5 tips for planning your next boat trip

To help you properly plan your next boat trip and make the most of summer, Parks Canada has five tips to make your experience of Canada's historic canals a memorable one.

1. Order your lockage permit online in advance

Lockage permit

Order your lockage permit right here, right now. Valid in all the historic canals of Quebec and Ontario, the permit lets you transit the locks. Spread the word to your friends!

2. Consult the lock schedule before leaving

A Parks Canada lock keeper and two clients in a boat at the Saint-Ours Canal.
Lock keepers are greeting you in safe and quality installations. Saint-Ours Canal.

Look ahead and consult the lock schedule in the historic canals before your next boat trip. Wait times for lock operations can vary depending on traffic and weather conditions. When you approach a canal, contact the lock operator by VHF Channel 68 to find out the wait time.

3. Read about lock procedures before arriving

A boat entering the Chambly Canal lock No. 1.
Follow the lock operators’ instructions during the lockage process.

Consult the Locking through safely guide to learn the steps and safety procedures to follow during your passage through a lock. It's another way to ensure a more efficient use of locks this summer!

4. Navigate outside peak periods and spend the night there

Several boats moored at the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal and people walking on the banks at night.
Moor overnight to be among the first to lock through. Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal.

To avoid wait lines this summer, experience the historic canals during quieter periods; that is, at the beginning of the season before June 24 and later, after September 4.

And to save time, moor your boat overnight for a low fee at the historic canals of Canada in order to be among the first to transit the locks. Some docks offer services such as electrical hook-ups and bathrooms, in addition to giving you access to a wide variety of restaurants and activities. Learn more about them here.

5. Set out to discover new water bodies this summer

A boat at Sault Ste. Marie Canal.
The historic canals provide you with a fascinating journey through Canada’s history.

Located on the major navigation axes of the Ottawa, the Richelieu and the St. Lawrence rivers, and passing through the St. Louis et Des Deux Montagnes lakes, the historic canals give access to large cities such as Montreal, Ottawa and even New York! Parks Canada has certain itinerary suggestions here.

Consult the network map of canals and set out to discover them this summer!



Happy boating season!

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