The oldest surviving buildings in Canada date back centuries, with many still standing from nearly 500 years ago.
With early colonial settlers making their way to different parts of the country at different times, each province and territory has its longest-standing buildings spanning many decades.
Quebec, for example, is home to a laundry list of buildings from the 1600s and is the only province to have surviving buildings from that century. Meanwhile, the less populous northern territories with their harsher climates have relatively newer historic buildings.
Below are the oldest buildings still standing in each province and territory in Canada.
Quebec – Maison des Jésuites-de-Sillery (1637)
Quebec City, QC
Quebec is home to dozens of the oldest buildings in Canada, but the Maison des Jésuites-de-Sillery is the oldest in the entire country. It was part of the first establishment built in New France by the Jesuits, who were on a mission to evangelize the indigenous population.
Nova Scotia: Fort Anne (1702)
Annapolis Royal, NS
Originally built to protect the harbour of Annapolis Royal during King George’s War, the fort is now home to a museum where you can learn about the history of the area.
Ontario: Peter Secord House (1782)
American loyalist Peter Secord (whose nephew married the iconic Laura Secord) built this little stone home for his family in the late 1700s. American troops set fire to the neighbourhood in 1814 but this house somehow survived. More recently it was converted into a two-room bed and breakfast but has since closed.
Manitoba: Prince of Wales Fort (1731)
Built Right on Hudson Bay, there was originally a log fort built here in 1717 that was later replaced with the stone fort that stands there today. The walls are six metres tall and nine metres thick, with 42 cannons mounted on them.
Newfoundland and Labrador: Anderson House (1805)
St. John’s, NL
This wooden two-and-a-half-storey building was constructed for military sergeant James Anderson. Then just 10 years later, it became a military barracks for local officers. It’s changed hands many times since then before becoming the private commercial space that it is today.
Saskatchewan: Holy Trinity Anglican Church (1854)
Stanley Mission, SK
This church was constructed over several years by local Cree workers who built it out of locally cut lumber. Not only is the church itself the oldest building in Saskatchewan, but it even has some of its original locks, hinges, and stained glass.
Yukon: Fort Selkirk Schoolhouse (1892)
Fort Selkirk, YT
Fort Selkirk is a former trading post sat on the Yukon River, and its schoolhouse is the oldest building in the province. It’s a bit tricky to access today as there aren’t any roads, but you can get there by boat or plane.
Northwest Territories: Church of Our Lady of Good Hope (1865)
This cozy little church above the Mackenzie River, in addition to being known for its age, is most recognized for the gothic paintings that cover the inside.
New Brunswick: Treitz Haus (1769)
The eastern portion of this building dates back to 1769, with an addition constructed in the 1820s. It’s assumed that settler, Jacob Treitz, built and occupied the structure.
British Columbia: Fort Langley Storehouse (1840s)
Fort Langley, BC
A former fur trading post of the Hudson’s Bay Company, there’s only one surviving building from the original fort — a storehouse that was reopened as a museum in 1931. Other structures from the original fort have since been reconstructed.
Alberta: Father Lacombe Chapel (1861)
St. Albert, AB
Alberta’s oldest surviving building is this little chapel built by the Métis community for the St. Albert Roman Catholic Mission and became the centre of a French-speaking Metis settlement in St. Albert.
Nunavut: Fort Conger (1881)
Ellesmere Island, NU
Fort Conger was originally built as an Arctic exploration camp on the northern shore of Lady Franklin Bay. Today, just a few of the wooden huts built during the Peary Expedition remain standing.
Prince Edward Island: The Doucet House (1768)
Not only is this the oldest building in the smallest province, but it’s a great example of Acadian construction. It was built by local Acadians and initially served as a centre for religious life.