Management Plan Implementation Report

Lachine Canal National Historic Site

 Download the Management Plan Implementation Report in PDF format (3.7 MB)

What is an implementation report?

Parks Canada manages one of the finest and most extensive systems of protected natural and historic places in the world. Its mandate is to protect and present these places for the enjoyment of present and future generations. Strategic management focuses on the future of each national park, national marine conservation area, historic canal and national historic site that the Agency administers.

The Parks Canada Agency Act requires Parks Canada to prepare a management plan for each national historic site. The Lachine Canal National Historic Site of Canada Management Plan, tabled in Parliament in 2018, ensures that Parks Canada is accountable to Canadians by describing how the management of the site will lead to measurable results that support the Agency's mandate.

This Implementation Report is a tool to share with Canadians, community partners and stakeholders the actions and accomplishments Parks Canada has taken to achieve the vision, strategies and objectives of the Management Plan.

Parks Canada recognizes that the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020) has had some unforeseen effects on the implementation of certain elements of the Lachine Canal National Historic Site Management Plan. These impacts, if any, are presented in this report.

Since the adoption of the Management Plan, the Agency has redoubled its efforts to renew the visitor experience at the Lachine Canal National Historic Site and to make it an emblem of Montréal, an important public asset and a vehicle for community development. It should be noted that the urban context in which the Lachine Canal is located has been the object of unparalleled dynamism since the reopening of the canal to pleasure boating in 2002. Several large-scale projects are underway in the vicinity of the canal, and Parks Canada is regularly solicited for these projects.

We would like to thank all the stakeholders who have contributed to the actions and projects listed in this document!

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Strategy no.1

The Lachine Canal: a Montreal landmark!

This strategy aims to give the canal a strong identity and distinctive signature, rooted in the heritage values of the site, to make it a premier destination for local visitors and tourists.

Some achievements

Federal Infrastructure Investment Program

Implementation of this program, launched in 2015, is ongoing. To date, several hundred million dollars are being invested to improve the integrity of cultural resources associated with the canal's buildings and engineering structures (objective 1.2).

Partnership with the Société du Quartier de l'innovation

This partnership (Link in french) has allowed for the development of various initiatives aimed at implementing innovative technological projects that enhance the Lachine Canal, set up in collaboration with various local socio-economic players (objectives 1.1 and 4.1).

Consultation with adjacent boroughs

Parks Canada works in close collaboration with the representatives of the various departments of the boroughs bordering the Lachine Canal (objective 1.3).

Restoration of the canal walls

Thanks to the federal infrastructure investment program, Parks Canada is restoring several sections of the Lachine Canal walls, totalling more than 6 km. The securing of this infrastructure is necessary for recreational boating as well as for the activities offered along the banks.

Rehabilitation of the Canal’s Workshops

An investment of more than $7 million will allow for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the Lachine Canal workshops, whose function is the regular maintenance and repair of the waterway and its various infrastructures. In addition to its utilitarian value, this building is identified as a cultural resource by the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office (FHBRO).

Rehabilitation of the Gauron and Lafleur bridges

The rehabilitation of the Gauron and Lafleur bridges restored the full capacity of these structures and ensured their longevity. The work consisted of replacing the deck joints, installing a bituminous coating and cleaning certain elements.

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Strategy no.2

A renewed visitor experience

This strategy aims to renew the facilities and services offered to better reflect the expectations of the various user profiles and the recent transformations of the adjacent neighbourhoods.

Some achievements

Lachine Canal Winter path

In the winter of 2020-2021, Parks Canada is grooming approximately 10 km of the Lachine Canal trail for the enjoyment of outdoor enthusiasts (objective 2.5)!

Repair of the multipurpose path

In the summer of 2021, 37 sections of the Lachine Canal's multifunctional path will be repaired in order to increase the fluidity and safety of users and to improve the experience of visitors who use it (objective 2.3).

Cyclo-pedestrian roundabout

In 2020, Parks Canada will inaugurate the first cyclo-pedestrian roundabout on the Island of Montreal, near the Sir George-Étienne Cartier footbridge in the southwest (objective 2.3).

Inauguration of the North Link

Parks Canada is adding a new one-kilometre section of multi-purpose trail between Atwater Avenue and Rue des Seigneurs. The North Link is enhanced with staging areas and a service building (Hangar 1825). This project is intended to enhance the visitor experience in this area (Objective 2.3).

