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Location DB > Canada > Quebec > Montérégie Area > Soulanges Canal
 Name
Soulanges Canal
 Viewing Options
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 Database Info
created by Emperor Wang on 5/11/2004 12:32 AM
last modified by Emperor Wang on 11/14/2006 4:38 AM
 Viewability
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled by its creator as Public, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
 Overview
 Description
An abandoned shipping canal, 23 kms long with a 14 foot draught. It connects Lac St-Louis with Lac St-Francois, bypassing a series of rapids in the Saint Lawrence River. Five locks cover the 84 foot elevation difference between Pointe-des-Cascades at the east end and Coteau-Landing in the west.

The Soulanges Canal was self-powered. Located near the middle of the canal is "Le Petit Pouvoir", a small hydro electric generating station. It provided power for the motorized lock gates and illumination for the entire length of the canal at night.

Technically, the Soulanges Canal isn't a real UE destination, but it is a nice place to rollerblade or ride your bicycle while checking out the lockworks, bridges and dams. The Chemin du Fleuve runs along the Saint Lawrence River, just south of the canal. Take this road for your return trip and you'll enjoy many scenic views of the river and the Hydro Quebec installations on it.
 Basic Information
Type: Outdoors
Status: Abandoned
Accessibility: Open to the public
Recommendation: Not very exciting (unless you're historically inclined)
 Physical Information
Address
Between Pointe-des-Cascades and Coteau-Landing
Montérégie Area, Quebec
Canada
Owner: Ministère des Transports du Québec
  • See a map of this location
  •  Hazards
  • Not a good place to go swimming
  •  Interesting Features
    - 23 km canal
    - 5 locks
    - Bicycle/rollerblading path
    - Hydro electric generating station "Le Petit Pouvoir"
    - Anchor museum and park at Pointe-des-Cascades
    - Wilderness area on Lac Saint-Louis
    - Scenic views along Chemin du Fleuve
    - National Historic Site at Coteau-du-Lac
     Security Measures
  • Open to the public
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 1899
    Closed: 1960
     Required Equipment
     Recommended Equipment
    Bicycle or rollerblades, camera, binocs, lunch.
     History
    Thanks to the Cascades, Split Rock (Rocher Fendu), Cedres and Coteau Rapids, the Saint Lawrence River between Lac Saint-Francois and Lac Saint-Louis is particularly rich with canal building history.

    Between 1779 and 1783, the Royal Engineers of the British Army built four small canals here. The first canals were just 2.5 feet deep and the locks were just 6 feet wide. These were the first locks ever built on the Saint Lawrence, and possibly the first in all of North America. You can see the remains of one of these canals at the National Historic Site at Coteau-du-Lac.

    Construction of the Soulanges Canal began in 1892. Built by the Government of Canada to a depth of 14 feet, it opened for business in 1899. During the first half of the 20th century, the Soulanges (along with the Lachine, Cornwall and Galop canals) carried the bulk of Canada's shipping. "Lakers" (ships built for the Great Lakes and their larger canals) used to run huge loads of grain down to the terminal at Prescott. Smaller ships, called "canallers", would haul the grain the rest of the way down to Montreal. By the late 1950s, the Soulanges Canal carried 12 million tons of cargo per year.

    The original Beauharnois Canal (6 foot draught) was built on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence between 1842 and 1845. In 1929 the Beauharnois Light, Heat and Power Company began excavating a 16 mile long, 3300 foot wide power canal. The Federal Government stepped in to ensure the new canal would be dug deep enough (30 foot draught) to accommodate a future shipping channel. The Saint Lawrence Seaway wouldn't be built for another 25 years yet. When the Beauharnois Canal and powerhouse were completed in 1932, this part of the Saint Lawrence River would never be the same. Most of the river's flow was diverted away from its original course.

    The completion of the Seaway in 1959 brought the demise of the 14 foot canals. The Soulanges was closed to shipping in 1960. Ownership was transferred from the Government of Canada to the Ministère des Transports du Québec in 1965.
     Media Coverage

     Future Plans
    Area residents and business interests want to rehabilitate the canal to create a world-class tourist destination. Not much progress has been made yet.

     Stories


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     Photo Galleries
    Click to view gallery
    Aerial Views and Maps
    Sat, Jul 17th, 2004
    posted by Emperor Wang
    9 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Le "Petit Pouvoir"
    Sun, Jul 25th, 2004
    posted by Emperor Wang
    6 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    First Ride of the Season
    Sun, Jul 25th, 2004
    posted by Emperor Wang
    18 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Historic Soulanges
    Mon, Jul 26th, 2004
    posted by Emperor Wang
    14 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    More Historic Soulanges
    Fri, May 6th, 2005
    posted by Emperor Wang
    3 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    East End Soulanges
    Mon, Jul 11th, 2005
    posted by Emperor Wang
    13 pictures


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     Web Links
    Société d'histoire de Coteau-du-Lac
    F: http://www.rocler....r/000.accueil.html

    Tourisme-Montérégie
    F: http://www.tourism...c.ca/index_fr.html

    Régie intermunicipale du canal de Soulanges
    E: http://www.canalso...s.com/default2.htm
    F: http://www.canalso...es.com/default.htm

    The National Historic Site at Coteau du Lac
    E: http://www.pc.gc.c...udulac/index_e.asp
    F: http://www.pc.gc.c...udulac/index_f.asp

    Saint Lawrence Canal History by James Gilmore
    E: http://www.hhpl.on...fault.asp?ID=s001a

    The Canals of Canada by Nobel E. Whitford
    E: http://www.history...6/vol2/Part4-2.htm

    Environmental study of the Saint Lawrence River between Valleyfield and Beauharnois (Environment Canada, 1998, 2MB PDF)
    E: http://www.slv2000...Bilanzip3_4_en.pdf
    F: http://www.slv2000...Bilanzip3_4_fr.pdf
     Contribute

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     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

    Category Rating
    Photography 6 / 10
    Coolness 4 / 10
    Content Quality 6 / 10
     Validation
    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Emperor Wang on 11/14/2006 4:39 AM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Nov 14 06 at 4:39, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Nov 14 06 at 4:38, Emperor Wang changed the following: Latitude, Longitude, Prefer Satellite
  • on Nov 14 06 at 4:36, Emperor Wang changed the following: Latitude, Longitude, Co-ordinate Accuracy, Web Links
  • on Jul 12 06 at 18:31, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Jul 12 06 at 18:31, Emperor Wang changed the following: History
  • on Jun 18 06 at 1:00, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Jul 25 05 at 23:09, Emperor Wang updated a gallery picture
  • on Jul 12 05 at 1:06, Emperor Wang updated a gallery picture
  • on Jul 11 05 at 20:10, Emperor Wang updated a gallery picture
  • on Jul 11 05 at 7:09, Emperor Wang updated a gallery picture
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