Still planning on doing some travelling this
summer? Canada is home to multiple sites that
have been recognized by the United Nations as
having cultural, scientific or environmental
significance, also known as UNESCO World
Heritage sites. Here are just a few that might be
worth adding to your itinerary - or your travel
L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site
One of the earliest named
sites in Canada (1978) this
Newfoundland & Labrador
landmark serves as evidence
of the first European presence
in North America. L’Anse aux
Meadows is the first and only
known site established by
Vikings in North America and
contains the excavated
remains of an 11th century Viking settlement. It is a unique
milestone in the history of human migration and discovery.
Red Bay Basque Whaling Station
The newest-named (2013) site in Canada is located at the
northeastern tip of the country on the shore of the Strait of
Belle Isle. This archaeological site offers a glimpse of the
European whaling tradition in North America. The station was
founded in the 1530s and used as base for coastal hunting,
butchering, whale oil production and storage. Red
Bay is also a National Historic Site in Canada, and
offers a variety of activities and experiences for
Nahanni National Park
The park became the first
UNESCO site in 1978, but was
named as a national park in 1976.
It encompasses 30,000 square
kilometers and features
mountains, rivers and rock.
Visitors must access the park via
air, or hike in - there are no roads
in the park. Located in the Northwest Territories, the park is
about halfway between Yellowknife, and Whitehorse in the
The canal, right here in Ontario, was not named as a
UNESCO site until 2007, almost 200 years after it was opened.
The canal stretches 202 kilometres, and originally served a
military purpose. Later, its commercial use became important,
and today it is primarily a recreational destination.
The canal locks operate from mid-May to mid-October,
and serve as a waterway along some of the most historic and
scenic geography in eastern Ontario. During the winter
months, when and if the water is safely frozen, the canal is
open for ice skating, earning it the designation of the “Longest
Outdoor Skating Rink” in the world.
Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi
Writing-on-Stone in southern Alberta is not yet a UNESCO
site, but it was submitted for consideration by Parks Canada in
2014. Its sandstone cliffs, badlands and hoodoo formations
form an ancient sacred place and are the home of more than
138 rock art localities that record the "writings" of the spirits.
For at least 4,000 years, Indigenous people have stopped here
in the course of their seasonal round to pray, perform
ceremonies and consult the rock art. Blackfoot traditional
knowledge describes the origins, history, and continuing use
of this sacred place.