Press Releases

Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site

2022

Vegetation Intervention

SAINT-OURS, Quebec, December 12, 2022 – Parks Canada wishes to inform the public that 11 dead ash trees will soon be cut down at the Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site. Located on Darvard Island, these dead trees must be removed to ensure the safety of site users.

Parks Canada is initiating various activities to revitalize and preserve the Saint-Ours Canal’s vegetation. This includes implementing a re-planting plan. On November, 14 trees and 8 shrubs were planted on site (oaks, red maples, yellow birches, lilacs, elderberries, viburnums and cedars). Selected vegetation is planted in locations that are deemed suitable to ensure optimal growth and do not pose a risk to the integrity of the site and of the canal elements.

Parks Canada takes a number of criteria into consideration when selecting vegetation types or tree species, such as life expectancy, resilience to the site conditions (pollution, drought, soil compaction, etc.), existing flora and fauna, diversity, the specific nature of the area, root system and aesthetics. Parks Canada recognizes that the tree canopy and extensive greenery are important elements of the Saint-Ours Canal and will continue to implement various measures to re plant trees and restore vegetation to preserve the natural beauty of this heritage site.


Young sport fishers in action!

Parks Canada Agency and the Fondation de la faune du Québec introduce young people to sport fishing

Saint-Ours, July 5, 2022 — On Saturday, August 6 at the Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site, Parks Canada will welcome 20 young people for a day-long initiation into sport fishing as part of the Young Sport Fishers' Program activities. With the support of Canadian Tire, its main partner, and the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs (MFFP), this program promotes the next generation of sport fishers.

This Parks Canada activity, which is already sold out, was selected as one of the best projects for coaching and training young anglers. With the authorization of the MFFP, each young person will receive a Young Sport Fisher certificate, which will serve as a fishing licence until they turn 18.

During the 2022 summer season, the Fondation expects to reach close to 16,500 new enthusiasts, notably through local organizations that offer Young Sport Fishers introductory activities including quality training on fishing, safety, regulations, habitat and fish biology, followed by a fishing period supervised by qualified resources. Since its inception in 1997, the Young Sport Fishers' Program has introduced more than 320,000 youth to fishing.

After a two-year hiatus, we are pleased to be able to offer the Young Sport Fishers' Program in an updated format that is accessible to more youth. Thank you to Parks Canada Agency for ensuring that the next generation of anglers is introduced to sport fishing through their activities and training,

Jean-Claude D’Amours
Chief Executive Officer of the Fondation de la faune du Québec.

The Young Sport Fishers' Program is a presentation of the Fondation de la faune du Québec, with the support of its main partner, Canadian Tire.

About us

The mission of the Fondation de la faune du Québec is to enhance and promote conservation of wildlife and its habitat. Thanks to the contribution of more than one million hunters, fishers and trappers in Quebec, thousands of donors and numerous private companies, the Fondation has been supporting more than 2,000 organizations throughout Quebec since 1987, creating a true wildlife movement.


Team Up and Help Us Clean Up the Shorelines of the Chambly Canal!

Borrow your cleaning kit now

Chambly, Quebec, June 6 – Parks Canada is proud to support the "Team Up and Clean Up the Shoreline" program, a national initiative to keep Canada's shorelines free of litter, including plastic waste that can remain in the environment for up to 1,000 years. Two of Parks Canada's historic canals in Quebec have been selected to participate in this year's program: the Lachine and Chambly canals will welcome volunteers throughout the summer who would like to contribute to the cleanliness of their favourite canal by lending them the necessary equipment to pick up litter.

Interested parties can request their cleaning kit from Parks Canada staff at Locks 1, 2, 3 or 9. Each set contains a bucket, a pair of gloves, a clipboard, a data sheet, a pencil and a scale. Be sure to bring a first aid kit, hand sanitizer and sunscreen! After their collection, participants must keep track of the litter they have collected using a tracking form that will be provided to them. Collecting data amplifies the long-term impact of actions taken; this valuable information helps Parks Canada identify and mitigate sources of canal-side litter. Kits are available in limited quantities.

