Canada just announced seven places, people and events that are newly designated as historically significant. The important things from our history range from a neighbourhood to a scientific researcher to a WWII attack in Newfoundland. What it all has in common though, is it’s a celebration of Canadian culture, history and identity! Today it was announced that the seven significant places, people and events now have Canadian National Historic Designations.

The new designations brings the total number of designations in Canada to over 2,150. But not just anything can be put up for these national historic designations.

To be considered for designation, a person, place or event needs to have significance based on these four points of priority: History of Indigenous Peoples, Environmental History, Diversity, and Canada and the World. So that really old oak tree in your front yard might not fit the bill. 

In the announcement, Catherine McKenna, minister of environment and climate change, said, “I am pleased to recognize these seven people, places, and events that have helped define our country. Their stories represent the rich and varied history of our nation and there are still many stories to be told.” 

Here are the seven things that have been deemed among the most historically important:


The first one, The Newfoundland National War Memorial in St. John's, Newfoundland commemorates the province's contributions during five conflicts: the War of 1812, WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and Afghanistan.

Second, Tse'K'wa in Fort St. John, B.C. is an archeological site that has contributed to our understanding of how humans settled and the environment changes that came after the last glacial period over 12,500 years ago. 

The third place, Uplands is a residential neighbourhood in Oak Bay, B.C. and was designated because it is one of the earliest subdivisions in the country that was planned to act like a park.  


Thomas Adams (1871-1940) was a town planner in Canada in the early 20th century. His development of towns across Canada lead to a design approach that combined efficiency and natural elements. 

Donald Strathearn Rawson (1905-1961) studied aquactic ecosystems in Western Canada. He pioneered studies of lakes and fisheries and took an hollistic approach to those studies.  


The Meshikamau-shipu Travel Route in Labrador showcases the migratory ascpets of Innu life on the Labrador peninsula. Along the route are culturally significant places like gathering spots.

Then, in 1942 there were a number of German U-Boat attacks at Bell Island in Newfoundland. The island played a vital part in the war as an iron-ore processing and shipping centre making it a target. You can still find the sunken ships and even the torpedo from the German U-Boats (pictured below). 

Recommendations for these designations are mostly come from public nominations which are then looked over by the Historic Sits and Monuments Board of Canada and put forth as recommendations. 

They always looking for more. “I encourage all Canadians to help shape the stories we share by submitting their own nominations for national historic designation and to visit Canada's network of heritage places to discover and connect with our diverse history first-hand,” said McKenna.

So if you think you know a person, place or event that deserves recognition from the government for its significance in Canadian history and culture, you can have your say.

Also, be sure to keep an eye out for Parks Canada on Twitter as the seven designations will be spotlighted over the next few weeks.  

There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.

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