National program of historical commemoration

Overview of the Program

Since 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada has been mandated to provide advice to the Canadian government on the designation of places, persons and events that have marked and shaped Canada. Every year, new subjects are added to the list of designations. The nominated subject must have a historical significance from a national perspective and not only from a local or regional standpoint.

The Prince of Wales Hotel National Historic Site

The participation of Canadians in the identification of places, persons and events of national historic significance and in their commemoration is a key element of the program. In fact, 95% of applications for designation presented to the Board are submitted by Canadian individuals and groups.

Role of Parks Canada Agency

Parks Canada provides professional and administrative services to support the Board's work, including the conduct of historical and archaeological research needed for evaluating applications and the handling of all administrative issues. It also carries out the ministerial decisions following the Board’s recommendations by organizing plaque unveiling ceremonies, installing and maintaining the commemorative plaques.

Protection of National Historic Sites

While a national historic site designation helps to focus public attention on a particular site, it does not affect ownership of the site or provide protection against destruction. In Canada, protection of heritage property not owned by the federal government is the responsibility of each provincial and territorial government under its respective legislation. Only provincial and territorial governments have jurisdiction over private property, which enables them to pass and enforce legislation extending legal protection to designated properties.

Sites that have lost their commemorative integrity

Parks Canada maintains a list of sites that have lost their commemorative integrity. A national historic site is considered to have lost its commemorative integrity when the resources directly related to the reasons for designation have been destroyed or impaired, or the reasons for designation can no longer be effectively communicated. This decision is based on a review by the Historic Sites and Monuments of Board Canada (HSMBC) and the Minister responsible for Parks Canada.

List of sites that have lost their commemorative integrity.


Laggan Railway Station, Lake Louise
Designated 1976 - Moved 1976

British Columbia

Kamloops Junction Railway Station, Kamloops
Designated 1976 - Demolished circa 1983

Ewan Cattle Barn, Richmond
Designated 1995 - Destroyed by wind storm 1999


Elaschuk House, Roblin
Designated 1975 - Moved 1987

Capitol Theatre, Winnipeg
Designated 1991 - Demolished circa 2002

Empire Hotel, Winnipeg
Designated 1976 - Demolished circa 1980

New Brunswick

Old Sunbury County Jail, Burton
Designated 1985 - Moved 1989 - Demolished 1992

Newfoundland and Labrador

Port Blandford Railway Station, Port Blandford
Designated 1976 - Destroyed by fire circa 1979

Carey House, Witless Bay
Designated 1982 - Demolished December 1984


Plymouth Square, Kingston
Designated 1970 - Demolished 1973

Rideau Street Convent & Chapel, Ottawa
Designated 1972 - Demolished circa 1972

Sparks House, Ottawa
Designated 1954 - Demolished circa 1954

Darlingside, Rockport
Designated 1992 - Demolished circa 2015

Sahkahjewaosa / Garden River Band Council House, Sault Ste. Marie
Designated 1986 - Destroyed by fire 1981

Thomson Building, Timmins
Designated 1987 - Demolished 1995


Bertier Railway Station, Bertier
Designated 1976 - Demolished 2006

L’Islet Railway Station (Grand Trunk), L’Islet
Designated 1976 - Demolished (date unknown)

Le Moyne / Heroux / Longueuil House, Longueuil
Designated 1958 - Demolished circa 1999

Galt House, Sherbrooke
Designated 1962 - Demolished circa 1966

Canadian Pacific Forest Products Mill, Trois-Rivères
Designated 1991 - Demolished 2002

Jack House, Vanier
Designated 1969 - Demolished circa 2004


Biggar Railway Station (Grand Trunk), Biggar
Designated 1976 - Demolished 2018

Fleming Lake of the Woods Grain Elevator, Fleming
Designated 2008 - Destroyed by fire 2010

Capitol Theatre, Saskatoon
Designated 1979 - Demolished December 1979

No associated province or territory

HMCS Ottawa
Designated 1993 - Demolished 1994

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