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Fort Laprairie National Historic Site of Canada

La Prairie, Quebec, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1921/01/30

General view of the Fort Laprairie and the Historical Sites and Monument Board plaque showing its strategic siting on the western bank of the St. Lawrence River, 2010.; Google, 2010.
General view
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Other Name(s)

Fort Laprairie National Historic Site of Canada
Fort Laprairie
Fort Laprairie
Fort Laprairie

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1687/01/01 to 1689/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/08/23

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Fort Laprairie National Historic Site of Canada is located on the western bank of the St. Lawrence River in La Prairie, Quebec. The site consists of a 17th-century French Regime fort, of which there are no visible remains. Constructed in 1687, Fort Laprairie and its palisade, which enclosed some of the village buildings, served as a defensive outpost and as a refuge for settlers until 1713. The trapezoid shape of the fort influenced the formation and layout of lots and roads in what is now a residential area. Official recognition refers to the footprint of the fort at the time of designation.

Heritage Value

Fort Laprairie was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1920 because:
- from 1687 to 1713, Fort Laprairie served as a refuge for settlers and a defensive outpost for Montréal.

Fort Laprairie was designed in 1687 by Robert de Villeneuve and built the same year by Gédéon de Catalogne, both official engineers of the French colonial troops. The fort served as a defensive outpost for Montréal during the War of the Grand Alliance and the War of the Spanish Succession. From 1687 until the Peace of Utrecht in 1713, the fort was continuously garrisoned settlers took refuge inside the palisade on several occasions. For example, in August 1691, during the First Battle of Laprairie, the French defended the fort from an attack by New England Militia troops. The fort is reputed to have saved the lives of its occupants during this encounter. After withstanding numerous attacks by the English militia and the Iroquois, Fort Laprairie was largely destroyed when the Americans retreated following the Invasion of Canada in 1775.

Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, February 2010; Plaque Text, June 1980.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that contribute to the heritage character of the site include:
- its location in La Prairie, near Montreal;
- its strategic siting on the western bank of the St. Lawrence River;
- its trapezoid shape, which influenced the formation and layout of lots and roads in the area;
- any archaeological remains related to the palisade;
- the integrity of any surviving or as yet unidentified archaeological remains, which may be found within the site in their original placement and extent relating to the site’s use as a fort during the period from 1687 to 1775;
- viewscapes overlooking the St. Lawrence 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)

1705/01/01 to 1705/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land
Governing Canada
Military and Defence

Function - Category and Type



Military Defence Installation

Architect / Designer

Robert de Villeneuve


Gédéon de Catalogne

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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