4. Issues and Strategic Directions

4.1 Commemorative Integrity: A Major Issue

The Saint-Ours Canal is a national historic site whose heritage value is barely perceptible and relatively unknown to visitors. The location of the site on the banks of the waterway, the presence of vast green spaces and the nautical activity generated by the presence of the lock all represent significant poles of attraction for a clientele in search of a relaxing outdoor experience. Moreover, the priority accorded over the past several years to facilities protecting the safety of visitors on pleasure boats or onshore, as well as the relatively modest investments that have been made towards protecting and presenting the heritage value of the place,22 have helped confer on the canal an image primarily centred on its recreational attractions.

In this context, the principal challenge facing the Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site of Canada is to assure its commemorative integrity, especially by emphasizing its heritage value in public communications and by highlighting its historic character. However, this objective must take into account the need to maintain and improve as required the functions it fulfils as a waterway for its boating clientele.

22 Resources dedicated to interpretation have been seriously cut back for some years owing to budgetary restraints; re-investing in plant assets and their upkeep has taken priority.

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