Red chairs

Lachine Canal National Historic Site

Enjoy the moment!

Since the summer of 2015, Parks Canada has installed a series of red Adirondack chairs at the Lachine Canal so that visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of Montreal and the rich historical heritage of this exceptional site.

Each location has been carefully selected enabling you to pause and explore the narratives of the landscape as you connect with history and nature.

Time to Connect


[uplifting music]

Camera follows a young couple walking their bikes towards two red chairs overlooking a lake.

You’ve found it

Camera now turns around another red chair where a family of hikers are arriving. The mountaineous view is breathtaking.

The camera is continuing its motion of turning around red chairs, but this time a young boy is holding his mother's hand on a beach.

The perfect moment

Close-up of the young boy smilling at his mother.

The best place on Earth

Close-up of the biking couple. The female biker is laughing.

Time to connect with nature

The camera resumes it's circling motion, turning around a group of musician playing guitar and violin with majestic hills towering over the sea in the background.

And those who really matter

Four girls are sitting in the red chairs and taking a selfie.

A family is gazing at the distance, the older daughter pulls up a pair of binoculars.

Close-up of the four girls smiling and taking a selfie.

Close-up of the violin player.

Camera is circling around two adults doing yoga in front of the red chairs with the sea in the background.

Find your Red Chair moment

Camera is back to the family of hikers with the sun setting behind the mountains.

Parks Canada


A message from the Government of Canada

LOGO ON SCREEN: Canada Wordmark.

Where are the red chairs?

Any means is fine for going in search of the red chairs along the 14.5 km of the Lachine Canal, whether on foot, by bicycle or even by boat! While some chairs are easy to spot, others require a little more effort.

To help you with your adventure, visit the concession holders located in the Atwater Market sector who offer bike rental and small boat rentals, or take a trip on the Canal.

The adventure doesn't end at the Lachine Canal! Parks Canada has installed red Adirondack chairs in the most beautiful landscapes in the country, including those featured in Quebec's other historic canals. What are you waiting for to discover them?

Carillon Canal National Historic Site
Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal National Historic Site
Chambly Canal National Historic Site
Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site

A story to share

Once you've spotted the red chairs and you're comfortably seated, inhale deeply and take the time to observe the different elements that make up the landscape unfolding before your eyes.

While you're at it, add your story to that of the Lachine Canal by sharing your photo using the hashtag #timetoconnect. Don't forget to mention @LachineCanal so that Parks Canada can share your beautiful moment!

And to encourage you to explore our natural and heritage treasures, Parks Canada invited public figures to share their attachment to these iconic places.

Oliver Jones: Confessions of a jazz legend

Oliver Jones memories


Transcription anglaise – capsule anglaise

(Start of the video showing the Parks Canada identifiers. Start of jazz music played on piano.

Series of images filmed around the Lachine Canal National Historic Site in Montreal in the morning: View of downtown Montreal, a cyclist, a footbridge, lock gates, water flowing in the canal. On a sequence showing red chairs, the title “The Lachine Canal as seen by Oliver Jones” appears then disappears, next the sub-title “All Jazz Up!” appears then disappears.

Oliver Jones playing the piano on the banks of the Lachine Canal with downtown Montreal in the background.

Oliver Jones is sitting in an Adirondack-style red chair beside the Lachine Canal.

“As you know, I grew up about five streets away from …

While Oliver Jones continues speaking, two photographs from the early 19th century follow one another: One shows a view of the roofs of Saint-Henri and the other a street in the same neighborhood.

… from where we are right now on, on Fulford Street.”

Return to Oliver Jones sitting in the red chair.

“When we thought of the canal, we remember how…

Second series of photographs: One photo of the canal drained and dirty, followed by another with a view of factories beside the canal emitting smoke, then a photo of the canal at the start of the 19th century showing boats and industries.

“… dirty it was and the smell… I had several friends who used to like to come and swim in it, but it was one thing my parents would not allow me to do.”

Return to Oliver Jones sitting in the red chair.

“So when I came back in 1980, I was really surprised to see…

A series of four images filmed on the banks of the canal go by: Two people walking with a baby carriage, bicycles on a bridge, a group of cyclists, and park benches along the bike path.

… that they had cleaned it up and it’s a beautiful place to come now.”

Return to Oliver Jones sitting in the red chair.

“So bravo for that.”

Oliver Jones playing the piano, insertion of a photo of Oliver Jones as a young adult at the piano.

Return to Oliver Jones sitting in the red chair. Close-up on the profile of Oliver Jones and alternating shots of him sitting in a red chair viewed from the front and from the side as he recounts his childhood memories.

