Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site


Grosse Île was a major quarantine station for immigrants arriving from Europe from 1832 to 1937. Knowledgeable guides explain the tragic histories lived out on the island as you visit the disinfecting chambers, hospital and immigrants' living quarters. A 14.5m Celtic cross, the world's tallest, commemorates the 76,000 Irish immigrants wiped out by an 1847 typhus epidemic, and in the memorial cemetery, which holds the remains of 7500 people, a sobering glass sculpture lists names of those who perished.

Boat tour operators set departure times and prices, which average around $70 for a six-hour excursion. On the island, you can choose from several Parks Canada tours with different themes, depending on the season, from Irish heritage, to Canadian immigration, to the prevailing medical theories and developments of the era.

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