Since 2004, the Fort La Tour site has been accessible by pedestrians and has been promoted as a destination along the trail. A parking lot and bus drop-off has been constructed on Fort La Tour Street to facilitate easy access to Harbour Passage. A children’s harbour interpretation center is located only a few short steps from the Fort La Tour site where families can play and learn about the harbour animals.
Between the children’s area and the Fort La Tour site cultural and artistic pieces are on permanent display, including a granite sculpture titled “Window on the Waterfront” created during the International Sculpture Symposium by Hitoshi Tanaka. Other art in the nearby area includes a clay and bronze monument titled “Shards of Time” by Peter Powning, a modern piece depicting the historic shipping of limestone, and tall wooden sculptures of historic figures such as Lady La Tour.
Fort La Tour is recognized as a vital heritage attraction and is one of several key sites around the harbor – yet only a mound and a few logs commemorate this important historic period for New Brunswick and Canada. Any development proposed for Fort La Tour must recognize the demand for authentic heritage attractions balanced with the demand for public green space on the waterfront – Fort La Tour offers both.
Parks Canada use Commemorative Integrity Statements (CIS) as a way to set benchmarks for managing a site as a cultural resource of national significance. The CIS for this site was prepared in consultation with the FLDA. This is the first step toward identifying the appropriate interpretation messages of national significance. The three primary messages defined in the CIS are:
- Fort La Tour is of national historic significance because “it was built by Charles de Saint-Itienne de La Tour, governor of Acadia, in 1631”;
- Fort La Tour is of national historic significance because “it was one of the earliest centres of the French fur trade with the region’s Aboriginal peoples”;
- Fort La Tour is of national historic significance “because of the heroic but unsuccessful defence by François-Marie Jacquelin, Sieur de La Tour’s wife, against an attack by de La Tour’s rival, Charles de Menou d’Aulnay”.