Fodor's Expert Review Lachine Canal National Historic Site

Lachine Trail/Path

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... READ MORE

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 www.poledesrapides.com)

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.

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Trail/Path Family

Quick Facts

Montréal, Québec  H8S 4J5, Canada

514-283–6054

www.pc.gc.ca

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Free

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