There’s no better time than now to explore some of Canada’s most scenic and historical landmarks, join in the free celebrations honouring our country’s big birthday, and spend some quality time with the family. Thanks to Parks Canada, you can enjoy free admission to all national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas across the country with the 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass, celebrating Canada’s 150th as well as the 100th anniversary of Canada’s National Historic Sites.
In addition to the free entry, Parks Canada will host tons of family-friendly events on July 1. All national parks will celebrate Canada Day with free entertainment, historical re-enactments, cake tastings, specialty teas and more. National parks and historic sites near Montreal include Sir George-Etienne Cartier, the Battle of Châteauguay, Coteau-du-lac, and Sir Wilfred Laurier.
On July 1, the Sir George-Etienne Cartier National Historic Site will introduce a new exhibit called “Imagine a Country.” The exhibit asks visitors to dream up ways they can improve their country. A giant whiteboard at the end of the exhibit will invite visitors to complete sentences like, “In my ideal country…” before snapping photos in the nearby photo booths.
Families can partake in the free Xplorers Program, available at every site. Children are given activity booklets that challenge them to find artifacts and solve puzzles. Upon completion, they will receive small souvenirs from Parks Canada. The program differs from site to site. At the Battle of Châteauguay National Historic Site, in a challenge that resembles a game of Clue, children are asked to find a room, character and object. At the Coteau-du-lac National Historic Site, children must hunt for four hidden stamps to earn their prize.
In addition to the Xplorers Program, each site has a Family Corner with toys, games and books for children to play with.
On July 8 and 9, Parks Canada will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Canada’s National Historic Sites with family picnics at the Coteau-du-lac and Battle of Châteauguay sites, gardening workshops that will demonstrate how vegetables were grown in the 18th and 19th centuries at the Sir Wilfred Laurier National Historic Site, and chocolate tasting at the Sir George-Etienne Cartier site.
On Aug. 13, the Sir Wilfred Laurier site will host a village festival, where families can enjoy live music, historical re-enactments and campfires, while the Battle of Châteauguay site will honour the Canadian military with kid-friendly demonstrations on Aug. 27.
You can download the 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass online or have it delivered free of charge. Passes will also be available at the entrance of each location.
While admission is free, regular charges still apply for activities like camping, mooring, and guided tours.
Visitors are encouraged to plan their trip ahead of time through the Parks Canada website. For more information, visit www.pc.gc.ca.