Library and Archives Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional links

Photograph of a rocky beach with four buildings and a cross in the background

Source

View of the second, third and first-class hotels next to the wash house and the Celtic cross, 2007

ARCHIVED - In Quarantine:
Life and Death on Grosse Île, 1832-1937

Archived Content

This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.

Banner: Black and white photo collage of a young woman wearing a white blouse, two men with moustaches and suits, two women, and a stone Celtic cross

Grosse Île Today

Grosse Île is now a historic site commemorating the quarantine station. Managed by Parks Canada, Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site gives visitors many opportunities to explore the rich history of the immigrants, doctors and many other people who lived on the island.

After arriving at the dock, visitors can enter the disinfection building, just as the immigrants did so long ago. Restored in 1997, the building houses a multimedia presentation highlighting major events in the station's history. The original steam disinfection apparatus, showers and waiting rooms, as well as the actors in period costume, illustrate the disinfection process that immigrants had to undergo as of 1893.

A trolley takes visitors to the village and the hospital sector. Other facilities open to the public include the Lazaretto, built in 1847, where smallpox sufferers were treated, the Catholic chapel, and a display on modes of transportation.

A trail in the west sector leads to the Celtic cross, erected in 1909 to commemorate the Irish immigrants who died of typhus in 1847. The view from the cross, the highest point on the island, is magnificent. At the foot of the hill is the cemetery, established in 1832, and the Memorial, dedicated to the immigrants and employees buried at the quarantine station. The names of the people who perished on the island are engraved in this place of calm, peace and meditation. Visitors can learn more about this sector by taking a free tour offered by Parks Canada guides.

There are some 40 buildings still standing on the island, and many have been restored. Facilities include a cafeteria, a souvenir boutique and an exhibition featuring some of the artifacts discovered during archaeological digs.

Private ferries serve Grosse Île from May to October. Departures are from Québec, Lévis, Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, Île d'Orléans and Berthier-sur-Mer.

For more information, please visit the Parks Canada website at:
www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/qc/grosseile/index_e.asp.