Lachine Canal National Historic Site
Removal of dead trees
MONTRÉAL, Quebec, November 14, 2023 – Parks Canada will be removing approximately 30 dead trees along the section of the path between Chemin du Musée and the Gauron and Lafleur bridges, on the south side of the Lachine Canal National Historic Site in Montréal. The affected species are mainly ash and poplar.
The work will take place from mid-November to mid-December 2023, Monday to Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Heavy machinery and trucks will be operating on the path, and trees may be felled onto it. As a result, users should expect occasional short-term path closures. We encourage visitors to plan their travel carefully and to follow the directions of on-site staff to ensure their safety.
Parks Canada recognizes that the tree canopy and extensive greenery are important features of the Lachine Canal. It will continue to take various measures to replant trees where possible and to restore vegetation to ensure the revitalization of the canopy and thus preserve the natural beauty of this historic waterway while protecting the site’s heritage integrity.
Planting is also planned for the sector in the next few years as part of the 2 Billion Trees Program. Planting two billion trees is taking a significant step forward in Canada’s approach to tackle the dual crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. The 2 Billion Trees program is one part of the Natural Climate Solutions Fund, which also includes: Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund (led by Environment and Climate Change Canada) and Agricultural Climate Solutions program (led by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)
Reminder to the public: Magnet Fishing is prohibited in all historic canals administered by Parks Canada
MONTRÉAL, QUEBEC, July 7, 2023 – Magnet fishing is a growing practice. Although perceived as a means of voluntary environmental clean-up, this activity is strictly prohibited in all historic canals administered by Parks Canada.
Under the Historic Canal Regulations (sections 3 and 11.2), the removal of any object from a historic canal is not permitted at any time without first obtaining a permit.
At first glance, while the objective of removing objects from the canals may seem commendable, this practice poses a greater risk to the environment and to visitor safety than simply leaving the objects in place. Stirring up the bottom of the canals can not only disturb aquatic habitats but can also release contaminated sediments in sites that have a significant industrial past. Participants may be exposed to the handling of dangerous objects such as weapons or other sharp objects, as well as potentially contaminated elements.
Historic canals are made up of various structures whose integrity can also be affected by the practice of this activity. In addition to bridges and footbridges, the canals include weirs and siphons, water, and electrical conduits, and potential archaeological remains that could be damaged or destroyed by the practice of magnetic fishing. Parks Canada's mandate is to protect and conserve cultural and natural resources. Consequently, such an activity cannot be authorized and anyone found in non-compliance could be subject to a fine.
Lachine Canal National Historic Site officially kicks off its 2023 boating season!
MONTREAL, Quebec, May 19, 2023 – The Lachine Canal National Historic Site is pleased to welcome boaters for the 2023 boating season. This morning, the Parks Canada team was happy to welcome the first boaters of the season!
Whether they’re looking for adventure, fun for the whole family, a chance to explore nature and history, or a break from everyday life, the historic canals administered by Parks Canada in Quebec offer countless fun and unique experiences to suit every visitor’s and boater’s needs.
Spread the word, and enjoy the 2023 navigational season!
Dismantling of two footbridges for pedestrians and cyclists at the Lachine Canal
Installation of a temporary detour
MONTREAL (QUEBEC), March 15, 2022 – Parks Canada will soon begin the dismantling of the Southeast and Southwest Esplanade footbridges, located on the Berge des Coursiers, south of Reach No. 2. They will be replaced with paved pathway sections. The footbridges are located in the Ville-Marie borough, in Montreal.
Detour for pedestrians and cyclists
Pathway closures are expected throughout the duration of the work, which is planned until the end of April 2023. Everyone is asked to use the detour set up on Wellington Bridge (cyclists must get off their bicycle) and to circulate on the north side of the canal.
Path grooming will therefore be interrupted in the sector during the entire duration of the work. We thank the users for their usual cooperation.
Nature of the work
This rehabilitation of the footbridges can be summarized as follows:
For the Southwest Esplanade footbridge: removal of the footbridge, backfill with a cement-block retaining wall on the Mill Street side, installation of a fence on each side of the pathway, paving and marking.
For the Southeast Esplanade footbridge: removal of the footbridge, backfill up to the current pathway, installation of a fence on the path side, vegetation for the slope and landscaping.
