Government of Canada commemorates Canso Causeway as National Historic Site

    Engineering landmark of the 1950's proved possibility of deep-water

    PORT HASTINGS, NS, May 22 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Honourable Jim
Prentice, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister Responsible for Parks
Canada, the Honourable Michael L. MacDonald, Senator, today unveiled a
Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque commemorating the national
historic significance of the building of the Canso Causeway. The ceremony took
place at Port Hastings, Nova Scotia.
    "Today's commemoration will help Canadians appreciate and understand the
significance of the construction of the Canso Causeway in Canada's history,"
said Senator MacDonald. "This amazing engineering feat proved the possibility
of deep-water construction on a scale that was unheard of at the time."
    With rock foundations plunging 66 meters below the Strait of Canso, the
Canso Causeway was considered the world's deepest causeway in its time. More
than 10.16 million tons of rock were mined from the nearby Cape Porcupine
quarries and dumped into the strait. Faced with an extremely deep channel
along with strong tidal currents and severe ice conditions, engineers were
creative in their construction techniques. Canadians and engineers world-wide
watched the project with great interest.
    "Today, we recognize the physical, economic and symbolic connection the
building of the causeway made between Cape Breton Island and Canada," added
Minister Prentice. "However, we must not overlook the emotional significance
of this causeway. It doesn't matter where you live in Cape Breton, when you
are crossing the Canso Causeway, you know you are coming home."
    An unanticipated benefit of the establishment of the Canso Causeway was
the formation of a large ice-free port to its south. Here, in the protected
deep-water harbour, a super port was born, attracting national and
international industries including a pulp and paper mill, a gypsum plant, an
oil refinery and a heavy water plant.

    Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises
the Minister of the Environment about the national historic significance of
places, persons and events that have marked Canada's history. The placement of
a commemorative plaque represents an official recognition of their historic
value. It is one means of educating the public about the richness of our
culture heritage, which must be preserved for present and future generations.

    (Also available on the Internet at under Media Room.)

For further information:

For further information: Sharon Morrow, Marketing and Information,
Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, Parks Canada, (902) 295-2069

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