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Sir Wilfrid Laurier National Historic Site of Canada
The Sir Wilfrid Laurier National Historic Site of Canada considers one of the most important figures in Canadian political history, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the man often referred to as the father of modern Canada.

Located in Saint-Lin-Laurentides, 60 kilometres north of Montréal, the site invites visitors to discover the life and career of this illustrious Prime Minister through an impressive collection of period objects and antique furniture.

Outside, a magnificent garden bids you to linger awhile. During the summer months, actors and musicians may also accompany you on your tour of the Laurier family home. Saturday and Sunday afternoons, the historic house serves as a backdrop for a collection of colorful characters from the immediate neighborhood. A hospitable bunch, they will accord you all the honors of the house on the occasion of your visit.

In this warm atmosphere, you will discover the resourcefulness and imaginativeness deployed by our ancestors in their ongoing quest for a softer, more comfortable life. The site is open throughout the summer months.

Vieux Port de Montréal
Every year, 7 million people drop anchor at the Old Port of Montréal, a unique 2 1/2-km-long recreational and tourist site that offers a variety or outdoor activities and indoor entertainment to suit every taste.

The Old Port is the perfect place for to stroll along the shore of the St. Lawrence River, to shop at chic boutiques, and to dine in luxurious restaurants. It also provides a great opportunity to drink in Montréal's rich cosmopolitan culture.

There's no shortage of activities, both on and off the water. Try jet-boating the St. Lawrence rapids, take a leisurely tour of the river aboard a Bateau-Mouche (sightseeing boat), or rent a pedal boat and travel at your own pace. Bike around the Port with the whole family on the unique contraption known as a quadricycle, or feel the wind in your hair on an electric scooter. In the winter, you can lace up at the Bonsecours Basin skating rink or take a trip back in time on a horse drawn sleigh ride. The Old Port of Montréal also offers great learning experiences at the Montréal Sciences Centre, with its interactive exhibits and IMAX movie theatre. Indoors and out, on the water and on the land, the Old Port of Montréal is a perfect vacation

The restored Cartier household recalls the architectural heritage of Victorian Montréal and provides insight into the mores of the era's middle class, using the house as a backdrop for re-enactments that vary with the season. The Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site of Canada commemorates the life and accomplishments of one of the Fathers of Confederation, Sir George-Étienne Cartier. The team of interpreters at the Cartier house provides guided tours that explain important aspects of Victorian life.

Take a crash course in etiquette, learn about the lives of household servants, experience a Victorian Christmas, and interact with a host of actors, poets, musicians, politicians and clergymen. The site is open from April 2 through December 21.

Manoir Papineau National Historic Site of Canada
Looking out over the Ottawa River, the magnificent home at the Manoir Papineau National Historic Site was built in 1850 by Louis-Joseph Papineau, the prominent politician and later Seigneur of the area known as "La Petite-Nation".
The site commemorates Papineau, a leading figure in Canadian politics during the 19th century, as well as showcasing the manor house and domain of Montebello, which he designed and gave form. Your tour begins at the granary.

Here, an exhibit provides an overview of the life and accomplishments of Louis-Joseph Papineau, the history of the domain under the seigneurial system, the Papineau family, and the Seigniory Club. Then, take a guided tour of the Papineau Manor House, where the authenticity of the furnishings and the refined architectural details are witness to the culture of its illustrious designer.

Outside, other guided tours introduce you to the exceptionally broad range of architectural styles at the site and the immaculate landscaping of the gardens. The site is open from May 10 through October 12.

Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site of Canada
Opened in 1849, the Saint-Ours Canal is a continuation of the Chambly Canal, bypassing the final obstacle to navigation between the St. Lawrence River and Lake Champlain.

Known as the tenth lock of the Richelieu, the Saint-Ours Canal is located beside Darvard Island and was indispensable to international trade for over a century. Today, pleasure boating has replaced the canal's commercial traffic. Pleasure boating is the main attraction at the Saint-Ours Canal, but by no means the only one.

