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Fort McLeod National Historic Site of Canada

McLeod Lake, British Columbia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1953/05/26

General view of Fort McLeod National Historic Site of Canada, 1879.; George M. Dawson / Library and Archives Canada | Bibliothèque et Archives Canada / PA-051135
General view of Fort McLeod.
Side view of Fort McLeod National Historic Site of Canada, showing a Hudson's Bay Company post, 1929.; Department of Mines and Technical Surveys, Natural Resources Canada | ministère des Mines et des Relevés Technique, Ressources naturelles Canada, 1929
Side view of a post at Fort McLeod.
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Other Name(s)

Fort McLeod National Historic Site of Canada
Fort McLeod
Fort McLeod
McLeod Lake
Lac McLeod
Trout Lake Post
Poste Lac Trout
McLeod's Lake
Lac de McLeod

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/04/13

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Fort McLeod National Historic Site of Canada is located on the west bank of Pack River at the north end of McLeod Lake, British Columbia. The site, set in the provincial heritage site, Fort McLeod Historic Park, consists of a workshop, a house, and a warehouse, which are situated within the fenced area of the fort. The small wooden buildings are topped with gable roof, and are simply constructed. Official recognition refers to the fenced area around the fort at the time of designation.

Heritage Value

Fort McLeod was designated as a National Historic Site of Canada because:
- founded in 1805, it was the site of the first fur-trading post built by the North West Company west of the Rocky Mountains.

By the early 19th century, the fur trade was expanding westward over the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, and the North West Company found itself increasingly threatened by the Hudson’s Bay Company and American fur traders. As a result, in 1805, Simon Fraser of the North West Company led an expedition westward from Fort William on Lake Superior to secure the fur trade for the company on the west side of the Rocky Mountains. This newly discovered area was named New Caledonia.

Fraser sent a group of men up the Pack River to build a stockaded log fort at Trout Lake, which was later named Fort McLeod in honour of Archibald Norman, a senior North West Company partner. Fort McLeod became the base of the company’s fur trading operations in New Caledonia, and was the only liaison between the two sides of the Rocky Mountains for two decades. After the amalgamation of the North West and Hudson’s Bay companies in 1821, the fort remained an active trading post into the 20th century.

Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, 1953, 1954, 1977, 2009.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that contribute to the heritage character of the site include:
- its location on the west bank of the Pack River at the north end of McLeod Lake, British Columbia;
- the small, rectangular massing of the buildings, clad with wood siding and topped with gable roof;
- the simple, unadorned façades, pierced with multiple windows;
- the integrity of any surviving or as yet unidentified archaeological remains which may be found within the site in their original placement and extent;
- viewscapes from the site across Pack River.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1805/01/01 to 1821/01/01
1805/01/01 to 1826/01/01
1821/01/01 to 1935/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type



Commerce / Commercial Services
Trading Post

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Indigenous Affairs and Cultural Heritage Directorate Documentation Centre 3rd Floor, room 366 30 Victoria Street Gatineau, Québec J8X 0B3

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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