“ I started playing piano at about three, three years old. ”

“ My older sister used to say that… one day they were sitting down after school and they heard me playing a tune that was on the radio. It was something that… that came very natural to me. ”

“ Actually, the smart one in the family was my mother because when she was doing her… her housework, she said that’s the only place that I was quiet. She says I could leave you for an hour, two hour and I would just bang on the piano. But all that change and within a year, I started to… to play melodies… and at the age of five I did my first performance at the Union United Church…

A photo of the Union United Church appears.

… which is on Atwater and Delisle, not too far from here.”

Return to Oliver Jones sitting in the red chair.

“The next year when I was six, I heard Oscar Peterson for the first time and… that really encouraged me. ”

“Oh we have a piano here also ? ”

Oliver (seen from behind) moves towards the piano.

Close-up on the fingers of Oliver Jones playing the piano, then wide shot of Oliver Jones playing a jazz tune on the piano with the Lachine Canal in the background. He smiles as he is done playing free style on the piano.

Official Parks Canada credits.

© Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada, represented by Parks Canada, 2015.

The famous Montreal jazzman Oliver Jones was able to witness the extent of the Lachine Canal's transformation, between the moment he played his first notes on the piano at the age of 3 in the neighborhood and his return to Montreal in 1980.

Marc Bergevin recounts his memories of the Lachine Canal

Memories of Marc Bergevin


(Start of video showing Parks Canada identifiers. Start of intro music.

Series of images shot around the Lachine Canal National Historic Site, in Montreal, in the morning: a view of downtown Montreal, a cyclist, a gangway, lock gates, and the water flow in the canal. In a sequence featuring red chairs, the title: “The Lachine Canal as seen by Marc Bergevin - General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens’’ fades in and fades out, and the subtitle: ‘‘Back to his roots’’, fades in and fades out.

Marc Bergevin is sitting on a red Adirondack chair along the Lachine Canal, and downtown Montreal is in the background.

“My mom is first and only job was in when I was probably 12 or 13 years old. She, She had a job in Saint-Ambroise, right across from the château St-Ambroise.’’

An image of the CN Port Bridge fades in and then fades out while Marc Bergevin is addressing the camera:

‘‘And she used to take the, to save time, take the bridge it’s only railway track.’’

Back to Marc Bergevin sitting on the red chair:

‘‘And I didn’t like that. I was always afraid something happened to her. I was hoping she takes Le pont Charlevoix which was more for cars. You know, nothing happened but I was just as a young boy. I was close to her and I… I didn’t like that.’’

An image of the city of Montreal with its reflection on the Lachine Canal water fades in and fades out, followed by a back view of Marc Bergevin looking towards the canal. An image with automobiles circulating on a bridge that crosses the canal in the fifties fades in and fades out, and then an old image of the Stelco factory fades in and then fades out, followed by a third image of the Lachine Canal during the same period fades in and then fades out while Marc Bergevin carries on with his narrative:

‘‘Back in the seventies like when I was growing up here. Euh… My dad was a fireman and he was in a firehouse number 23 in St-Henri. My dads first job when he moved from the country side was here in, La Stelco, which I remember was on Charlevoix and the, and Le Canal,’’

Back to Marc Bergevin sitting on the red chair:

‘‘on the, on the north side and it was his first job.’’

A back view of Marc Bergevin gazing at the canal and then turning around to walk fades in and fades out while we hear him make the following statement:

‘‘I left Montreal in 84,’’

Back to Marc Bergevin sitting on the red chair:

‘‘To be exact, I left Pointe-Saint-Charles in 82. So coming back here is good for a few things, a few reasons.’’

The camera zooms out and Marc Bergevin points to downtown Montreal, we get back to a close-up shot.

‘‘Actually, been close to the Bell Center which is right behind me and our practice facilities in Brossard. With Champlain Bridge and Victoria which are two bridges I could take. And also being back were have some families are still living here, I have cousin in Pointe St-Charles. With the canal being all done, with the biking and the jogging, I think it’s a nice place to live. You get Atwater market which is right here. I just love being here. I feel like it’s home. I really, Montreal is my home, but Pointe St-Charles and this area, le sud-ouest, it’s even more my home.’’

A side view of Marc Bergevin, leaning on a fence along the Lachine Canal is followed by aback view of Marc Bergevin looking at the canal with downtown Montreal in the background.

Official Parks Canada credits. End of music.)

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by Parks Canada, 2015

Comfortably seated in a one of Parks Canada’s red chairs, Montreal Canadiens general manager, Marc Bergevin, recalls the history of his family in the Lachine Canal neighbourhood and shares the reasons that led him to return after an absence of 30 years.

Where did the red chair idea come from?

Initiated by Gros Morne National Park in 2011, Parks Canada's Red Chair Experience program has rapidly expanded to other national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas across the country.

Installed in locations that are most emblematic of Canada, the red Adirondack chairs enable visitors to experience unforgettable moments in exceptional settings while connecting with nature and history.

For more information on the location of the red chairs in Canada

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