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Pointe au Baril National Historic Site of Canada

20m on north side of Highway 2 (between 1284 and 1286), Maitland, Ontario, K0E, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1923/05/25

Cairn, Pointe au Baril National Historic Site of Canada; Bryan Horton, Historical Services Branch, Parks Canada, August 2009
General view of the HSMBC cairn and plaque
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Other Name(s)

Pointe au Baril National Historic Site of Canada
Pointe au Baril
Pointe au Baril

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1758/01/01 to 1759/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2014/10/08

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Pointe au Baril National Historic Site of Canada is located on the northern shore of the St. Lawrence River, near the village of Maitland, Ontario. This small 18th-century shipyard, of which there are no visible remains, was the site of the construction and launching of the French naval vessels, Iroquoise and Outaouaise, the last war-ships constructed by the French on the Great Lakes. The shipyard was constructed alongside a star-shaped fort that enclosed barracks, ships’ stocks, and workshops. Both the shipyard and the fort were abandoned and destroyed in 1760. Official recognition refers to the designated irregular polygon.

Heritage Value

Pointe au Baril was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1923 because:
- the barques “Iroquoise” and “Outaouaise,” the last French ships of war that navigated Lake Ontario, were built on this point.

The Pointe au Baril shipyard was constructed by the French in the fall of 1758, during the Seven Years War. Earlier that year, Fort Frontenac and the entire French fleet on Lake Ontario had been destroyed by Lieutenant-Colonel John Broadstreet’s British forces, thus taking naval control of the lake from the French. In an attempt to regain control of Lake Ontario, the French constructed a fort and shipyard at Pointe au Baril from which they could launch a new naval force. A large French force arrived at the fort in 1759 and, under the command of Captain Pierre Pouchot, completed and launched the barques Iroquoise and Outaouaise. However, by the summer of that year, it had become evident to the French that Pointe au Baril was indefensible and they subsequently destroyed the installations and retreated to nearby Galop Island and built Fort Lévis.

Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, May 1925; August 2009

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements contributing to the heritage value of this site include:

- its location on the northern shore of the St. Lawrence River, in Maitland, Ontario;
- its semi-urban setting that includes the grassed area surrounded by a small iron picket fence where
the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque and cairn commemorating the site are
- its geographic relationship with Lake Ontario, attesting to its naval use;
- the integrity of any surviving or as yet unidentified archeological remains relating to the original
shipyard and its activities, which may be found within the site in their original placement and
- the viewscapes between the site and 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)

1758/01/01 to 1760/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Military and Defence

Function - Category and Type



Military Support
Dock or Dry Dock

Architect / Designer



Captain Pierre Pouchot

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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