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Ontario, Ottawa Make $2.8 million Investment in Penetanguishene Park

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Celebrating Samuel de Champlain’s first trip to the Penetanguishene area in 1615, part of commemorating 400 years of French presence in Ontario Penetanguishene-20150515-00709

May 15, 2015 – Penetanguishene, Ontario

Bruce Stanton, Member of Parliament (Simcoe North), on behalf of the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, joined the Honourable Madeleine Meilleur, Ontario Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs, to announce a joint $2.8‑million investment in Penetanguishene Park, on the shores of Lake Huron in Georgian Bay.

Mr. Stanton and Minister Meilleur were joined by Gerry Marshall, Mayor of Penetanguishene, for an official ground‑breaking, signalling the start of the project. The project includes the redevelopment of areas for cultural activities, historical interpretation, trails, and monuments.Penetanguishene-20150515-00712 (2)

The Department of Canadian Heritage is investing $900,000 under the Canada–Ontario Agreement on French Language Services and $500,000 as part of its Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program’s Legacy Fund. The Government of Ontario is investing $1.4 million as part of the Commemoration of 400 years of French Presence in Ontario. This investment will help promote Ontario’s French history and support 16 new sculptures that recognize the contribution of the Huron-Wendat Nation to local and regional history.

Quick Facts

  • 2015 marks 400 years since Samuel de Champlain landed in Ontario (on Aug. 1, 1615).
  • The Town of Penetanguishene is where Samuel de Champlain first came in contact with the Huron-Wendat Nation. This French-speaking community has a unique culture and long history.
  • More than 600,000 Francophones live in Ontario, making it the largest French-speaking community outside Quebec.
  • The tourism industry in Ontario generates more than $28 billion in economic activity and is responsible for over 359,000 direct and indirect jobs in the province.
  • As part of the project, work along Main Street will be carried out in six phases, lasting until 2017.
  • Through its Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013–2018, the Government of Canada supports the development of official language minority communities in every province and territory in the country.


“French and English are key aspects of our history, our identity, and our future. They are part of what unites us. They help us live together and prosper together. This project perfectly illustrates this vision and these values.”

  • The Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages


    • “This major project will have a significant impact on the Penetanguishene community. In addition to providing a unique window into its culture and rich history, it will help promote tourism and bolster business opportunities.”
  • Bruce Stanton, Member of Parliament (Simcoe North)


    • “I am thrilled to celebrate the launch of this unique project commemorating 400 years of French presence in Ontario. Penetanguishene and the southern Georgian Bay region are very important to our province’s history, and the new park will help showcase the importance of French and Wendat culture to visitors. It will also be a wonderful gathering space for the community for generations to come.”
  • Madeleine Meilleur, Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs


    • “The Town of Penetanguishene is honoured to be involved in commemorating 400 years of French history in Ontario. Thanks to federal and provincial funding, we will be able to enhance our waterfront parkland and create a legacy park where residents and tourists can also learn about our province’s rich history and experience the site of where Champlain once lived.”
  • Gerry Marshall, Mayor, Town of Penetanguishene


  • Associated Links

Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage

Development of Official-Language Communities Program

400 Years of French Presence in Ontario

Overview of official commemorations for 400 years of French presence in Ontario


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