York Factory and Wapusk National Park receiving $2 million worth of upgrades

About one-third of $6.5 million in funding for national parks in Manitoba this year is going to a pair of parks in the province’s north, the federal government announced May 26.

Parks Canada will spend $1.1 million on the York Factory National Historic Site on the shores of Hudson Bay and about $891,000 on buildings in Churchill.

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“Through investments like this, the government of Canada is protecting and preserving our treasured places, while supporting local economies, contributing to growth in the tourism sector and enhancing the charm and attractiveness of Canada’s heritage sites,” said Liberal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna, the minister responsible for Parks Canada. “These investments give our past a future and will make a significant contribution to Parks Canada’s mission to protect and present these national treasures on behalf of all Canadians.”

Work at York Factory National Historic Site will include the replacement of bathroom fixtures, carpets, the hot water heaters and siding at the staff house, along with repairs to windows and painting of ceilings and doors. A renovated section of the staff house will replace the uninsulated archeologists’ hut to allow for occasional short-term winter occupancy. The library will also be decommissioned and safety upgrades made to the powder magazine. Other improvements will include replacement of tool and fuel shed, repairs to the dock and boat launch, and repairs and exterior painting of the depot building.

The Churchill Heritage Railway Station visitor centre and the Churchill multipurpose building and maintenance garage, part of Wapusk National Park, will have previously deferred work on mechanical and electrical systems, the building envelope, structural elements and interior areas completed. Building envelope repairs will also be done on the Broad River Cabin.

The remainder of the $6.5 million will be spent on the Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site in Winnipeg.

A Hudson’s Bay Company fur trading site from 1684 to 1957, York Factory served as the gateway to Canada’s interior and is an adventure travel destination for canoeists and fly-in visitors today. 

Wapusk National Park covers 11,475 square kilometres where the boreal forest ends and arctic tundra begins and is home to one of the largest polar bear maternity denning areas in the world, as well as being home to wildlife including arctic foxes, arctic hares, wolves, caribou, wolverines and more than 200 bird species.

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