Montreal Travel Guide

Montreal Sights

Lachine Canal National Historic Site

  • Trail/Path

Published 04/06/2017

Fodor's Review

The canal is all about leisure—biking, rollerblading, strolls along the water and picnicking—but it wasn't always so. Built in 1825 to get boats and cargo around the treacherous Lachine Rapids, it quickly became a magnet for all sorts of industries. But when the St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959, allowing large cargo ships to sail straight from the Atlantic to the Great Lakes without stopping in Montréal, the canal closed to navigation and became an illicit dumping ground for old cars and the bodies of victims of underworld killings. The area around it degenerated into an industrial slum.

A federal agency rescued the site in 1978, planting lawns and trees along the old canal, transforming it into a long, narrow park, or parc linéaire. Some of the the abandoned canneries, sugar refineries, and steelworks have since been converted into desirable residential and commercial condominiums. The bicycle path is the first link in the more than 97 km (60 miles) of bike trails that make up the Pôle des Rapides (514/364–4490

Two permanent exhibits at the Lachine Canal Visitor Services Centre, at the western end of the canal, explain its history and construction. The center also has a shop and lookout terrace.

Sight Information


Montréal, Québec, H8S 4J5, Canada




Sight Details:

  • Free

Published 04/06/2017


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