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Chambly Canal National Historic Site

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Public Invited to Visit the Lois McClure

The Lois McClure is passing by the Chambly Canal
The Lois McClure is passing by the Chambly Canal
© Parcs Canada

Chambly, Quebec, September 17, 2014 -
In 2012, the Lois McClure, a canal schooner built by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, began a tour of navigation routes in Quebec, Ontario and the states of New York and Vermont as part of a three-year program to highlight the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.

On the final year of the 200th anniversary commemoration of the War of 1812, the 2014 tour will focus on the historic land and sea British invasion of the US through Lake Champlain, and will bring this important and dynamic story to communities on Lake Champlain and the Hudson and Richelieu Rivers.

Parks Canada is pleased to welcome the Lois McClure during its visit to national historic sites in the Richelieu Valley. It is a wonderful opportunity for the public to come aboard the schooner and travel back to the 1800s when wooden boats lined the docks.

As our country nears its 150th birthday in 2017, the Government of Canada invites Canadians to learn more about the major events that have shaped their country’s history. Canada’s national historic sites enable us to experience our rich history and heritage in a special way and play a big part in the celebration of Canada 150.

The Lois McClure is a replica of commercial boats that plied the interior waters in Canada and the U.S. during the 19th century, transporting a variety of merchandise, including wood, coal and household items. Since they had no engines, these boats, which were towed by steamboats on lakes and rivers and horses along the canals, had more room for merchandise. The Lois McClure took 20 000 hours to build by volunteers and is an exact reproduction of two shipwrecked vessels found in Burlington Harbour.

Quick facts

  • The public is invited to tour the Lois McClure and meet its crew:
    • At Fort Lennox National Historic Site in Saint-Paul-de-l’Île-aux-Noix, September 20 and 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • At Chambly Canal National Historic Site, lock No. 3 (Chambly), September 24, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • At Chambly Canal National Historic Site, lock No. 9 (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu), September 26, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The free boat tour is a unique opportunity to enjoy an experience rich in history!
  • Since 2004, the Lois McClure has served as a regional ambassador to promote the shared heritage of Quebecers, Vermonters and New Yorkers. It was also the flagship for Lake Champlain’s 400th anniversary events, which were held in 2009.


“The public is invited to come and visit the Lois McClure when the schooner stops in the Richelieu Valley, and to meet its crew who are passionate about history and navigation. We are very proud to have received visits from the Lois McClure for some years now. Through initiatives such as this one, Parks Canada is enhancing the visitor’s experience and helping Canadians connect with our rich history and heritage.” - Luc-André Mercier, Director, Quebec Waterways, Parks Canada

Langelier Mills rest stop Langelier Mills rest stop
© Parks Canada

New Improvements

Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, July 9, 2014 – Parks Canada recently completed enhancements near two pre-existing interpretation panels at the Langelier Mills rest stop along the strip of the Chambly Canal National Historic Site in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. The enhanced facilities feature picnic tables so that hikers and cyclists can take a well-deserved break, and newly rebuilt paths. These improvements will help citizens make greater use of recreational opportunities along the banks of the Canal.

“The Canadian government is committed to the future sustainability of the historic canals and the communities along it”, said Luc-André Mercier, Director of Quebec Waterways. “We encourage the public to stop at the Langelier Mills rest stop; we hope people will take advantage of the recent improvements to discover the Chambly Canal on foot or by bike.”

Around 1970, the Canal was widened, considerably changing the site of the old mills. The debris from the work was deposited in what is now the rest area, which has since become a prized spot for birdwatchers. More recently, an urban park has been created. Parks Canada works in partnership with others along the canals to foster recreation, tourism and economic development in innovative ways that will contribute to local economies.

Parks Canada’s five historic canals in Quebec have played a key role in the commercial, industrial and social development of Canada. With their outstanding natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, these exceptional attractions have become essentials for bike rides, picnics and walks for residents, hikers, and boaters, and contribute to the socio-economic development of the region.

Discover the Chambly Canal on your bike

The canal’s path, an accessible route for all!
The canal’s path, an accessible route for all!
© Parks Canada

The Chambly Canal is the perfect place for biking, family picnics, and boat watching!

Its natural setting and rich heritage are perfect for an escape into the heart of the region’s history. All summer long, its banks will be abuzz with a variety of events.

Watch the clip Ma sortie vélo en Montérégie (only in French) by Tourisme Montérégie!

The Parks Canada Vallée-du-Richelieu Experience

Parks Canada unveils its 2014 program for the Chambly and Saint-Ours Canals

May 26, 2014 – Chambly, Quebec – Quebec Waterways, Parks Canada

Parks Canada is proud to announce the opening today of the 2014 season at the Chambly Canal and Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Sites, two places to explore this summer along the Richelieu River. Outdoor activities are offered every day in an exceptional setting, and a thrilling events program is available to families—enough to make this summer season unforgettable!

