Story Ideas

Best of: Historic sites across Canada

Rediscover the past from the Gold Rush days of Barkerville to the Vikings of L’Anse aux Meadows     

10 October 2012
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Canada is vast and wide – it stretches from sea-to-sea-to-sea and is filled with sites bringing our history to life.

 

British Columbia: In 1862 Billy Barker struck gold while panning in the waters of Williams Creek, and the crazy days of the Cariboo Gold Rush were on. That snapshot in time is preserved at Barkerville National Historic Site, a museum town where visitors can peek into more than 100 of the town’s original buildings and learn about life from period re-enactors like the hanging judge, the assayer who weighed and tested gold nuggets, and the local saloon keeper. Barkerville is celebrating its 150th year.

 

Manitoba: Growth was booming at such speed that at the turn of the century they nicknamed Winnipeg’s Exchange District “Chicago of the North.” Today, the handsome brick and stone warehouses have been dusted off and spiffed up back to their former glory, and are home to boutiques, antique shops, art galleries and restaurants. Walking tours are a must.

 

Newfoundland: The strange mounds and remains of turf-walled houses at L’Anse aux Meadows stand sentinel to days gone by – a time 1,000 years ago when the Vikings, led by Leif Ericson, found land and established the first European settlement in the New World. The salty wind blows harsh at this spot, and the costumed Norse interpreters huddle beside the fire inside the peat houses. Visitors who make the long trip to this northern tip of Newfoundland can gaze over the water and imagine the large wooden boats approaching from the open sea.

 

Yukon: He was a solitary kind of fellow. A quiet bank teller, who loved to read, had a passion for canoeing and wrote poetry. The Robert Service Cabin in Dawson City is a modest sod-roof log cabin and has come to symbolize the legacy of the Klondike Gold Rush. Though he wasn’t well educated, Service was the most successful Canadian poet of the 20th century. His poem, The Creation of Sam McGee, remains the iconic tale of the North.

 

You’ll find something in every corner of the country. Here is selection of outstanding Canadian historic sites:

Northwest Territories: Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre
Alberta: Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park
Saskatchewan: Fort Walsh National Historic Site
Ontario: Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum
Québec: Mauvide-Genest Manor
New Brunswick: Kings Landing Historical Settlement
Nova Scotia: Grand-Pré National Historic Site
Prince Edward Island: Three Rivers Roma National Historic Site 
Nunavut: Kekerten Territorial Park

 

Follow us on Twitter @DestinationCAN / Suggested Tweet: Full list of National Historic Sites of Canada @ParksCanada

 

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