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Lachine Canal National Historic Site

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Harper Government Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Canadian Flag

The red and white standard reminds visitors of the historical significance of the Lachine Canal
The Lachine Canal National Historic Site in Winter
The Lachine Canal National Historic Site in Winter
© Parks Canada

February 15, 2015, Montréal, Quebec -
Today, Parks Canada is proud to highlight the 50th anniversary of the Canadian flag, which flies over all of the exceptional places that the Agency protects across the country, including the Lachine Canal National Historic Site. The many Canadian flags found along the 14.5-km of the Lachine Canal in Montreal, remind visitors of the site’s important role in our country’s history.

During the 2014 season, more than 1.1 million people visited the banks and waterway of the Lachine Canal, enjoying this unique site in the heart of Montreal. With outdoor activities offered every day, possibilities of delicious gourmet discoveries and a rich program of events, the Lachine Canal is a lively spot and an ideal gathering place.

The Lachine Canal is accessible all winter long for outdoor activities, such as walking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. The 2015 summer season promises to be most entertaining; the Parks Canada team and its partners are working diligently to make the Lachine Canal a key tourist destination, benefitting local communities and economies.

Quick facts

  • The red and white flag bearing the maple leaf was raised for the first time on Parliament Hill 50 years ago, on February 15, 1965, as a symbol of national unity. Its anniversary in 2015 is an important milestone as the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation approaches in 2017.
  • The Canadian flags along the 14.5-km Lachine Canal waterway remind visitors of the historical significance of this site, which welcomes 1.1 million visitors per year.
  • The Lachine Canal remains a popular winter destination for an array of outdoor activities. Come check it out!


“The 50th anniversary of the Canadian flag is an opportunity to celebrate our history and our sites of national historical significance, such as the Lachine Canal. Parks Canada is pleased to be able to rely on the collaboration of its many partners along the Lachine Canal to promote the development of fascinating recreational and tourism initiatives, and to contribute to the development of local economies.”
The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Member of Parliament for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean

Practice Winter Activities Safely

Ice-skating is forbidden

Montreal, December 15, 2014 — Parks Canada reminds the public to enjoy their winter activities safely in the areas set aside for that purpose. Parks Canada asks for everyone’s support and collaboration in observing the rule against walking on the canal ice that forms at Lachine Canal National Historic Site. From November 15 to April 15, the urban park remains open, even though the path along the canal will not be maintained or patrolled.

The risk of an incident is high if you venture out onto the canal’s unstable and unmonitored ice. Currents, water depth, the presence of structures, and variations in the thickness of the ice, which is fragile in certain places, are enough reasons to stay on shore.

There are numerous outdoor skating rinks open to the public in the South-West Borough and throughout Montreal Island. To find out where you can enjoy winter activities, check out the “Activités et loisirs” section on the homepage of the borough website, the “Activities and Recreation” section of the city’s website, or the Quays of the Old Port website

The Lachine Canal in the Heart of Montréal

Passage of a Boat Through a Lock
Passage of a Boat Through
a Lock at Chambly Canal

© Parks Canada

Lockage Fees

Following extensive comments and ideas on the proposed canal lockage fee, Minister Kent announced on May 14, 2013, that Parks Canada will freeze recreational lockage fees along Canada's historic canals for three years at 2008 levels.

More information

One of the most beautiful urban circuit in the world!
One of the most beautiful urban circuit in the world!
© Parks Canada

Canal’s Path Maintenance

The Lachine Canal’s path is maintained from April 15th to November 15th each year.

The Lachine Canal National Historic Site’s path was ranked third among the world’s top urban cycling trips by the American magazine TIME.

Read the article

Did you know?

The Lachine Canal path was inaugurated in 1978. Part of its route follows the former towpath built when the canal opened in 1825. This path was used by horses that towed or pulled dismasted sailing vessels between Lachine and the Old Port.