The Government of Canada invests in the preservation and restoration of national historic sites across the country to support sustainable tourism, create jobs in local communities and continue its efforts to combat climate change.
Today, Francis Scarpaleggia, Member of Parliament for Lac-Saint-Louis, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, inaugurated the upstream wharf at the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal National Historic Site. The Government of Canada has invested more than $4 million so that citizens and thousands of visitors may once again use this iconic site.
A must-see regional tourist attraction, the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal National Historic Site features beautiful spaces for walks or relaxation and is the gateway to a waterway marked by over 150 years of history. Over the past decade, the upstream wharf has been affected by climate change and more frequent flooding resulting in recurrent damage. The renewed wharf has been resurfaced with concrete and wood inserts, which are materials that will better withstand spring freshets and flooding.
In recent years, the Sainte-Anne-Bellevue Canal National Historic Site has also undergone quite a facelift with the upstream wharf and lock restoration infrastructure projects, among other things. Significant improvements have also been made to the trails and the site’s layout. Visitors will be able to enjoy new concrete benches that mark the width and crossing of the first lock, as well as the engraved stone at the entrance to the wharf commemorating the dates of the first and second locks. The new amenities will ensure user safety and maintain the pleasure-boating activities associated with the Canal.
Canada’s network of protected areas plays an important role in helping to address the effects of climate change. Thanks to infrastructure investments, Parks Canada can protect and conserve our national treasures, while supporting local economies and increased tourism.
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“The impacts of climate change on Parks Canada-administered sites are complex. The Agency is committed to incorporating climate change adaptation and mitigation measures into its work, as demonstrated by the completion of the major infrastructure project for Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal National Historic Site’s upstream wharf. The project will help restore public access to this major attraction on the western part of the Island of Montreal. This is a significant benefit to local tourism and the many jobs that depend on the Canal, while also part of sustainable tourism practices. We can be proud of these efforts!”
Member of Parliament, Lac-Saint-Louis
At the western end of the Island of Montreal, between Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue and Île Perrot, this canal is a gateway to the Ottawa River, a waterway over 1200 km long that was once the main communications route to the north and the west. Today, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal is part of a large network of canals that boats can use to bypass natural obstacles like rapids and shoals on three major waterways: the St. Lawrence River, the Richelieu River and the Ottawa River.
The upstream wharf of the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal National Historic Site has been closed to the public since the fall of 2016. While rehabilitation work on it had been undertaken, flooding in the spring of 2017 heavily damaged its structure and surface. This forced Parks Canada to keep the wharf closed in light of environmental and visitor safety issues. The rehabilitation work resumed in May 2020.
The Government of Canada has invested $14 million in infrastructure work at the Sainte-Anne-de Bellevue Canal National Historic Site as part of the largest federal infrastructure plan in the history of Parks Canada. This investment will help ensure these treasured places are protected and conserved in the future.
The Parks Canada Agency asks that visitors be careful and use the sites it manages with caution, follow travel restrictions and the guidance of public health experts, and make every effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 and ensure everyone’s safety.