Through this simple act, volunteers will participate in citizen science and contribute to marine litter research. Together, we will help make the shorelines safer for both wildlife and humans.


Launch of the Boating Season at

First boaters of the 2022 season at the Saint-Ours Canal Historic Site
First boat of the season at the Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site! ©Parks Canada

Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site

Saint-Ours, May 20, 2022 – The warm weather is finally here! It’s the perfect time to head back outside and reconnect with the places we love!

Today, the Parks Canada’s team was happy to welcome the first boat of the 2022 season at the Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site.

Looking for a vacation destination for the summer? Think oTENTik!

oTENTik accommodation at the Saint-Ours Canal
oTENTik at Saint-Ours Canal NHS. © Parks Canada

It’s still possible to reserve your stay in an oTENTik accommodation at the Saint-Ours Canal; there are still a few availabilities for the summer! Whether you want to try out this exclusive type of ready-to-camp accommodation offered in Parks Canada locations or simply want a little getaway not too far from home, Parks Canada staff will be happy to welcome you on the banks of the Richelieu River. Ready to relax? Make a reservation now! https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/saintours

2021

Saint-Ours Canal Management Plan Tabled in Parliament 

View of the Saint-Ours Canal and the Superintendent’s House

Saint-Ours, Quebec, December 21, 2021 –  The management plan for Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site was tabled in Parliament recently. Reviewed every 10 years, management plans are a legislative requirement of the Canada National Parks Act and guide the management of Parks Canada places.

National historic sites reflect the rich and varied heritage of our nation. 

The new plan for the Saint-Ours Canal outlines the following key objectives: 

  • Transforming the Saint-Ours Canal into a historical jewel and landmark along the Richelieu River by taking advantage of its location,
  • Improving the condition of the site’s facilities and infrastructure by enhancing a variety of users’ experience (boaters, visitors and campers),
  • Ensuring the sustainability of the infrastructure and preserving the commemorative integrity of the Saint-Ours Canal by mitigating the negative impacts of flooding. 

The plan was developed through public consultation and based on input from local residents and organizations, visitors, stakeholders, partners and Indigenous communities of the Montérégie region. Through this management plan, Parks Canada is meeting its promise to protect and present Canada’s cultural heritage while also providing an opportunity for Canadians to experience and discover our diverse history in new and exciting ways.

The Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site Management Plan is available on the Parks Canada website.


Launch of the Boating Season at Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site

a boater and two lock operators
First boater of the season at the Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site! ©Parks Canada

Saint-Ours, May 21, 2021 - Today, Parks Canada’s team was happy to welcome, at the Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site, the first boater of the 2021 season. 

The health and safety of visitors, boaters and employees is of the utmost importance and the Agency will follow the advice and guidance of public health authorities to determine visitor access and services. 

Transport Canada's physical distancing standards for Canadian boaters must also be respected. It is possible that boat capacity may be considerably reduced depending on the canal, and that the wait time increase. 

For more details about the service periods and the measures taken by the Agency to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Quebec’s historic canals, please visit the Important information about your visit to the Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site webpage or call 1-888-773-8888 to plan your visit. 

Canal Banks Visitors 

Parks Canada is asking visitors to follow the advice of public health experts and to practice physical distancing and hygiene measures, limit public gatherings, as well as respect travel restrictions. 

Visitors should also leave no trace when they are visiting canal banks. Garbage containers have been installed to that end. If a garbage can is full, visitors should use the next one or bring their garbage with them. 

It is again possible to book a stay in our oTENTik accommodation units located on Darvard Island for the summer season. Reservations are mandatory and must be made through the Parks Canada website reservation.pc.gc.ca or by phone at 1-877-RESERVE (1-877-737-3783)

Public Consultation: There’s still time to make yourself heard

Since May 1, Parks Canada invites visitors, residents of Saint-Ours and of adjacent neighbourhoods, partners, and organizations to contribute to the future vision of the Canal by sharing their views on the draft Management Plan for the Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site. Consultations will end on May 31. 

More information about the draft Management Plan and opportunities for input are available at www.consultationcanal.ca.


