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Lachine Canal, Montreal, Canada

In 1539, Jacques Cartier sailed the St. Lawrence River.  He and other explorers, believing they had found the mythical Northwest passage to China, named the area Lachine (from the french La Chine, which is the name for China).  The problem with the Lachine area of the river though were the many rapids.  While they’re apparently great fun on a jet boat, they’re not as much fun on a boat trying to transport goods.

Daniel McAllister – the largest preserved and second-oldest ocean going tugboat in the world.

In an attempt to find a way around the rapids, the French Colonial government started work on the Lachine Canal in 1689.  The French failed, but more than 130 years later some Scotsmen succeeded and the Canal was finally completed.  The Canal was in use until 1970 when it was replaced by the St. Lawrence Seaway.

In 2002 the Lachine Canal was opened to boaters and recreational kayakers.

Now the Lachine Canal is a popular public recreation area.  It has long been popular with bikers, walkers and inline skaters.  In 2002 the water was reopened to recreational boaters, and a water reclamation project was started to clean up old oil spills.  The area is a National Historic Site, and Parks Canada gives regular guided tours.

The Atwater Market (so called because it’s “at the water”) is a great place to get some fruit or sandwiches to eat at a picnic by the canal’s edge.

When you’re in Montreal, get some sun and get some fun, but make sure you check out the historic Lachine Canal.

6 comments on “Lachine Canal, Montreal, Canada

  1. Hari Qhuang
    September 8, 2012

    How did the explorers think that they had found a magical passage to another side of the world? Is this another the “if you dig the ground deep enough, you’ll reach China” case? 😀

    • bucketdave
      September 10, 2012

      I think it was more a “hey, if Christopher Columbus didn’t fall of the end of the earth, then maybe we can get to China faster by sailing west than we can by travelling all the way around India to the east” cases. Ha ha!

      • Hari Qhuang
        September 11, 2012

        Ha ha ha That sounds more possible! It was the age when people were suddenly shocked by the fact that the earth was actually round like a ball! 😀

  2. maitchd
    September 15, 2012

    Hello there!
    Just wanted to let you know that I’ve nominated you for One Lovely Blogger Award.
    Read more about it at :

  3. rommel
    September 16, 2012

    Nice history lesson. Made me think about the explorer and how they come up with all those things.

  4. philvb
    September 23, 2012

    That tugboat reminds me of a time when I was a child and living in New York City. My Dad took me down to the docks for a tour of one of the tug boats. What a thrill!

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This entry was posted on September 6, 2012 by in Canada, History, Montreal, Outdoors, Quebec and tagged , , , , , , , .
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