Rehabilitation of the site's surroundings, planting of vegetation, paving and marking of the path are scheduled for later in the spring.
Parks Canada plans infrastructure work by prioritizing the safety of users and workers. We ask everyone to be careful in the work area, to obey all signage, and to use the suggested detour or other safe alternatives for travel in this area.
Winter activities along the Lachine Canal
Groomed path and cleared section will benefit outdoor enthusiasts all winter long
December 22, 2022 Montréal, Quebec - Parks Canada wishes to inform the public that again this winter, the path at the Lachine Canal National Historic Site will be groomed over nearly its entire length, a distance of 15 kilometres linking the Lachine, LaSalle, Le Sud-Ouest and Ville-Marie boroughs. In addition to the groomed winter trail, the north side of the path will be cleared of snow from Atwater Bridge to the Old Port. Grooming will be done by the Parks Canada team while snow removal along the section between the Atwater Market and de la Commune Street will be done by Le Sud-Ouest Borough.
It is important to note that certain conditions must be met before the trail can be groomed: the ground must be frozen, there must be sufficient snow accumulation and the weather forecast must be favourable. Once these conditions are met, snow will be compacted until the 20 centimetre base is in place.
The groomed path and cleared section will provide an opportunity not only for cyclists, but for everyone to practice various winter activities including fat biking, snowshoeing, running and walking. Restrooms will also be available to users at various locations along the winter trail.
Parks Canada works with partners to develop the recreational offerings at the Lachine Canal and to encourage the practice of outdoor winter activities for the year-round enjoyment of all visitors to this exceptional site in the heart of Montréal. Parks Canada would like to acknowledge the collaboration of the City of Montréal and its boroughs for their support in providing snow clearing along a section the path.
Parks Canada is proud to collaborate with the City of Montréal to promote winter activities along the Lachine Canal and to see recreational tourism being developed in this exceptional location in the heart of Montréal. Thank you to everyone involved in the grooming and clearing of the winter path along the Lachine Canal National Historic Site.
We are happy to announce that the north side of the Lachine Canal’s path, between the Atwater Market and the Old Port, will be cleared of snow over a 2.3-kilometre distance. This agreement between le Sud-Ouest and Parks Canada represents a decisive step for active mobility in response to an increasing demand from the population for safe and easy to use cycling links during winter. This pilot project is part of a series of continued efforts, and demonstrates a strong collaboration between our two level of governments. The snow removal work will be done by CMS Entrepreneurs Généraux Inc., who was the lowest compliant bidder.
Parks Canada is going ahead with the Learn-to Camp Program at Lachine Canal this summer
July 8, 2022, Montréal, Quebec - Over the last few days, concerns have been raised in various medias about the Learn-to Camp Program planned for this summer at the Lachine Canal.
Since 2011, Parks Canada has been offering various outdoor workshops at the Lachine Canal, such as canoeing, fishing and the basics of camping. These programs help people from different walks of life to discover and enjoy national parks and national historic sites while raising their awareness of the practice of outdoor activities in a safe and responsible manner.
Parks Canada is sensitive to the situation of homelessness in the greater Montreal region and across the country, and is aware of the difficulties associated with affordable housing. In the coming weeks, the Agency is committed to meeting with local stakeholders and heads of organizations supporting people living in homelessness in order to begin discussions on the recently raised concerns.
Parks Canada is going ahead with the Learn-to Camp Program at Lachine Canal this summer. This program will reach dozens of families in collaboration with various community organizations, including newcomers to Canada who are in the process of integrating into the Montreal community. This is a good opportunity for learning and social integration for the participants. In addition, events that have been planned with partner organizations will soon be held on the banks of the canal and we are counting on everyone's cooperation so that families taking part in this activity can have a positive experience.
Learn-to Camp at the Lachine Canal is a special summer event organized by Parks Canada to introduce Montreal residents and visitors to safe outdoor activities. This is not an ongoing activity. Parks Canada does not offer regular camping along the Lachine Canal.
At the rate of $108 for four participants, this program extends over two days and includes learning practical techniques (setting up a tent, using a stove and lighting a campfire) and also important security techniques such as dealing with wildlife, fire safety and boating safety. Participants will also have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the local natural and cultural heritage through interpretive activities and outings on the water in canoes or kayaks. All the required material is lent to the participants for the duration of the activities.
