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 (September 3th, 2018)
  • Thanksgiving (October 8th, 2018)

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. 

List of things to do before your arrival

Parks Canada application

Download the Parks Canada app