4. Issues and Strategic Directions
4.2 Strategic Directions
4.2.2 Preserving and presenting cultural resources
Although few of the early components of the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal have survived, certain vestiges of the French canal and the first lock, the current lock, the Becker Dam, the entrance caissons and parts of the downstream and upstream piers testify to the canal’s different phases of construction. As for the railway bridges, they bear witness to the CN and CP facilities found at this spot in the late 19th century. Despite the fact that successive changes to the site have led to the disappearance of many engineering works and all of the old houses, outbuildings and other non-residential buildings, the site’s historical significance can nevertheless be presented through the surviving structures, the known or presumed remains of former structures, the railway bridges and the close link between the history of the canal and that of the municipality as a navigation hub.
Several of the canal’s cultural resources are in poor condition, and major work will be required in the coming years to preserve them: for example, the sides of the Becker Dam will have to be rebuilt, the canal’s upstream and downstream piers repaired and the entrance caissons rebuilt or replaced.
There is definitely room for improving knowledge and appreciation of both the site’s history and the significance of existing structures as well as the remains of structures that are no longer standing. However, the presentation of certain cultural resources, such as the remains of the first lock, is constrained by spatial requirements. Furthermore, the ornamental vegetation makes it difficult to understand the site’s historical development since it undermines the visual link between the two locks.
Lastly, the aging of some of the canal works (pier walls, canal structure, entrance caissons, Becker Dam), the presence of features that are out of keeping with the historical nature of the canal (steel lock gates, street furniture, chain-link fences, etc.), the disappearance of old buildings and their replacement by modern structures all have an impact on the way the site is perceived.
- Foster awareness of the historic nature of the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal by preserving and presenting its significant old and modern cultural resources, which testify to the role it played on the Ottawa waterway and within Canada’s waterway system.
- Generally speaking, protect “level 2” 16 cultural resources according to the principles and practice of the Cultural Resource Management Policy.
- Communicate the historical value of these resources to the public.
- Establish a conservation and maintenance program for the buildings and engineering works related to the two canal systems.
- Undertake a study of the site’s archaeological potential, ensuring that the physical integrity of the remains is protected.