Visitors can learn more about the canal by visiting the exhibit at the Superintendent House, and you won't want to miss seeing the Saint-Ours dam -- which raises the water level high enough to make the Richelieu navigable as far as Chambly -- in operation. Another unique feature is the Vianney-Legendre fish ladder, which allows fish to swim upriver and spawn. This structure stems from an endangered species protection plan and serves to maintain biodiversity in the Richelieu River. The canal is open year round.

Artillery Park Heritage Site
An important barracks and military storage site built in the colonial era, Artillery Park was once an integral part of the defensive works surrounding city of Québec.

The site offers visitors three historic buildings, each of which features unique architecture: the Dauphine Redoubt (1712), the Offices' Quarters (1818), and the Arsenal Foundry (1903). It was designated a Heritage Site in 1959.
At the site, characters in period costume will help you relive the rich military and industrial past of the site. Meet the maid and her master in the Officers' Quarters, the cook in the officers' kitchen, and a soldier living in the Dauphine Redoubt.

Twice daily, the heady scent of black powder fills the air during a demonstration of Tulle flintlock musket loading and firing. Don't miss a chance to gain perspective by viewing the impressive scale model of Québec City as it was in 1808. The site is open from April 1 through October 12. Tours are available year round, by reservation.

Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site of Canada
The Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site commemorates the period in 1535-1536, when Jacques Cartier and his shipmates wintered near the Iroquoian village of Stadacona. It also recalls the establishment of the first residence of the Jesuit missionaries in Québec, in 1625-1626.

Located on the north shore of the Saint-Charles River, in the heart of Québec, the site stands as a reminder of the meeting of the European and Amerindian cultures.

The site features an exhibit on the three voyages of the explorer Jacques Cartier, an Amerindian longhouse, an interpretation kiosk on the Jesuits and a number of monuments, one of which represents the figures of Jacques Cartier and the great chief Donnacona of Stadacona.

Guest archaeologists and craftspeople regularly join the team of guide-interpreters and prepare such surprises as tastings of unusual foods, games and demonstrations of traditional techniques and the production of Amerindian objects.

The site is open year round. Reservations are required from early October through early May.

Chambly Fort National Historic Site of Canada
Located at the foot of the rapids of the Richelieu River, Fort Chambly revives the Golden age of New France. Dating from 1709, the structure of this imposing stone sentry draws inspiration from the French fortifications designed by Vauban.

Fort Chambly withstood the upheavals of the history of New France, and stands today as an invaluable witness to the French presence in North America.

Fort Chambly was restored in 1983, and exhibitions recounting key moments in New France are now presented within its walls. You can visit the exhibitions on your own or attend presentations led by interpreters. An audio-visual document rounds out this rendezvous with history.

Daily presentations give you a glimpse into the everyday life of a soldier posted to garrison duty or of a “habitant” living under the seigneurial system, as well as information on the fort's archeological treasures and architectural heritage. Other special events abound during the spring and summer months. The site is open from April through November.

Lachine Canal National Historic Site of Canada
The port of entry for the canal network linking the Atlantic Ocean to the heart of the continent, the Lachine Canal was the forerunner of the transportation revolution in Canada in the early 19th century.

Tens of thousands of ships took this route before the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway led to its closing in 1970. Located in Montréal, the Lachine Canal stretches 14.5 kilometres from the Old Port to Lake Saint-Louis.
Since May 2002, pleasure boaters have returned to this calm manmade waterway, thanks to a major revitalization project.

At the Lachine visitor centre, reception staff and guide-interpreters will explain the site's heritage, and historic photos, artifacts, maps, plans and interactive games will take you back to great moments in the canal's history.
An outing along the canal offers opportunities for pleasure boating, biking, walking and picnicking -- and in winter, skating and cross-country skiing. The canal is open year round.

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Avril Betts
Avril Betts, EzineArticles.com Basic PLUS Author
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