4. Issues and Strategic Directions

4.2 Strategic Directions

4.2.1 Conserving and presenting a significant landscape

Key considerations

The national historic significance of the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal is symbolized by both the landscape surrounding the site and the canal’s continued use as a navigation corridor. The landscape testifies to the strong link between the site’s natural and cultural components, namely, Lake of Two Mountains, Lake Saint-Louis, the canal and its lock, the railway bridges, the archaeological remains and downtown Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue. It also reveals an intelligent choice of locality at a strategic river and road hub, an ingenious system of canal-building and the builders’ judicious use of the site’s natural strengths, stemming from the presence of a channel.

The Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal is an integral part of the urban landscape of the Island of Montréal. It meshes with Sainte-Anne Street, the main artery of downtown Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue. The site is made up of five main sectors, each with its own particular characteristics: the downstream section of the canal, the downstream pier, the lock sector, the upstream section of the canal and the upstream pier.

Although the canal and the lock have continued to be operated down to the present time, most of the site is now closely integrated with the urban network and observers are afforded little evidence of how old it actually is. The site has no “historic appeal” or personality and its main functions are operational and recreational.


  • Use the existing landscape to highlight the site’s heritage value and convey its historic significance, while respecting its spatial structure, configuration of natural and cultural components and the way in which these elements are interrelated.
  • Maintain visual relationships between, on the one hand, the main spaces, traffic and activity areas, and the major buildings, and, on the other, the canal, the lock, and neighbouring bodies of water.
  • Ensure that future developments respect the historic layout of the site and its heritage value.
  • Foster awareness among borough council members of the importance of preserving the scale and character of the built environment surrounding this national historic site.

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