Parks Canada invites the public to share their views on the draft management plan for the Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site

Saint-Ours, Quebec, May 3, 2021 – Parks Canada is pleased to invite the public to share their views on the draft management plan for the Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site. Once finished, this new plan will guide management actions and decisions for the Canal for a ten-year period and will be a key tool to engage stakeholders and partners. 

In March 2019, to provide food for thought for the development of the new draft management plan, Parks Canada carried out a vision exercise, with a range of stakeholders in Saint-Ours. Since then, consultations that should have followed were delayed according to public health experts’ recommendations, and will now have to be held virtually, to ensure the health and safety of participants and staff.  

Parks Canada now invites visitors, residents of Saint-Ours and of adjacent neighbourhoods, partners, and organizations to contribute to the future vision of the Canal by attending the public consultation. On-line, participants will be able to view information on the draft management plan, discuss with Parks Canada representatives and share their views on the platform provided for that purpose. Presentation of the draft management plan will also take place. 

Following are a number of proposals that the public will be asked to comment on: 

  • Transforming the Saint-Ours Canal into a historical jewel and landmark along the Richelieu River by taking advantage of its location,
  • Improving the condition of the site’s facilities and infrastructure by enhancing a variety of users’ experience (boaters, visitors and campers),
  • Ensuring the sustainability of the infrastructure and preserving the commemorative integrity of the Saint-Ours Canal by mitigating the negative impacts of flooding. 

The virtual sessions will take place on May 26, at 7 p.m. No reservation required.

Login: https://canada.webex.com/meet/Canal-de-St-Ours 

Those interested may consult a summary of the plan and comment online until May 31, 2021, at www.consultationcanal.ca.

2020

Clearing of the vegetation

Chambly, Quebec, October 29, 2020 – Parks Canada will begin to clear vegetation on the both sides of the Saint-Ours dam. The removal of the vegetation will ensure the long-term preservation of the National Historic Site. 

The tree cover along the Saint-Ours Canal and the abundant greenery have grown considerably over the past few years and have created over time a wall of plants that could affect the preservation of the banks and the canal infrastructure as well as their maintenance. For these reasons, Parks Canada must carry out the removal of plants in specific areas of the canal. 

Parks Canada is working on an action plan to ensure the long-term maintenance of the vegetation cover at the Saint-Ours Canal, to preserve the canal’s natural beauty while protecting the historic integrity of this exceptional site. 

The clearing of the vegetation will begin in November 2020 and will take three weeks. It will be performed outside the nesting periods of migratory birds. All work areas will be marked off with traffic cones; Parks Canada asks everyone to exercise caution and to obey the temporary signage. 

For more information on the infrastructure projects underway at the Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site, visit www.parkscanada.gc.ca/stourscanal.

Revised calendar, advanced navigation season

Parks Canada's Historic Canals in Quebec

CHAMBLY, QUEBEC, June 22, 2020 – Parks Canada wants to give an update regarding infrastructure work along historic canals in Quebec. Since the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions on construction sites, work could resume while respecting the new Canada and Quebec’s public health directives for the health and safety of workers. Timelines have been revised to take into account the challenges caused by these restrictions.

Despite these constraints, the work was carried out at a faster rate than expected thanks to increased efforts on the part of contractors and dedicated Parks Canada teams preparing for the season opening. The Quebec’s Waterways Unit is, therefore, proud to confirm the progressive reopening of the canals earlier than the original schedule. 

Thus, Parks Canada will welcome boaters as of July 1, at the Chambly Canal, and as of July 17 at Saint-Ours Canal, instead of the 3rd week of July as previously announced. As for the Lachine Canal, operations will resume on July 17, between Lock No. 3 and Lock No. 5. For the entire canal, the target date remains the first week of August. Non-motorized nautical activities have resumed since June 19, between Lock No. 3 and Lock No. 5. For the Carillon Canal, temporary work carried out during the next few weeks will allow the opening of the canal to navigation at the end of August, rather than having to cancel the whole 2020 boating season.The scope of work had to be reviewed and this had an impact on the schedule. 

Parks Canada apologizes for the inconvenience of these delays and thanks boaters as well as the community and local businesses for their patience and understanding. 

