute on the Liberation of the Netherlands in May 2020. How well do you know this historic event? Take this quiz to find out!
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canada Interactive Map
The map below indicates the location of World Heritage Sites in Canada. Click on individual points to learn a site’s name, the year it was designated, and what the site includes. World Heritage Sites are created by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). There are 20 World Heritage Sites in Canada.
Black History Month in Canada
Black History Month is observed across Canada every February. Black History Month in Canada provides an opportunity to share and learn about the experiences, contributions and achievements of peoples of African ancestry (see Black Canadians). It was initiated in Canada by the Ontario Black History Society and introduced to Parliament in December 1995 by Jean Augustine, the first Black woman elected as a member of Parliament. Black History Month was officially observed across Canada for the first time in February 1996 (see also Black History in Canada).
National Parks of Canada
Canada’s national parks are protected areas established under federal legislation to preserve Canada’s natural heritage. They are administered by Parks Canada, a government agency that evolved from the world’s first national parks service, the Dominion Parks Branch, established in 1911. The National Parks System Plan, developed in 1970, divided Canada into 39 natural regions and set the goal of representing each region with at least one national park. Canada now has 48 national parks and national park reserves in 30 of these regions. In total, the parks cover more than 340,000 km2, which is over 3 per cent of Canada’s landmass. They protect important land and marine habitats, geographical features and sites of cultural significance. National parks also benefit local economies and the tourism industry in Canada.
Canadian Fact or Fiction
Can you tell whether these statements are true or false? Test your knowledge and learn some fun facts along the way!