A brief history of the Chambly Jetty

Chambly Canal Archives

The Chambly Jetty, also known as the Federal Wharf, is located downstream from Lock No. 1 at the Chambly Canal National Historic Site. Immersed in the Chambly Basin, this jetty is an integral part of the Chambly Canal's infrastructure and a significant cultural resource. 

The Chambly Jetty was built during the final phase of canal construction (1840–1842) and reached its present dimensions in 1875. In the early 1930s, the original wooden cribs were replaced with concrete.

Chambly Jetty after 2011

Following a major spring freshet in 2011, the jetty was closed to the public for safety reasons. In fact, every two or three years in the spring, the water level of the Chambly Basin rises so high that the jetty was completely submerged, making it impossible to install the lay-to wharves for recreational boaters. Its asphalt surface could not withstand the repeated passage of water, and its condition prior to the rehabilitation prevented safe use of the structure on a permanent basis.

 

What's the difference between wharf or jetty?

  • A jetty is a structure forming a platform that juts out into the water. It creates a channel that facilitates access to port facilities, such as a lock.
  • A wharf allows boats to dock so that they can moor for passengers to disembark or for cargo to be unloaded.

In the case of the Chambly Jetty, or Federal Wharf, the main structure is a jetty with wharves attached. This double purpose likely explains the two different names.

Major work to preserve the structure

Work on the Chambly jetty in December 2018
Work on the Chambly jetty, December 2018

The rehabilitation work took place over a period of approximately 18 months, from the fall of 2018 to the summer of 2020, according to the established schedule. The work involved raising the jetty slightly, installing steel sheet plating on the northern, eastern and western sides, building a concrete cope wall, filling the facade of the steel sheet plating with concrete, and laying a structural slab. The dimensions of the jetty remain essentially the same to respect the commemorative aspect of the infrastructure. The use of durable materials such as concrete will give the structure a minimum service life of 50 years.

An improved version of the jetty

Honorable Pablo Rodriguez, Lieutenant of Quebec and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Mrs. Alexandra Labbé, Mayor of the City of Chambly and Mr. François Ferrer, coordinator for the integration and operations of the Quebec Waterways
The Chambly jetty, was inaugurated on August 25, 2020 in the presence of the Honorable Pablo Rodriguez, Lieutenant of Quebec and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Mrs. Alexandra Labbé, Mayor of the City of Chambly and Mr. François Ferrer, coordinator for the integration and operations of the Quebec Waterways.

On August 25, 2020, Parks Canada was very proud to inaugurate the jetty and finally restore access to the public and recreational boaters. To mark the occasion, the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Quebec Lieutenant and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, inaugurated the jetty at the Chambly Canal National Historic Site on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson.

Great news for recreational boaters: the lay-to wharves can now be installed before the boating season every year! The jetty was outfitted with quality urban furniture to ensure an enjoyable visit for all: luminaires with decorative aluminum details and LED lighting, benches, guardrails made of galvanized steel pipes, waste and recycling bins, bike racks, planters and red Parks Canada Adirondack chairs. The end of the jetty is also stamped with a commemorative logo for the Chambly Canal.

Parks Canada is delighted to see visitors once again strolling along the historic jetty, which offers a magnificent view of the Chambly Basin and Fort Chambly. 

Image Gallery : Image Gallery

Communications