The Agency wishes to remind visitors and boaters that they should not expect to have the kind of experiences that they have had in the past. As Parks Canada adapts to the COVID-19 situation, visitor access and services on the canals will be limited. 

Those who choose to access historic canals and waterways should follow the advice of public health experts on physical distancing. Everyone will need to be careful in their choices to avoid injury and to minimize any need for emergency response. 

For more details about the service periods and the measures taken by Parks Canada to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the historic canals of Quebec, please consult the websites of each canals or call 1-888-773-8888 in order to plan your visit.


Chambly and Saint-Ours Canals National Historic Sites

CHAMBLY, QUEBEC, June 2, 2020 – Parks Canada announces the upcoming gradual re-opening of the 2020 navigation season in Parks Canada’s Quebec’s historic canals. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the suspension of activities and construction sites at Parks Canada places, the navigation season has been delayed in the province's historic canals. 

The Chambly and Saint-Ours national historic canals are expected to welcome boaters for the navigation season from the third week of July, until Monday October 12, 2020. 

In Chambly: the Federal Jetty accessible to visitors in August

The work at Locks Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 9 will end in June while the repairs to the Federal Jetty will be completed in August. Thanks to the work carried out during the past year, the waiting docks can now be installed before the start of the navigation season. 

The jetty will now be embellished with new street furniture such as luminaires with aluminum decorative elements as well as a LED lighting module, benches, galvanized steel pipe railings, waste and recycling bins, bicycle racks, planter boxes, and Adirondack chairs. Branding of the Chambly Canal commemorative logo is also planned at the end of the pier. 

In Saint-Ours: a new roof for the Superintendent's house

From May to August, repair work on the roof of the Superintendent's house is taking place. The repairs include the reconstruction of the roof using a conservation approach to maintain its original style, i.e., the use of Canadian stainless steel sheet metals. Parks Canada is rebuilding the gable roof exactly as it was at the time of its construction, in the second half of the 19th century. 

Darvard Island’s wastewater collection system is scheduled to be repaired in the next few months. Due to this upcoming work, the oTENTik accommodations will not be available this summer. The site will, however, remain accessible in compliance with the directives issued by public health authorities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Navigation Season

The health and safety of visitors, boaters, employees and all Canadians is of the utmost importance and the Agency will follow the advice and guidance of public health authorities in resuming visitor access and services. Only places and activities where health and safety risks can be mitigated will be available to visitors. The dates mentioned above for the opening of the Chambly and Saint-Ours canals are conditional on the evolution of the COVID-19 situation and the measures needed to flatten the curve and ensure everyone's safety. 

Transport Canada's physical distancing standards for Canadian boaters must also be respected. It is possible that boat capacity may be considerably reduced depending on the canal, and that the wait time may be increased. We thank boaters for their patience and collaboration. 

Caution on the banks

There will be many users sharing the Chambly Canal path – cyclists, pedestrians and in-line skaters will be among them. Parks Canada asks all visitors to follow the advice of public health experts on physical distancing. They must be careful in their choices to avoid injury and minimize any need for emergency response. In addition, we invite them to be courteous and obey the signage to make coexistence between all safer and more harmonious. 

Visitors and boaters should not expect to have the kind of experiences that they have had in the past.   As Parks Canada adapts to the COVID-19 situation, visitor access and services will be limited. 

Those who choose to access historic canals and waterways should follow the advice of public health experts on physical distancing. Everyone should be careful in their choices to avoid injury and to minimize any need for emergency response. 

For more details about the service periods and the measures taken by the Agency to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Quebec’s historic canals, please visit the Historic canals and waterways website or call 1-888-773-8888 to plan your visit.


Parks Canada temporarily suspends all visitor services across the country until further notice 

March 17, 2020, Gatineau, Quebec, Parks Canada Agency - The health and safety of Canadians, visitors, and Parks Canada team members is of the utmost importance to the Agency. Parks Canada is following the advice of public health experts and taking steps to support the Government of Canada’s efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 and reduce risks to visitors, employees, and other users of Parks Canada spaces. 