The Agency is proud to offer such experiences in urban settings, thus making it possible to reach people and families who often have low incomes and do not have the possibility of travelling outside of the city. The health and wellbeing of individuals are at the heart of this program which offers citizens the opportunity to get closer to nature and to understand all its value and benefits.
Lachine Canal National Historic Site celebrates the 20th anniversary of its reopening to recreational boating
Many memories await you this summer in this legendary place in the heart of Montreal.
May 24, 2022, Montréal, Quebec - Whether you’re looking for adventure, fun activities for the whole family, an opportunity to explore history, or a break from everyday life, Parks Canada has 450,000 km² of protected areas with countless unique experiences to suit your needs.
On May 20th, the province’s national historic canals will officially began welcoming boaters for the 2022 tourism season. Places that evoke stories, characters, voyageurs, and beautiful waterways await you. Discover them on foot, by bicycle, by boat or on rollerblades. There’s something for everyone, from the youngest to the wisest!
Lachine Canal National Historic Site: 20 Years Later
This year, Parks Canada celebrates the 20th anniversary of the reopening of this canal that was closed to navigation for three decades. Previously used for commercial purposes, it is now used by boaters from all over.
Since 2002, many visitors have pulled up anchor every year in this historic canal to enjoy the beauty of its scenery, the warm rays of the summer sun and the exciting programming that animates this exceptional site located in the heart of Montreal.
Once again this summer, Parks Canada is offering a Learn-to Camp program in an urban setting. The intent of the program is to introduce camping to people who have little to no experience, in order to pique their interest in exploring our national parks and nature. Located on a small island of greenery on the shores of the Lachine Canal National Historic Site, a few steps from the Old Port, the program offers overnight stays with outdoor cooking workshops, games and activity circuits that will entertain all generations. Kayak and canoe trips will also be offered to participants, not to mention the traditional campfire with marshmallows. Several overnight stays are scheduled on July and August weekends. All information, reservation terms and conditions, fees, and detailed programming are available on the Lachine Canal website.
... and Paddle!
Following the great success of this activity last summer, Parks Canada is not only proud to announce the return of the introduction to canoeing experience but is also pleased to offer an introduction to kayaking on the Lachine Canal. All summer long, certified Parks Canada instructors will teach you the basics of canoeing and kayaking. Come and learn how to handle these boats in a safe environment. Information and reservations instructions can be found on the website.
Nautical and Trail Activities
The boat ride service on the waters of the Lachine Canal offered by Le Petit Navire provides an opportunity to explore the Port of Montreal waterway right up to the gourmet stop at the Atwater Market. 22Dragons, one of Canada’s largest dragon boat racing clubs, is also continuing its activities this summer on the canal. And if you wish to see the city from another angle, H2O Adventures offers a wide range of safe watercraft from electric boats to kayaks, not to mention paddleboats.
NEW: Paddleboarding is now permitted on the Lachine Canal. Make sure to have the right equipment to have fun safely. Paddleboarding is permitted on a 12 km route between locks nos. 2 and 5. You must have your non-motorized boat season pass before venturing onto the canal waters.
Do you prefer to keep both feet on the ground? MaBicyclette offers bicycle rental and repair services just steps away from the Atwater Market. Looking for a well-deserved break? The team at Canal Lounge offers you a complete taste experience on board its canal boat. All aboard!
The Parks Canada website provides detailed information on what visitors can expect, how to prepare for a visit, and what services may be available. Visitors are asked to plan ahead by checking the website before they travel, to respect the guidance of public health experts, and to follow all signage and direction from Parks Canada employees. The health and safety of visitors and employees are of the utmost importance and Parks Canada continues to follow the advice, guidance, and requirements of public health authorities and experts to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Parks Canada staff are pleased to welcome back visitors and regulars to experience all that the canal has to offer this summer!
As Canadians, we are fortunate to live in a country with such diverse landscapes and rich history. Every one of the protected areas within the Parks Canada network of sites is a perfect gateway to discovering, learning about, and connecting with natural and cultural heritage. As summer approaches, I encourage all Canadians to get out and explore locations such as the Lachine Canal National Historic Site, as they walk in the footsteps of history and enjoy the important physical and mental benefits of being outdoors.
