Ile d’Orleans

Ile d’Orleans in Quebec is on the 2019 Top 10 Endangered Places List.

Published with permission from the National Trust for Canada

June 18, 2019

Location

Ile d’Orleans, Quebec

Why it matters

The important cultural landscape of Ile d’Orleans was designated as a historic district in 1970 to recognize its rich social, cultural and architectural heritage that has been called the cradle of French culture in North America.

The landscape still bears the physical imprint of the first families that settled the island in the 17th century and that went on to populate large sections of the new country.

Farm properties retain the characteristic form of the seigneurial system and the ever-present relationship with the St-Lawrence infuses the built environment.

Why it’s endangered

Despite its designation as an historic district, the cumulative impact of new developments on the Island — including a new luxury camping enterprise — is undermining conservation efforts.

Equally worrisome is the controversial project to build a “third link” between the two shores of the St-Lawrence.

This major project is being fast-tracked through the political process without a clear confirmation of the need or the most suitable location for the proposed new bridge.

In order to avoid putting at risk an extremely significant Quebec cultural landscape, provincial government leadership is required to establish a sustainable balance of conservation objectives and economic development.

This article is also available in French.

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Every year, the National Trust publishes its Top 10 Endangered Places List as part of its mission to raise awareness of the value that historic places bring to quality of life, local identity and cultural vitality.

The Top 10 Endangered Places List is compiled from nominations received as well as from reports and news items the National Trust has been following throughout the year. First published in 2005, the Top 10 Endangered Places List has become a powerful tool in the fight to make landmarks, not landfill.

The National Trust believes that historic places are cornerstones of identity, community and sense of place, yet every year, more are lost due to neglect, lack of funding, inappropriate development and weak legislation. By shining a spotlight on places at risk, the Top 10 Endangered Places List raises awareness about their plight and bolsters the efforts of local advocates working to save them.

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