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Chambly 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 Chambly Canal
The Chambly Canal National Historic Site in Winter
The Chambly Canal National Historic Site in Winter
© Parks Canada

February 15, 2015, Chambly, 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 Chambly Canal National Historic Site. The many Canadian flags found along the 20-km waterway from Chambly to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, remind visitors of the site’s important role in our country’s history.

The Chambly Canal is accessible all winter long with its three popular skating rinks maintained by the municipalities of Chambly and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, to the delight of people of all ages. Outdoor enthusiasts can also enjoy an array of activities here, such as walking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

During the 2014 season, more than 250 000 people visited the banks and waterway of the Chambly Canal, enjoying this outstanding site. With outdoor activities in an exceptional setting offered every day, and with a rich program of events, the Chambly Canal is brimming with possibilities for families to discover!

The Parks Canada team, in collaboration with its partners, is already at work to ensure that the 2015 season will be most entertaining and that the Chambly Canal continues to play its role as a major tourist destination in Montérégie, to the benefit of the 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 Chambly Canal and the Canadian flags in the air along this 20-km waterway remind visitors of the historical significance of this site, which welcomes 250 000 visitors per year.
  • The Chambly Canal is a very popular tourist destination in the winter, with its three skating rinks in the Chambly and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu sectors, and the numerous outdoor activities enjoyed here. 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 Chambly Canal. Parks Canada is pleased to be able to rely on the collaboration of its many partners along the Chambly 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

Come Enjoy Winter!

Hockey and Ice-skating at the Chambly Canal
Come Ice-skating at the Canal!
© Parks Canada

December 17, 2014, Chambly (Quebec) - Winter is at our doorstep; it’s time to enjoy the great outdoors! Again this winter, Parks Canada will welcome three skating rinks on the Chambly Canal that will be managed, maintained and supervised by the municipalities of Chambly and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Therefore, it will be possible to get moving on the ice, safely, in the identified locations.

A 400-metre section of the Chambly Canal, between the bridge at Bourgogne Avenue and Lock No. 4, will be groomed for skating. The ice surface will be open to the public as soon as weather permits from late December until mid-March.

In Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, the City will provide residents and visitors with two amazing sites for skating on the canal and for winter sports.

Also, discover the thematic musical evenings at Lock No. 9! For more information about the skating rinks, see the Chambly Canal website.

In order for everyone to enjoy the site safely, Parks Canada would like to remind the public that:

  • Out of respect for the environment, as well as for safety reasons, off-road vehicle users must avoid driving a snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle on the ice, path or banks of the Canal, and are asked to remain on the marked trails reserved for this purpose.
  • People must refrain from cutting and collecting wood, even dead wood, along the Chambly Canal. Dead wood left on the ground plays an important role in a forest’s life cycle by providing the soil with rich essential nutrients as the wood decomposes.

Parks Canada continues to work with its partners along the canals to foster captivating recreational and tourist activities which benefit the local economy. Through initiatives such as these, which produce concrete results, Parks Canada is contributing to the objectives of Canada's National Conservation Plan.

Quick facts
  • The Chambly Canal remains a popular destination even in winter. It is the perfect place for walking, skating, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, or for stopping for a few moments to admire the pure whiteness of the landscape and experience a bit of magic. Come visit!
  • Please note that from November 15 to April 15, although the path along the canal remains accessible, it is neither maintained nor supervised.
  • Parks Canada extends its thanks to the organization Les Amis du canal de Chambly, which is in charge of welcoming skaters and providing services.
  • For information on ice conditions in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, contact the Service des loisirs et bibliothèques (recreation and libraries department) at 450-357-2351, option No. 3 to reach the recreation branch.
“Parks Canada is proud of the numerous activities offered year after year in the exceptional setting of Parks Canada’s historic canals in Quebec. All are invited to come enjoy this amazing site.” - Luc-André Mercier, Director, Quebec Waterways, Parks Canada
Associated Links
Outdoor enthusiasts are invited to use the strip along the canal

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 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.