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Strategy no.3

An important public asset, a vector of development for the communities

This strategy aims to increase the integration of the canal with its surroundings so that the latter take ownership of it and derive maximum benefit from it.

Some achievements

Development of neighbourhoods adjacent to the canal

The intensification of real estate development on the banks of the Lachine Canal has led to the creation of new pedestrian links to access the canal. Parks Canada ensures that these new developments respect the public character of the historic site and the safety of the thousands of users who use it every year (objective 3.2).

Intensification of major projects nearby

Since 2018, several residential development and infrastructure rehabilitation projects have been launched on and around the Lachine Canal. These large-scale projects require an effort on the part of Parks Canada to mitigate the impacts on the historic character of the site and the safety of users.

Filming activities at the Lachine Canal

Parks Canada is collaborating with the Quebec Film and Television Council as an associate member to have the Lachine Canal included in the Quebec Film Sourcebook. Since 2018, numerous film shoots have been conducted along the canal for various television and film projects.

Improvement of the event offer

Since 2018, several permits are issued annually to enhance the event offering at the Lachine Canal. Outdoor sports activities and special events are organized on the banks of the canal, such as the Festival Les Ginguettes, the Festival Quartiers Danses as well as Team Building activities.

Enhancing the biodiversity of the canal

Parks Canada works with various local stakeholders to enhance the flora and fauna of the canal. They carry out several maintenance and conservation activities during the summer season. For example, La Soverdi initiated the Lachine Canal Takes Flight project, which mission is to raise public awareness of environmental issues in the sector (objective 3.1).

Major projects along the Lachine Canal

Infrastructure rehabilitation
  • Samuel de Champlain Bridge
  • Metropolitan Express Network
  • Nature Park in the Turcot yard
  • New Turcot interchange
  • Rehabilitation of the Bonaventure Expressway
Real Estate Development
  • The Channel 2
  • The Charlotte
  • Le Galdin
  • Noca Condos
  • Airbnb Headquarters

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Strategy no.4

An exceptional showcase of history and innovation

This strategy aims to take advantage of the canal's location in an urban setting to showcase Parks Canada's unique expertise and extensive network of protected places.

Some achievements

Swearing-in of new Canadian citizens

From 2018 to 2019, Parks Canada is participating in annual swearing-in of 200 new Canadian citizens (Objective 4.1). Among other things, the Agency gives them free access to its sites during the first year of their citizenship.

Animation of the banks of the Lachine Canal

Numerous opportunities for encounters with the public have been set up along the Lachine Canal in order to make visitors aware of Parks Canada's mission (objective 4.2). For example, the animation of Hangar 1825 and the Vélo-Cargo program make it possible to establish more than 5,000 contacts with visitors during the summer season. In 2020 and 2021, the facilitation of École en réseauvirtual workshops within  enabled Parks Canada to reach 2,600 elementary and high school students across the country.

Outdoor education programs,

Since 2018, Parks Canada has offered a variety of activities through its introductory camping, paddling, and snowshoeing programs (Objective 4.2). In both summer and winter, the agency has introduced several thousand people to the basics of these activities by partnering with various partners, such as MEC.

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Peel Basin

A sector-based management approach

A particular orientation is developed for the Peel Basin sector, as it benefits from high visibility and major urban projects are underway in its vicinity.

Some achievements

Construction of the Metropolitan Express Network

Parks Canada expresses its concerns with the development of the area and recognizes the importance of several cultural resources to be protected as part of the project, including the CN Port Bridge.

Public consultation Bridge-Bonaventure sector

Parks Canada actively participates in the events organized by the Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM), including the information session, the consultation workshop and the symposium. In addition, Parks Canada is submitting a brief to share its vision and issues for the development of the Bridge-Bonaventure sector.

Redevelopment of the Pointe-du-Moulin area

Parks Canada expresses its concerns with the development of the area and recognizes the importance of several cultural resources to be protected as part of the project, including the food couriers and the views of the former industrial complexes, including Silo No.5, the Farine Five Roses sign, etc.

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A dynamic team at the service of the Lachine Canal National Historic Site

Parks Canada has been working hard since the adoption of the Lachine Canal National Historic Site Management Plan (2018) to achieve the strategic vision, despite the context of the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020). In addition to repairing its infrastructure, animating the canal banks, organizing cultural events and setting up judicious collaborations with a variety of local partners, the Agency also works to respond to the many applications to carry out it receives that have direct impacts on the safety of users and the commemorative integrity of the Lachine Canal National Historic Site.

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