History and culture

Lachine Canal National Historic Site

The canal was the port of entry for a canal network that linked the Atlantic to the heart of the continent. It was one of the factors that made Montréal the cradle of the Canadian manufacturing industry.

The canal's location near the port and the development of its hydraulic power potential in addition to the availability of inexpensive labour, sufficient capital and the closeness of markets favoured the establishment of highly diversified businesses along its banks.


The Lachine Canal is much more than just a route bypassing the rapids of the same name. The Lachine Canal's history stretches over more than 150 years and takes several directions. It comes within the scope of the interdependence between shipping, industrialization and urbanization, which marked Montréal's development.



Lachine Canal is a part of the Montreal landscape. Discover Lachine Canal landmarks.



Most of Canada's canals consist of a series of locks allowing boats to overcome obstacles such as dams, rapids, sandbars and rocky riverbeds. Canals and locks construction, as well as the maintenance of these, requires great engineering knowledge. 



The Lachine Canal was an important source in hydraulic energy and was instrumental in the industrial and commercial development of the City of Montreal and Canada. By that very fact, it constituted an industrial corridor that was one of the main birthplaces of the manufacturing industry in Canada.

Whether on the landscape of the Canal, on or under its banks, a number of elements still testify to the rich industrial, energy and manufacturing past of the Lachine Canal national historic site.

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