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Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site

What's New

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

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

A World-Unique Fish Ladder

A Parks Canada and community organizations initiative

A unique fish ladder is helping species at risk reclaim their habitat at the Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site.

The Vianney-Legendre fishway, located on the Richelieu River, in the Quebec Province, of Canada, is no ordinary fish ladder. Unlike the others; it shows that a historic site can be more than a site of Heritage significance. It can protect biodiversity and help recover species at risk.

The Vianney-Legendre fishway ladder
The Vianney-Legendre fishway ladder
© Parks Canada / Jean Mercier / 2002

The Copper Redhorse (Moxostoma hubbsi) is running up the Richelieu River again. This is a major victory for the unusual copper-coloured fish species, which is found only in south-western Quebec. A dam built in 1967 hindered this endangered species' migration to its most important spawning area upstream from the Canal-de-Saint-Ours National Historic Site of Canada. Now a fish ladder of unique design is brightening the future for the Copper Redhorse.

Such a successful environmental engineering project could create a tourist attraction and be useful in educating the public about this biodiversity restoration initiative. In fact, the fish ladder has even gained international attention. Although it has been designed uniquely for this site, other jurisdictions are interested in it as a model to follow.