Best time to visit
Parks Canada wants to offer you the best possible navigation experience and make your stay both safe and enjoyable. We therefore encourage you to visit this section of our Web site in order to determine the best times to visit Parks Canada's historic canals in Quebec and plan your trips accordingly.
When is the Canal the busiest?
From mid-June to the end of August, and especially during the following vacation periods and statutory holidays:
- Fête Nationale du Québec (June 24th)
- Canada Day (July 1st)
- Summer vacations
- Labour Day
Waiting times and traffic
Pre-order your lockage permit
Valid for all the historic canals in Quebec and Ontario, the permit give you unlimited access to our canals. Also, it will facilitate your passage through the locks and will help reduce waiting times. Spread the word with your recreational boater friends; they'll be grateful!
As usual, on approaching a historic canal, contact the lock keepers using VHF channel 68 to determine the wait time and announce your arrival. On-site staff will be happy to accompany you on your crossing.
What are the best times for sailing?
To avoid waiting lines this summer, experience the historic canals during the quieter periods, i.e. at the beginning of the season (before June 24th), and later in early autumn, from Labour Day to mid-October. In this way. You'll discover these wonderful places at your own pace, without the jostling of the crowd that might have had the same idea as you, and you'll gain the peace of mind to sail in complete relaxation!
Are you the early bird type who enjoys being the first to lock through in the morning? For a small fee, save time by mooring your boat for the night in Canada's historic canals. You'll then be in the pole position to take part in the lock personnel’s first manoeuvres of the day. Located in urban areas, some docks even offer services such as electrical connections and bathrooms as well as providing access to a wide variety of restaurants, activities and events.
Only entry to the national parks and lockage will be free in 2017. Parking fees at any of the canals continue to apply this year, since in addition to financing their upkeep, the proceeds are fully reinvested in the improvement of site services.
List of things to do before your arrival
- Pre-order your lockage permit online
- Check the lockage schedule
- Read the locking procedure
- Contact the lock-bridge operators by VHF radio or telephone to advise them of your position and your intention to be locked, and thus determine the waiting time
- Book your accommodation in advance, or enjoy the docks available for mooring your boat overnight!
Parks Canada application
Download the Parks Canada app