For health and safety reasons, “primary contact” activities, such as SUP or paddle boarding, surfing, sailboarding, and underwater diving, are prohibited.

Do you feel like paddling? Non-motorized boats such as canoes and kayaks are welcome on the canal.

Before launching your boat

Historic canals are waterways; ensure that your boat meets Transport Canada’s requirements.

Always have the following equipment:

  • a personal flotation device (PFD) or a life jacket for each person on board*;
  • a buoyant heaving line at least 15 m long;
  • a bailer or a manual pump;
  • a pealess whistle or a manual compressed gas horn.

Please consult the Safe Boating Guide from Transport Canada to learn more.

*If everyone on board a sealed-hull and sit-on-top kayak is wearing a lifejacket or a PFD of appropriate size, the boat needs to have only a sound-signalling device on board.

Once you are on the water

It is preferable for canoes and kayaks to follow the shore. You can then take your time without the risk of blocking motorized boats or fearing a collision. As tempting as it may be, resist the urge to dive into the water!

Swimming is prohibited in the canal and in the approach wharfs. You could injure yourself on submerged structures, be surprised by the force of the current close to the weirs, or be hit by a boat. If you fall into the water and are unable to get back on board your boat or reach the shore, grab onto a lifeline and call for help.

At the Lachine Canal

Stay away from the weirs. Those structures are often located close to the locks, and are protected by yellow booms.

You must purchase a seasonal vignette for non-motorized boats, sold at locks Nos. 3, 4 and 5 at a cost of $5 (lockage fees are not included). Bring your boat and your safety equipment. Consult the hours of operations here.

You can use the public docks along the canal, including the docks upstream and downstream from the locks, to launch your boat.

Consult the public safety alert before you leave if there is one.

At the Saint-Ours Canal

Upstream, follow the east shore to prevent the current from carrying you away into the dam. The downstream undertows are the effect of water continually agitated at the base of the dam; do not get close, as you risk capsizing and being carried away to the bottom of the water.

At the Carillon Canal

Stay far away from the lock’s spillway gate, located downstream. The current is strong there and, suddenly, when the chamber drains, your boat could capsize.