Emerald Heritage | 5 Irish Canadian Landmarks
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Ireland Park Sculpture

5 Irish Canadian Landmarks

Much like with the United States of America, the Irish have always had a strong bond with those across the water in Canada. From early settlements in Newfoundland to the great swathes of immigrants as a result of the famine, up to 14% of Canada’s population today is descendant from the Irish. 

We thought we would take a look at the lasting legacy and explore five major Irish landmarks in Canada today. 

Ireland Park Sculptures

Ireland Park Sculpture

In Ireland Park, Toronto, there stand five bronze statues created by Rowan Gillespie. The statues compliment his work in Dublin and are there to honor the plight of the thousands of Irish who made the harsh journey across the Atlantic as a result of the Famine.

The figures depict a mixture of struggle and hope for a new life in the new world. Gillespie wanted to convey the “concept of the new life in a new land” whilst also acknowledging the sacrifices made to get there.

Grosse Isle

Much like Ellis Island in New York, USA, Grosse Isle represents the beginning of a new life in Canada for many of the 500,000 Irish said to pass through before, after and during the Famine.

A visit here will let you experience a small part of the immigrant’s journey including seeing quarantine stations, chapels used by the Irish and memorials to those who couldn’t make it further. 



Tilting, Newfoundland and Labrador, was first settled by the French, and then English, before becoming an exclusively Irish enclave from 1752 onwards. Thomas Burke, a County Waterford native, was the first Irishman to arrive in Tilting and the area still retains its historic appearance and is a National Historic Site of Canada. 

Saint Patrick’s Basilica

Saint Patrick’s Basilica, Montreal, was built in 1847 by Irish immigrants to service the growing Irish population in the surrounding area. The Gothic style is still retained today and you can celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day here every year with a special “Green Mass”.

Basilica of Saint John The Baptist

The Basilica of Saint John The Baptist in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, is a testament to the Irish work ethic taking 21 years to complete, from initial plans to finish, before being consecrated in 1855. 

The Basilica, now a National Historic Landmark, was the largest Catholic cathedral outside of Ireland at the time of building and included imported limestone and granite from Galway and Dublin. 


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