Effective at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, March 19, 2020, Parks Canada is temporarily suspending all visitor services in all national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas across the country until further notice. The Agency will be monitoring the situation and will communicate regularly. 

Parks Canada will limit its activities to basic critical operations and many staff will work from home. Visitor facilities will be closed temporarily, including washrooms and day use facilities. Some conservation activities will also be temporarily suspended, including projects with external researchers. 

While visitor services are temporarily suspended, Parks Canada will continue to deliver a number of critical functions, including highway management and snow removal, fire response, dam operations and water management on historic waterways, as well as avalanche forecasting and control, among others.

Visitors may use front country and backcountry areas as well as accessible green spaces. Should Canadians decide to visit, they should remember that they are always responsible for their own safety. They should consult Parks Canada’s website to be prepared for their visit and be aware of any area closures. Search and rescue services may be limited. Visitors should exercise additional caution at this time and avoid activities with safety risks.

There are a number of tourism businesses and operations within Parks Canada places. These operators are valued partners and provide important services to visitors. They may continue to operate and clients should check with them before visiting to ensure that there has been no change to their services.

Parks Canada will cease taking new reservations until April 30, 2020. All existing reservations for this period will be refunded in full. In addition, the Agency is currently developing an approach to honour passes, in light of travel restrictions and closures related to COVID-19. Details will be communicated in due course.

A complete list of Parks Canada places that are closed and the parameters of these closures will be available on the Parks Canada website soon. Please visit pc.gc.ca regularly for updates.

Quote
“At this critical time, our top priority remains the health and safety of Canadians. We are doing everything we can to contain the novel coronavirus and reduce the burden on our healthcare system. We all look forward to resuming normal operations at Parks Canada places, but for now we must follow the advice of public health experts and work together to limit the spread of COVID-19.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson,
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada


Related Links


Infrastructure upgrades during 2020 season

SAINT-OURS, QUEBEC, January 30, 2020 – Parks Canada wishes to inform the public of upcoming federal infrastructure projects at the Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site beginning in spring 2020. While the site will remain open, Parks Canada would like to advise on work to be undertaken and how it may impact visitors. 

Come visit us in 2020!
While these important improvements to the Saint-Ours Canal are underway, the site will remain accessible to all, and special programming will be set up in collaboration with the Friends of the Saint-Ours Canal during the summer season. All visitors are invited to take advantage of the beautiful season to admire the nautical show as boats move through the lock and to participate in the programming put forward by the Friends of the Saint-Ours Canal in collaboration with Parks Canada. Cycling, picnicking, relaxing, special events and riverside strolls are all on the program!

Superintendent’s house: A new roof
The Superintendent’s house will be updated with a new roof, using a conservation approach modelling its original construction with Canadian-style stainless steel sheets. Damaged components of the roof will be removed or repaired, along with the removal of bulk asbestos (vermiculite), a material commonly used for the era in which the house was built. The project will also involve refurbishing the insulation and lining of chimneys, replacing water damaged boards and restoring the air exchange between the roof and the exterior.

This work is scheduled to begin in May 2020 and last for approximately one month. Once confirmed, the work schedule will be shared, as the Superintendent’s house will not be accessible to the public for the duration of the roofing repair work. 

Rehabilitation of the wastewater collection system
Parks Canada must complete a full replacement of the domestic sewage treatment system on Darvard Island. This important facility serves the Superintendent’s house and the oTENTik accommodation site. The work is in the planning stages and is scheduled for the fall of 2020. Until the work is complete, the washroom facilities within the Superintendent’s house are not accessible and temporary washroom facilities will be available for visitors. Additionally, oTENTik accommodations will not be offered for the full 2020 visitor season. 

Parks Canada makes every effort to minimize disruption to visitors, however with Canada’s northern climate and short construction season, work commonly needs to be carried out during the milder periods of the year, including during our visitor season. Parks Canada appreciates the patience and understanding of our visitors as we complete these important upgrades to our treasured places.

Parks Canada is leading important infrastructure work to ensure safe, high-quality experiences for visitors by improving heritage, visitor, waterway, and highway assets located within national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas, including along the Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site.

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