Provincial recognition

Arivda is declared a heritage site by the Government of Quebec

On November 25, 2018, the Minister of Culture and Communications, Ms. Nathalie Roy, along with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Ms. Andrée Laforest, declared Arvida a heritage site, thereby making it one of the 13 heritage sites of Quebec. 

On July 5, 2017, the Minister of Culture and Communications, Mr. Luc Fortin, recommended the recognition of Arvida as a heritage site by the Government of Québec, the highest level of heritage recognition and protection across the province. 

In 2013, Saguenay had indeed filed a proposal with the Culture and Communications Ministry of Québec for the recognition of Arvida as a heritage site under the Cultural Heritage Act. This legal status involves refined conservation measures which strive to enhance awareness, protection, presentation and transmission of the urban and architectural ensemble, as well as its history, which are of provincial public interest. 


Examples of neo-vernacular architecture and landscaping in a residential sector of the declared heritage site of Arvida.
Crédit : Paul Cimon

Photographic mosaic of the different house models of “the city built in 135 days”.
Crédit : City of Saguenay

Saguenay states that Arvida’s interest, under the terms of the Government of Québec, resides in the urban, architectural, technological, identity, historical, iconic ethnological and landscape values of the town. More specifically, the proposal submitted by the City showcases the following characteristics: 

  • Urban planning, emerging from a unique union of worldwide trends and local environment, such planning was elaborated from a conceptually and graphically original design, reflected in the street layout, the distribution of plots of land, the diversified disposition of built landscapes and green spaces.
  • Working-class housing, particularly diversified and egalitarian, made up of single-family homes built from 125 standard designs made to accommodate not only tradespeople and executives, but all workers.
  • The architecture of the institutional buildings and industrial infrastructures, demonstrating original engineering and creativity, particularly in terms of neo-vernacular architecture.
  • The structured and innovative construction site which prevailed in the city’s development; having indeed benefited from wood framing construction to standardize the pre-cut and simply assembled architectural components on each plot.
  • The history of the “Aluminum capital of the World”, a prime example of both a distinctive 20th century industrial civilization human settlement and the use of natural resources that gave life to the province of Quebec as we know it today.
Déclaration provinciale

Mapping of the area declared a heritage site by the Quebec government.
Crédit : City of Saguenay

Compared to other ranked heritage sites of Québec, such as Old Québec, Arvida is characterized by its size and the number of separate owners it brings together. Nevertheless, the protection of single components of architectural, urban and landscape elements that make up the site, including over 37 hectares of green spaces, would be neither meaningful nor complete. The issue of Arvida’s heritage is indeed one of urban management, involving economical development, preservation techniques, urban planning, social participation, valorization, information and communication; the territory is inhabited and asserted, its transmission is both a social and cultural issue. Saguenay and its partners, who supported the declaration proposal in large numbers, hope to renew this long-standing collaboration with provincial authorities for the protection, presentation, awareness and recognition of Arvida; its heritage being not only for today’s residents of Arvida but for everyone in the province of Quebec and elsewhere, that wishes to be its bearer or legatee.

Distribution des matériaux de construction par une voie ferrée

Railroad tracks facilitate the transport of materials for the construction of houses on Moissan Street, November 15, 1926.
Crédit : Bibliothèque et archives nationales du Québec

Record of the Arvida Heritage Site from the Quebec Register of Cultural Heritage 

Declaration by the Government of Quebec
  Official City of Saguenay website