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 Saint-Ours Canal is symbolized by both the landscape surrounding the site and the ca-nal’s continued importance as a navigation corridor. The landscape reveals an ingenious system of canal-building, an intelligent choice of locality, and judicious use of its natural strengths.

The Saint-Ours Canal is an integral element of a fertile agricultural plain shaped by the Richelieu River. It meshes with a dispersed, rural residential environment on the outskirts of the village of Saint-Ours, whose character and scale is in harmony with the canal. The canal is made up of three sectors, each with its own particular characteristics: the east bank, the island with the dam, and the west bank.

Although the canal and the lock have continued to be operated down to the present time, little about the site suggests how old it actually is. It has no “historic appeal” or personality and its main functions appear to be operational and recreational.


  • Recognize the landscape as epitomizing the site’s heritage value and convey its historic significance, while respecting its spatial structure and considering its cultural and natural components as well as component interrelationships.

  • Maintain visual relationships between, on the one hand, the main spaces, traffic and activity areas, and buildings, and, on the other, the canal, the lock, the dam and the Richelieu River.

  • Ensure that future developments respect the historic layout of the site and its heritage value.

  • Foster awareness among neighbouring municipalities of the importance of preserving the scale and character of the built environment surrounding this national historic site.

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