Discover the Oldest Buildings in Canada

Explore some of the most historically significant buildings in Canada, each with its unique story and legacy that predates the formation of the country. These remarkable locations offer a glimpse into the past, showcasing the rich heritage and enduring structures that have stood the test of time. It is hard to pinpoint an exact date for each building, as each site has a diverse history, unique to itself.

Fort Anne cannon
Canons at Fort Anne (1629)

Nova Scotia

Port Royal National Historic Site (1605 / 1930), Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia
The habitation building at Port Royal was built in 1605  and was destroyed by fire by raiders from Virginia in 1613. In the 1930s, it was meticulously reconstructed to match the original design, offering visitors a unique glimpse into early colonial life. Explore this site to experience an authentic recreation of a 17th-century French colony, complete with period furnishings and interpretive programs.

Fort Anne (1629 / 1702), Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

A fort was first constructed here by Scottish settlers on August 1, 1629. Although the fort has been rebuilt several times, with the current one dating from around 1702, the oldest building at Fort Anne dates from 1708. Explore this site to witness one of the oldest continuously occupied European constructions in Canada.

De Gannes-Cosby House (1690s / 1708 / 1900s), Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

The De Gannes-Cosby House is believed to be the oldest wooden house in Canada. The core of the house dates from 1708, with later additions up to the 1900s. Some small parts of the house date from the 1690s. Although not open to the public, this site is a National Historic Site of Canada and represents a significant historical architecture.

Adams-Ritchie House (mid 1600s / 1712 / 1990s), Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

Dating from around 1712, the Adams-Ritchie House has had later additions removed to reveal the original building. Visit to see a structure that may occupy the site of the former residence of the Governors of Acadia and Nova Scotia, dating from the mid-1600s.

Williams House (1715), Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

Constructed in 1715, this house remains largely unaltered since its original construction. Known as the former residence of Sir Fenwick Williams, it was moved from its original location in the late 1800s. The house is a private residence and not open to the public.

Fort Edward Blockhouse (1750), Windsor, Nova Scotia

Constructed in 1750 to protect the overland route between Nova Scotia’s former capital of Annapolis Royal and its new capital of Halifax, the blockhouse remains the oldest structure on the site. Visit to see the oldest fully original wooden building in its original location in Canada.

Quebec City
Quebec City, location of many of Canada's oldest buildings


Maison-de-Sillery (1637 / 1700s), Quebec City, Quebec

Although a building has been on this site since 1637, there have been at least two devastating fires, and the current structure dates from the early 1700s. Visit to experience a location with deep historical roots, reflecting centuries of resilience and architectural evolution.  

Maison Duc-du-Kent (1648 / 1700s), Quebec City, Quebec

While there has been a building on this site since 1648, the original house was largely destroyed, and the current building mostly dates from the 1700s. Visit to see a structure that incorporates parts of the original building, offering a unique window into the past. 

Maison Le Ber-Le Moyne (1669 / 1940s), Montreal, Quebec

Dating from 1669, the original house has been added to over the years, but later additions were removed in the 1940s to reveal the original building. Visit to experience what is considered the oldest building in Canada without alterations.  

Maison Rouge (1668), Château-Richer, Quebec

The majority of the current house dates from 1668, with some later additions. Although not open to the public, this site represents one of the oldest buildings still in private hands in Canada.  

Newfoundland & Labrador

L’Anse aux Meadows (1000 AD), Newfoundland  

The Vikings were here around 1000 AD, but the site was abandoned and forgotten for almost 1,000 years. Visit this UNESCO World Heritage site to see the remains of the earliest known European settlement in North America.

L'Anse aux Meadows
L'Anse aux Meadows (1000 AD)


Bluefish Caves (22,000 BC), Yukon

Although not technically a building, radiocarbon dating shows that humans were present here 24,000 years ago. The outcrop of the caves resembles a building and may have been an inviting shelter for human ancestors.

These historic sites offer a fascinating journey through Canada’s early history, showcasing remarkable resilience, architectural evolution, and cultural heritage. Whether it’s the enduring wooden structures of Nova Scotia or the ancient Viking settlement in Newfoundland, each location provides a unique window into the past. Visiting these sites not only enriches our understanding of Canadian history but also allows us to appreciate the timeless beauty and significance of these ancient constructions.

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Bailey House Inn
150 Saint George Street,
Annapolis Royal, NS B0S 1A0

2024 Bailey House Inn

 •  150 Saint George Street, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

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