Parks Canada prides itself on providing visitors with high quality and meaningful experiences across the country. The Parks Canada team works extremely hard to ensure that each and every person leaves with memories that will last a lifetime. We are excited to welcome new and returning visitors back to the Lachine Canal National Historic Site this season, to help them create new memories and discover everything that
- A link between the city and nature, the Lachine Canal is located in the southwest section of Montreal. Its 13.5-kilometre urban route runs between the Old Port and Lake Saint-Louis, a navigable waterway punctuated by five locks. Along its banks, a linear green urban park is lined with vestiges of the industrial era when the canal boomed. Throughout the year, a varied schedule of activities makes this historic site a great place to experience with family or friends.
- On May 17, 2002, several dignitaries gathered at Lachine Lock No. 5 to take part in the inauguration ceremony for the opening of the canal to recreational boating. A large crowd participated in the colourful and popular celebration organized for the occasion.
- There are no visitor fees for accessing the canal grounds and watching boats as they navigate through the canal.
Winter Activities along the Lachine Canal: Groomed Path
MONTRÉAL, QUEBEC, November 23, 2021 – Parks Canada wishes to inform the public that this winter, the path at the Lachine Canal National Historic Site will be groomed almost over its entire length, on a distance of 13 km linking the Lachine, LaSalle, Le Sud-Ouest and Ville-Marie boroughs. The path will also be groomed on both sides of the canal between the Atwater Market and Old Montréal, improving access for users in Le Sud-Ouest. The Parks Canada team will groom the path.
In addition to cyclists, everyone will be able to enjoy the groomed path, which provides an opportunity to practise various winter activities including fat biking, snowshoeing, running and walking. Restrooms will also be open to users during the cold season at particular locations along the winter trail.
Parks Canada works with its partners to develop the recreational offerings at the Lachine Canal and to encourage the practice of outdoor winter activities for the year-round enjoyment of all visitors to this exceptional site in the heart of Montréal. The Agency would like to acknowledge the collaboration of the City of Montréal and its boroughs for their support in providing this groomed trail.
Infrastructure Work at Lock no. 5
MONTREAL, Quebec, October 19, 2021 – Parks Canada will soon begin infrastructure work at the Lachine Canal National Historic Site as part of the restoration project for Lock No 5. Work will begin on October 25 and continue until December 17, 2021. Work will resume after the winter break in mid-February 2022, with completion in March. The sector affected, around the lock and the surrounding embankments, will remain accessible throughout the construction. The footpath located on the gates of Lock No 5 may be temporarily closed. A detour will be put in place for the duration of the closures, if required. The work areas will be delimited by fences.
Parks Canada is carrying out this important work at the Lachine Canal to update the infrastructure necessary for navigation, ensure the longevity of the facilities, and enhance security and the quality of the experience provided at the canal. The work planned includes: maintenance of gates, addition of bumpers and ice protection system, repointing of masonry, correction of scouring, stabilization of downstream banks and rearrangement of railings at the approach to the walkways (north shore). Various elements around the lock will also be cleaned and repainted.
Public safety is a priority for Parks Canada and all work is planned to ensure the security of users and workers. To minimize impacts to the public, the work is being conducted after the busy navigational season. Parks Canada asks all members of the public visiting the area, to be vigilant, follow the signage in place, and consider alternate routes for activities in this specific sector of the Lachine Canal.
Rehabilitation of canal walls on the north side, old-canal sector
MONTRÉAL, Quebec, August 2, 2021 – Parks Canada wishes to inform the public that infrastructure work will soon be carried out on the north side of the canal, between 6th and 8th Avenues and between 12th and 15th Avenues, facing St. Joseph Boulevard. From August 9, 2021 to March 2022, crowning walls will be repaired or replaced to preserve this heritage component essential to public safety and to the sustainability of the Lachine Canal National Historic Site.
Occasional closures on St. Joseph Boulevard and sidewalk
During work, a portion of the sidewalk on the south side between 6th and 8th Avenues will be closed. A pedestrian detour will be provided on the north side of the roadway between 6th and 10th Avenues.
It is also possible that one of the eastbound lanes of St. Joseph Boulevard, between 6th and 9th Avenues and between 12th and 15th Avenues, may be closed on a temporary basis.
