Master Plan Implementation Report 2018–2021

Chambly Canal National Historic Site

 Download the Management Plan Implementation Report in PDF format (6.2 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 Chambly 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 Parks Canada has taken and the accomplishments it has made 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 unforeseen impacts on the implementation of some elements of the Chambly Canal Management Plan. Indeed, the program of events was reduced and some worksites were postponed in order to respect the sanitary measures in place.

Since the adoption of the Management Plan, the Agency has increased its efforts to renew the Chambly Canal visitor experience and to make it an important public asset and a vehicle for community development. It should also be noted that several large-scale projects for which Parks Canada is regularly solicited are underway along the canal.

In this respect, it is appropriate to thank all the stakeholders who have contributed to the accomplishment of the actions and projects listed in this document.

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Strategy no.1

The Chambly Canal: Preserve and enhance its heritage and its cultural and natural landscape.

This strategy aims to ensure that the condition of the historic components and the efforts to preserve them reflect the importance of the work of engineering that is the Chambly Canal.

Some achievements

Federal Infrastructure Investment Program

Launched in 2015, this program helps improve the condition of the Chambly Canal’s infrastructure, including its walls, bridges, lock gates and dams. In total, more than $50 million has been invested to date (Objective 1.1).

Characterization of the Canal Cultural Landscape

In 2019, Parks Canada characterized the components of the cultural landscape of the Chambly Canal in order to develop urban planning guidelines. This study focused specifically on the Old Chambly area (i.e. between the Chambly Jetty and Lock No. 4) - (Objective 1.2).

Enhancement of dismantled bridges

In 2018, Parks Canada produced design concepts to test the development potential of the dismantled Chambly Canal bridges. New real estate developments will soon be built near some of them, and this represents an opportunity (Objective 1.2).

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Strategy no.2

An improved and diversified visitor experience from one end of the canal to the other

The purpose of this strategy is to improve the services and activities offered to enhance the visitor and boater experience along the Chambly Canal.

Some achievements

Rest areas along the canal

In 2019, a study was undertaken to identify and characterize the rest areas along the Chambly Canal. The purpose of this exercise was to identify and improve the service offer according to visitors’ and boaters’ routes and destinations (Objective 2.1).

A diversified program of events

The Chambly Canal hosts many events of various kinds each year. Sports challenges, national holidays, multicultural festivals, photo exhibits, etc., are just a few examples of the event programming (Objective 2.3).

Boating statistics

The number of boats that navigate the Chambly Canal annually has been slightly decreasing since 2019.

Rehabilitation of the Chambly Jetty

An investment of $10 million enabled citizens and thousands of visitors access to the iconic federal wharf (Chambly Jetty). This project allowed Parks Canada to win the American Concrete Institute (ACI) 2021 Concrete Construction Excellence Award. (Objective 2.2).

Rehabilitation and redevelopment of the path

Parks Canada implemented a project to improve the amenities of the Chambly Canal multi-purpose path, which includes the redevelopment of rest areas, the upgrading of guardrails, the redevelopment of contact points, and interventions on the surface of the path (Objective 2.2).

Visitor traffic on the canal banks

Between 2018 and 2021, the total number of visitors to the Chambly Canal banks increased by 37%. This increase in visitors confirms the need to improve and diversify the visitor experience along the canal.

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Strategy no.3

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

A strategy that focuses on partnerships, agreements and opportunities with partners will enhance the Site's performance in the visitor experience cycle, build visitor loyalty and create a positive impact on the surrounding communities.

Some achievements

Creation of an advisory committee

Parks Canada is continuing its efforts to set up an advisory committee made up of municipalities, regional county municipalities (RCMs), local organizations and tourism organizations to support the Agency in its role of protecting, promoting and animating the Chambly Canal (Objective 3.1).

Collaboration with municipalities

Meetings with representatives of municipalities adjacent to the Chambly Canal are held on an ad hoc basis. These collaborative meetings provide an opportunity to discuss current and future projects (Objective 3.1).

Animation of the canal banks

Numerous activities of local interest take place on the Chambly Canal federal property on an annual basis. These are generally of a sporting, cultural or charitable nature, as presented opposite (Objective 3.1).

Winter Equipment Loan

Since 2020, the City of Carignan has offered Chambly Canal users the possibility of renting snowshoes and fatbikes in order to use the winter trail along the canal.

Celebrations and festivals

The Chambly Canal National Historic Site is a coveted location for celebrations of all kinds. From 2018 to 2021, several events were held along the canal, such as Canada Day, Quebec’s National Holiday, the winter festival, neighbourhood family celebrations and a multicultural festival.

Sports activities and events

Several activities and sporting events take place on an annual basis along the Chambly Canal. The gourmet races, the Santa Claus race and the half-marathon on the canal strip are a few examples. It should also be noted that three mobile outdoor training businesses have recently been added to this recreational offer.

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Fort Sainte-Thérèse National Historic Site

A sector-based management approach

Area management approach Special direction is being developed for the Fort Sainte-Thérèse National Historic Site because it is a site of very significant historic value and the location of its remains has recently been discovered.

Brief history of Fort Sainte-Thérèse

Fort Sainte-Thérèse was built in 1665 during the Franco-Iroquois conflicts in New France. As soon as the peace treaty was signed around 1696, Fort Sainte-Thérèse was abandoned. For a long time, the exact location of the fort remained unknown, until it was discovered in 2007, and subsequent archaeological excavations have confirmed the fort’s exact location.

Commemorative Integrity Statement

In the fall of 2021, a working team was formed to begin drafting the Commemorative Integrity Statement (CIS) for Fort Sainte-Thérèse National Historic Site (Objective 1.1). The team, made up of historians, archaeologists and urban planners, is based on an archaeological report published in 2012 that presents the discoveries made during the various interventions and excavations carried out between 2007 and 2011. The desire to add a First Nations representative remains to be solidified with the targeted partners.

It should be noted that the Commemorative Integrity Statement consists in evaluating the overall condition and character of a national historic site and reporting on it to the public.

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

Parks Canada has been working hard since the tabling in Parliament of the Chambly 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’s banks, organizing cultural events, and developing judicious collaborations with a variety of local partners, the Agency is also working to address the many requests it receives from third parties on the canal property that have direct impacts on the safety of users and on the commemorative integrity of the Chambly Canal National Historic Site.

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