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  Researching the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
  Recherche sur la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg Lieu historique national du Canada

Parks Canada ~ Parcs Canada
Cape Breton ~ Le Cap-Breton

 Yvon LeBlanc - Louisbourg 1744

CANSO ISLANDS NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE AND GRASSY ISLAND FORT NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE OF CANADA (N.S.)

THIS RESEARCH AND GENEALOGICAL WEBSITE WAS ARCHIVED IN 2010

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Get to know Grassy Island, the economic centre of Nova Scotia more than 200 years ago, at a time when dried fish were plentiful, merchants ruled the seas and soldiers waged losing battles. Learn about the Island's vulnerability to military attack. And see what prompted Grassy Island's sudden destruction in the spring of 1744.

Location and Directions

Grassy Island lies in the Atlantic Ocean 0.5km (0.3 mi.) off the Canso waterfront. The Visitor Reception Centre is located in the Town of Canso, on the waterfront off Union Street.

If you're driving from Antigonish, take TransCanada Highway 104 to Exit 37 (Monastery). Follow Route 16 along Chedabucto Bay to Canso. Driving time is 90 minutes. Or take TransCanada Highway 104 to Exit 40 (Aulds Cove) and follow scenic Route 344 past the Strait of Canso to Route 16. Driving time is two hours. From Sherbrooke, take Route 211 to coastal Route 316, then follow Route 16 to Canso. Driving time is two hours.

Recommended Visiting Time

Allow 30 minutes to explore the Visitor Reception Centre. Plan slightly more than one hour to visit Grassy Island: 15 minutes each way by boat and about half an hour to hike the self-guiding trail.

How to Make the Most of Your Visit

See a video, models, maps, illustrations, photographic displays  and exhibits that tell the story of Grassy Island and of the people who lived and worked there. Get to know a few of Grassy Island's colourful characters. Three life-size dioramas depict scenes from daily life in 1743. Nearby cases display related items and hold one of Atlantic Canada's best collections of 18th-century artifacts. See a scale model of Grassy Island before the attack of 1744.  Watch Grassy Island: The forgotten Settlement, a nine-minute video on the history of the Island. For adventure, take a short boat ride to the Island and picnic near the wharf. Hike the interpretive trail around the island to eight designated sites. Read the self-guiding trail pamphlet, Island Tour Guide, for descriptions that correspond to the numbers posted along the trail. The dirt trail is clearly marked; plan to wear hiking boots or sturdy walking shoes.

Camping

Camping and campfires are not permitted on Grassy Island.

Conveniences

Ample free parking is available in front of the Visitor Reception Centre. Public washrooms and a public telephone are available in the Visitor Reception Centre. Washrooms are wheelchair accessible. Two pit privies are available on Grassy Island.

Services for Visitors with Disabilities

The Visitor Reception Centre is wheelchair accessible. The video presentation is captioned. The interpretive trail is wheelchair accessible under most conditions, but assistance is necessary.

Pets

Guide dogs and hearing ear dogs are permitted in the visitor Reception Centre. 

Pets must not interfere with the enjoyment and safety of other visitors.

Local Services

Canso is a traditional, Nova Scotia fishing town.

For more information

mailto.jpg (1557 bytes)
(louisbourg.info@pc.gc.ca)

CANSO ISLAND AND GRASSY ISLAND FORT 
NATIONAL HISTORIC SITES OF CANADA (N.S.)
c/o Alexander Graham Bell 
National Historic Site of Canada
P.O. Box 159
Baddeck, Nova Scotia
B0E 1B0
Year round:(902) 295-2069