March 4, 2022
The Fort de Beaumont, a unique fortified site situated on the South shore of the Saint-Lawrence River, was erected during the First World War to protect Québec City’s strategic harbor against German naval attacks. As a rare witness of the FirstWorld War on Canada’s soil, it tells the uncommon tale of a conflict that was not thought of as exclusively confined to distant lands in Europe.
Following months of discussion and regional mobilization, that culminated in the filing of an official request for heritage classification by The Vimy Foundation, the Government of Québec announced, on February 25th, the signature of a notice of intent to classify the Fort de Beaumont under the “Loi sur le patrimoine culturel”. This is the first step to permanently protecting the Fort de Beaumont as a provincial heritage site.
‘We are very grateful to Minister Roy and her team for their decisive action in protecting this important piece of Quebec’s military heritage. The preservation of utilitarian and purpose built sites, like the Fort de Beaumont, that don’t fit the traditional model of a heritage building remains a unique challenge for cities and interested groups. The Fort de Beaumont shows not only the presence of infrastructure built specially for the First World War in Canada, but demonstrates the strategic importance of Québec City and the Saint Lawrence River at that time’, says Vimy Foundation Executive Director Caitlin Bailey.
The Vimy Foundation warmly congratulates and thanks Le Groupe d’initiatives et de recherches appliquées au milieu (GIRAM), who were critical in raising awareness of the danger to the Fort, and locally led the struggle to save it. The Foundation is also grateful for their support and that of the town of Beaumont in finding solutions to the initial proposed demolition of the site.
Photo: Gaston Cadrin, 2018