Parks Canada is actively working with the borough of Lachine to limit the impact on users. Visitor safety is a priority for Parks Canada and we ask users to exercise caution and respect existing closures and signage in all work zones along the Lachine Canal.
The canal walls are representative elements of the canal’s development and of construction techniques that have been used for over a century, and are essential to its overall structure, as they are weight‑bearing and protect the banks. These walls are also necessary to maintain the banks along St. Joseph Boulevard.
The Government of Canada is investing close to $170 million to support infrastructure work at the Lachine Canal National Historic as part of the largest federal infrastructure plan in the history of Parks Canada, which will help protect Canada’s built heritage while enhancing the experience of the more than one million people who visit this exceptional site each year.
Launch of the Boating Season at Lachine Canal National Historic Site
MONTREAL, May 21, 2021 - This morning, Parks Canada’s team was happy to welcome at the Lachine Canal National Historic Site, the first boaters of the 2021 season.
The health and safety of visitors, boaters and employees is of the utmost importance for Parks Canada and the Agency will follow the advice and guidance of public health authorities to determine visitor access and services.
Transport Canada's physical distancing standards for Canadian boaters must also be respected. It is possible that boat capacity may be considerably reduced depending on the canal, and that the wait time be increased.
For more details about the service periods and the measures taken by the Agency to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Quebec’s historic canals, please visit the COVID-19 and your visit to the Lachine Canal webpage or call 1-888-773-8888 to plan your visit.
Canal Banks Visitors
Parks Canada is asking visitors to follow the advice of public health experts and to practice physical distancing and hygiene measures, limit public gatherings, as well as respect travel restrictions.
Visitors should also leave no trace when they are visiting canal banks. Garbage containers have been installed to that end. If a garbage can is full, visitors should use the next one or bring their garbage with them.
There will be many users sharing the Lachine Canal path – cyclists, pedestrians and in-line skaters will be among them. Parks Canada asks all visitors to follow the advice of public health experts on physical distancing. They must be careful in their choices to avoid injury and minimize any need for emergency response. In addition, we invite them to be courteous and obey the signage to make coexistence between all safer and more harmonious.
Major rehabilitation work on the Gauron and Lafleur bridges
Montréal, Quebec, March 24, 2021 – Parks Canada wishes to inform the public that work will soon take place on the Gauron and Lafleur bridges, which link Dollard Avenue in LaSalle to Saint-Pierre Avenue in Lachine, in order to ensure the safety of users, extend the useful life of the bridges, ensure the durability of the structures and remove the current tonnage limit.
This 35-week work will result in the long-term partial closure of the Gauron Bridge from April 2021 to October 2021, and from October 2021 to December 2021 for the Lafleur Bridge. There will be a complete alternating closure of one lane during the entire duration of the work. In addition, complete bridge closures are expected overnight, at which time a detour will be offered to motorists.
The schedule of closures was established as follows:
- April to mid-July: Closure of the left lane at all times and weekend and night bridge closures to be determined according to nearby construction sites.
- Mid-July to mid-October: Closure of the right lane and sidewalk at all times, and weekend and night bridge closures to be determined according to nearby construction sites.
- Mid-October to November: Closure of the left lane at all times, and weekend and night closures of the bridge to be determined according to nearby construction sites.
- November: Right-hand lane closed at all times and path obstructed; weekend and overnight bridge closures to be determined according to nearby work sites.
This work includes, among other things, the repair of elements at the approaches of the bridges, the repair of foundation elements, the repair, reinforcement and painting of structural steel elements, the replacement or sealing of expansion joints as well as the reparation of the lighting system.
Parks Canada would like to minimize the impacts on bridge users. So, throughout the work, Parks Canada will work closely with its partners, including emergency services, transportation services, and municipal and provincial authorities to ensure the safety of users and to provide them with accurate and useful information for effective travel planning.
This work is being carried out as part of the largest infrastructure plan in Parks Canada’s history and is part of the Agency’s ongoing efforts to provide quality and safe infrastructure at the sites it administers, including the Lachine Canal National Historic Site, which includes highway bridges, pedestrian footbridges and various buildings. As readers may recall, in 2014, major work was carried out to repair structural elements on the Lafleur Bridge.
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