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National Parks - Parks Canada


National parks are established to protect and present outstanding representative examples of natural landscapes and natural phenomena that occur in Canada's 39 natural regions, as identified in the National Parks System Plan. These wild places, located in every province and territory, range from mountains and plains, to boreal forests and tundra, to lakes and glaciers, and much more. National parks protect the habitats, wildlife and ecosystem diversity representative of - and sometime unique to - the natural regions.


National parks are located on the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic coasts, across the interior mountains and plains and Great Lakes, reaching as far north and south as Canada goes. They range in size from just under 9 km2 to almost 45,000 km2Parks Canada is responsible for both protecting the ecosystems of these magnificent natural areas and managing them for visitors to understand, appreciate, and enjoy in a way that doesn't compromise their integrity.


Parks Canada is working to maintain or restore the ecological integrity of national parks. This means keeping ecosystems healthy and whole. Maintaining or restoring ecological integrity is a challenging task that involves a good understanding of the dynamic nature of ecosystems and the stresses they face. It also requires collaboration among people whose actions influence the ecosystems and their sustainability - from neighbouring landowners and businesses, to local residents, visitors and governments. The above reflect the principles of ecosystem management.

Source: Parks Canada’s website.



Sable Island National Park Proposal

On May 18, 2010, the Honourable Jim Prentice, Canada’s Environment Minister and Minister Responsible for Parks Canada, and the Honourable John MacDonell, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Natural Resources, announced that the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia will take the necessary steps to explore how Sable Island could be designated as a national park under the Canada National Parks Act for the benefit of future generations.

Historic Sites - Parks Canada

Canada commemorates persons and events for their national historic significance as well as places. So far, over 1500 places, persons and events have been commemorated by the Government of Canada. And the list keeps growing as Canada's history unfolds.


Together, all these commemorations make up what is known as the system of National Historic Sites of Canada. In each generation the system has evolved with this nation's changing view of itself. Today there is a greater interest in social history reflecting the achievements and experiences of everyday Canadians.


The national historic sites system covers the entire range of Canadian human history under five broad themes:

  • Peopling the Land
  • Governing Canada
  • Developing Economies
  • Building Social and Community Life
  • Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life

National historic sites represent thousands of years of human history and hundreds of years of nation building. Yet centuries, and millennia, can take their toll - from erosion and decay, to lack of awareness, to abandonment - on diverse cultural resources that include shell middens, underwater shipwrecks, fort remains, historic buildings, industrial complexes, heritage canals, and more.


An important part of Parks Canada's mandate involves protecting the health and wholeness, or commemorative integrity, of the national historic sites it operates. This means preserving the site's cultural resources, communicating its heritage values and national significance, and kindling the respect of people whose decisions and actions affect the site.

Source: Parks Canada’s website.



Heritage Lighthouses of Canada

In May of 2008, Canada adopted a new law that will protect heritage lighthouses, the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act . It came into force on May 29, 2010. Given its expertise in heritage conservation, Parks Canada was assigned responsibility for the implementation of the Act.


To ensure the protection and conservation of heritage lighthouses, the Act:

  • Provides for the selection and designation of heritage lighthouses;
  • Prevents the unauthorized alteration or disposition of heritage lighthouses;
  • Requires that heritage lighthouses be reasonably maintained; and
  • Facilitates sales or transfers of heritage lighthouses in order to ensure the lighthouse’s public purpose

Source: Parks Canada’s website.

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