Outdoor discoveries for everyone

The Vallée-du-Richelieu is endowed with a breathtaking charm and a wide range of activities to satisfy the most energetic among you. Once again this year, Parks Canada invites all history, heritage, arts, culture, and outdoors enthusiasts to discover this vibrant region that is both urban and bucolic at the same time.

Various attractions along the 20-km Chambly Canal path, which is part of the Route verte No. 1, provide an unforgettable experience that stimulates all the senses. Cyclists and hikers will be thrilled! This path doesn’t leave any room for boredom, with urban areas at both ends, the peaceful setting along the banks of the Canal, and small and large boats passing through the locks. All summer long, the banks come to life with a fascinating program for the whole family, and the Friends of the Chambly Canal and the Saint-Ours Canal welcome visitors with a host of activities.

A cultural agenda and sporting calendar sure to please the whole family

A highly entertaining program awaits you! Every Wednesday in July and the first Wednesday of August, the City of Chambly, in collaboration with Parks Canada, invites families to the Sur l’air de Chambly concert series held at Parc des Ateliers. At the beginning of July, the Nautical Fest will introduce the general public to the pleasures of water sports. In Saint-Ours, don’t miss out on Canada Day! Bring your children! What’s more, on August 13, the Grande Fête de la famille will be held at the Chambly Canal Parc des Ateliers for a day of fun activities, to the delight of both young and old. Several sporting events will also take place in the stunning scenery of the Chambly Canal, such as the Mountain Equipment Coop race (Chambly area), and the Défi Je bouge (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu area).

The events calendar has plenty of musical and festive surprises that will be revealed throughout the summer; watch the website and don’t miss a beat!

Quick facts

  • The highly entertaining 2014 season is awaiting visitors at the Chambly Canal and Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Sites!
  • All summer long, the banks of the Richelieu canals will host a wide variety of fascinating events.
  • With many outdoor activities offered daily, Parks Canada canals are a preferred location for green-space enthusiasts.


“This summer is sure to be fantastic at the Richelieu canals, and Parks Canada is inviting the public to discover or rediscover these unique locations. Successful collaborations between Parks Canada and its partners along our historic canals continue to foster captivating recreational and tourist activities and contribute to the development of local economies.” - Luc-André Mercier, Director, Quebec Waterways, Parks Canada

We’re also on Twitter! @QuebecCanals

The Bollard

The new Richelieu canals newsletter

February 26, 2014 – Chambly, Quebec – Quebec Waterways Unit

Parks Canada is proud to launch this year its brand new newsletter for the Richelieu canals, aimed at residents living near the Chambly Canal and Saint-Ours Canal national historic sites.

Named The Bollard, in reference to a nautical term, the newsletter will feature recent news related to canals on the Richelieu River, activity ideas, a calendar of events, historical vignettes, upcoming construction work, and much more.

This newsletter will only be available electronically. Regular publications will start up in May. Those interested can receive the publication for free through email by writing to

Quick Facts

  • The Bollard is intended for residents who live along the canals and those with an interest in Parks Canada’s historic canals in the Richelieu Valley.
  • The Bollard is a free electronic newsletter: Sign up, and don’t miss a beat!
  • Did you know? A bollard is a large cylindrical mass of cast steel with an enlarged head to prevent mooring lines from slipping off. Have a look next time you’re at the Chambly or Saint-Ours canals—there are about 10 of them!


“What a great way to kick off the 2014 season! The Government of Canada continues to work with partners and communities to help canals be a premier tourism destination, foster recreation and economic development, and ultimately build strong communities. The Bollard will give those interested the opportunity to follow the news on these historic sites which are practically in their backyards.” - Luc-André Mercier, Director, Quebec Waterways Unit, Parks Canada

The Chambly Canal: Experience it!

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

Bridge No. 9 Wins a Steel Design Award of Excellence

The newly constructed Bridge No. 9 The newly constructed Bridge No. 9
© Parks Canada

Chambly, Quebec, October 16, 2012 - The newly constructed Bridge No. 9 providing access to Île Sainte-Marie and Île Sainte-Thérése has won theCanadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) 2012 Award of Excellence. This honour showcases the structure's efficiency, architectural expression, and construction.

This structure is the result of cooperation between Parks Canada and the City of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu that offer their congratulations to Genivar and Public Works and Government Services Canada on their expertise, which transformed the initial vision into an outstanding achievement.

Bridge No. 9 was inspired by a lift bridge in operation in Cardiff, the capital of Wales. With contemporary styling, it exemplifies the ideal of continuity, reflecting a type of modern-day construction that blends perfectly with the historic landscape. Its hydraulic system works with vegetable oil, which is not harmful to wildlife or plants, and is 100% environmentally friendly and biodegradable.

Inaugurated in September 2011, this new two-lane bridge provides better traffic flow than its predecessor, which had only one lane. The current bridge also has two separate overpasses for cyclists and pedestrians.