If you live in Canada, you’re no stranger to beautiful rivers, lakes and forests rich with history, but only a select few are recognized and protected by UNESCO. 

Given to those who have been identified as a cultural and natural heritage site, an official designation is a huge step in preserving sites all over the world and to our delight, the island of Anticosti in Quebec was just presented a place on their list.

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Known to the Innu as Notiskuan which means “where bears are hunted” and to the Mi’kmaq community as Natogostec (“land of before”), this enchanting island is 9,200 square kilometres with an impressive coastline that spans over 550 kilometres – but that’s hardly why it was recognized.

Located in the Gulf of St. LawrenceQuebec, Anticosti is beloved not only for its waterfalls, shipwrecks, having the longest cave in the province and overall beauty – but also for having produced an exceptional collection of fossils.

“Anticosti represents one of the largest stratigraphic successions in thickness and the most complete fossil record of marine life of the period that spans more than 10 million years of Earth’s history between 447 and 437 million years ago,” Parks Canada explains.


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“The island’s exceptional paleontology continues to attract eminent Canadian, Quebec and international researchers who wish to study abundant, diverse, and well-preserved fossils.”

In a nutshell – this place is extraordinary and has played a major role in understanding Earth as we know it so it’s no surprise that they’ve been added to the growing catalogue of Canadian sites that were approved.

Of course, it takes a lot of patience!

In order to receive a designation, the country applying for it must first have signed the World Heritage Convention and submit a tentative roster. Of this list, only a few nomination profiles will be made and evaluated.


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As of now, just 22 sites which include Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta, Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland and Labrador and the Rideau Canal in Ontario (among others) have been chosen, but they’re just getting started!

It’ll only be a matter of time until we see more incredible sites recognized but until then, explore, learn and enjoy those that have already been named.

Canada is truly one beautiful place.

Anticosti Island, Quebec

Where: Minganie Regional County Municipality, QC, Canada