1.1 The Regional Context
The Saint-Ours Canal is part of the Bas-Richelieu County Regional Municipality (or CRM, a Quebec territorial division). The site is easily accessible via routes 133 and 223 that follow the Richelieu River, as well as via “Autoroutes” 20 and 30, or route 132. Two seasonal ferries cross the river, one between Saint-Ours and Saint-Roch-de-Richelieu, and the other between Saint-Denis and Saint-Antoine-sur-Richelieu.
The Richelieu Valley sub-region of the Montérégie tourist region is notable for its dynamism and the growth of attractions linked to recreational tourism concepts such as the “Valley of Forts” and the “Heritage River.” Major projects have attached themselves to these concepts, such as an ecotourism and heritage corridor that will link Lake Champlain with the St. Lawrence River.
The surrounding tourism resources are varied: historic buildings are to be found dotted along the Chemin des Patriotes, in addition to world-renowned sites such as the Lac-Saint-Pierre Biosphere Reserve. The Richelieu Valley also offers other remarkable attractions such as the Chambly Canal, Fort Chambly and Fort Lennox National Historic Sites of Canada, the various museums at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Mont-Saint-Hilaire (in the Sorel-Tracy area), a famous farm tourism circuit, a network of inter-municipal bike paths, as well as major festivals such as the International Balloon Festival (Saint-Jean-sur Richelieu), the Fête des Patriotes (Saint-Denis) and the Fête de la Saint-Louis (Chambly).