Public art at the Lachine Canal

Lachine Canal National Historic Site

Alchemy of Time, by Ankhone

This mural echoes the historical, natural and innovative character of the Lachine Canal. Entitled Alchemy of Time, this piece has become a veritable landmark in the landscape. It covers all four sides of Hangar 1825 and is visible from the water as well as from the banks. This remarkable work by artist Ankhone is articulated in a subtle balance between evocation and reverie. 

Parks Canada is overjoyed to have been able to draw on the expertise of the KOLAB organization and Ankhone, a recognized and respected artist in the urban art community. To date, he has individually and/or collectively put his signature on no fewer than 60 murals gracing the city landscape, in addition to his international works.

Public Art at Lachine Canal


Parks Canada Logo

A view on the Lachine Canal and Montréal skyscrapers.

A duck is swimming on the canal.

Morning is really a special time; it's like, it's like birth, kind of…

A dock with swan-shaped paddle boats.

Close-up on a spider web

View on the canal with a bird flying over the water

What I really enjoy about the Lachine Canal is the multitude of things that are there.

A man unscrew a water hose

close-up on a pressure washer

the man start the pressure washer

Soft music begins

text to screen : Kolab X Lachine Canal Artist : Ankhone


A fish jump out of the water

the man washes the building with the pressure washer

The team put together a scaffold

A man covers parts of the building with paper.

Paint is transfixed in a paint tray.

Ankhone dip is a brush in the paint tray.

Ankhone paint the wall in blue with a paint roller

a little girl cycle the bike path

Close up on a butterfly

A duck is cleaning himself in the water

With big clouds, just two characters, a simplicity that allows the imagination to take flight.

Everyone will have their own story about their experience of a great landscape like this.

The artists are painting the walls

the camera flies over the water and the mural

a group of kids paddling in a rabaska

A bike shop on the canal's banks

a train is crossing a bridge over the canal

close up on a brush

Ankhone and an artist are painting a wall.

The rhythm of the music increases

cyclist on the canal's path

close up on a gull

Ankhone looks away

I love the end of the day when you have the sunset and the colours become just a little bit more pinkish,

a little bit more orange. They're pretty wonderful moments.

a kayakiste passing in front of the building

Ankhone and the artist use spray paint on the building

Ankhone, holding a spray paint can, fixing the camera

close up on an old metallic crane

People sitting on red addirondak chairs on the canal banks

close up on red chairs

The building is not the same anymore. We changed it; we changed its face.

We've given it another life and that's something extraordinary.

View from the building side with freshly painted addirondak chair drawing.

Views of the building with a freshly painted mural

A view of the building from the water

Small boats are on the canal with the sunset.

Lampposts are opening.

A fisherman cast his line.

Birds are on the banks of the canal.

Golden hour on the canal, and people walking by the path

And when you step back a bit and look at the whole thing, for me there's something very joyful,

very inspiring. And that's what I enjoy about the wide-open spaces around the Lachine Canal.

Text to screen : Thank you to Kolab and La Dionerie

Parks Canada Logo

Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by Parks Canada, 2020.

Gouvernement of Canada logo

Photo gallery

Photo gallery

Take a look at the photo gallery to admire the whole mural.

A unique experience for all

The canal has been and continues to be a place of innovation in addition to being an oasis of nature in the heart of a metropolis. Thanks to the richness of this heritage site, visitor experience can vary in ways that are specific and unique to each individual. Ankhone's work personifies the complexity of this historic site with a simplicity that leaves room for the imagination. It represents the past, present and future through the movement of the canal, its industrial history and its poetic nature.

In collaboration with his team, Ankhone opted for a distinctive pictorial representation using a very expressionist technique with clearly visible brushstrokes and roller strokes, creating a vibrant and unique result.

Ankhone's inspiration 

"What I liked about this project, other than the warm welcome from the entire Parks Canada team, was the richness of the site and its history. 

I was inspired by the architecture of the locks and the industrial aspect of the site to tell the story of a series of events. The east façade of the Hangar represents the past, with its sandy colours, and the roaring heart of 19th- and 20th-century industry. Everything blends into the present (north façade) and into contemplation, as illustrated by these two red emblematic Parks Canada chairs facing a large body of water. The west façade represents the future, with its fluid and electronic network connections, while echoing the past as evidenced by the Lasalle-Coke crane. The last (south) wall represents the greenery along the canal. I really wanted to craft a different display on each of the walls to reinforce both the human and industrial diversity of the site. 

I would like to thank my team and the artists who helped me to bring this project to life!"
- Ankhone

Knowledge sharing in fellowship

Nicole Boyce, artist.

The general public and artistic community have shown a growing interest in murals, much to Ankhone's delight. Driven by a burning desire to share his knowledge with the next generation and to work in a spirit of fellowship, he was joined by two artists, Nicole Boyce and Gabriel Paquet, who lent their support at the production stage.

About the artist

L'artiste Ankhone
Ankhone, artist. 

Native from Grenoble, nestled at the foot of the French Alps, Ankhone started doing graffiti on the walls of his city in the early 90’s. In 1999, his expressive style earned him a degree in graphic design from the École Supérieure d’Arts Appliqués of Troyes. Mastering these newfound institutional techniques, he gradually transposed his pictorial and graphic work to painting, without ever breaking the link to the graffiti culture that motivated this progression. A style he later defines as “poetry in motion”.

In 2001, still in France, he joined the reputed Parisian collective, “9e Concept” and worked as art director for Graff-It magazine. In 2010, Ankhone came to Canada for the first time and decided to move to Montreal one year later. His first contracts in Canada include designing sets for movies such as Tom à la Ferme and Juste la fin du monde of Quebec infamous producer Xavier Dolan. Ankhone has been a member of the Ashop Crew since 2013 and has kept working for Ashop Productions since then.

Discover more about Ankhone’s work


KOLAB is a non-profit organization created in 2015 by Ashop Crew founding artists, to promote civic participation through urban arts and to contribute to the professional development of emerging artists. Its mission is to make art accessible to everyone, to bring positive change through it and to create a sense of belonging to the community. The organization is involved, amongst others, in the Montreal urban arts scene and offers emerging artists the opportunity to participate in major projects under the mentorship of fellow professional peers. KOLAB provides them with a creative space, the necessary material and resources to develop their practices. KOLAB brings together, awakens, supports and enlightens Montréalers’ daily lives in their reclaiming of urban space.

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