Protecting Fort Anne – One of Canada’s First Parks

By Vasanthi Pendakur

Fort Anne National Historic Site in Annapolis Royal sits at the edge of the Annapolis and Allain Rivers in Nova Scotia. The park, established 100 years ago, is Canada’s first federally administered national historic site (Fort Howe in New Brunswick is the first historic site). This designation is thanks to the efforts of Annapolis Royal residents to protect the fort for future generations and the desire of the federal Parks Branch to create national parks.

Black-and-white photograph of a stone archway and the view through it showing a large fenced building in the background with land in front. A woman and five children are pictured in the centre, seated on the ground.

View of arch connecting outside works of Fort Anne, Annapolis, N.S. with magazine and showing Officers’ Quarters in the distance (MIKAN 3305260)

Fort Anne is significant for its role in the French and British wars during the early settlement of Europeans. Both the French and the British gained control over the land at different times before the French built their fort at Port Royal in 1702. Pierre-Paul de Labat, an engineer and lieutenant in the French navy, designed the fort located at the edge of the Annapolis and Allain Rivers.

A map showing the location and shape of the Annapolis Royal area.

A general plan of Annapolis Royal surveyed by Capt. John Hamilton in 1753 (MIKAN 4128803)

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Images of national parks now on Flickr

Canada’s national parks are protected areas established under federal legislation to preserve Canada’s natural heritage for public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment. The parks are maintained for future generations and have existed in Canada for well over a century.