Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal National Historic Site of Canada
Canal de Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue
Links and documents
1840/01/01 to 1843/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal on the Ottawa River consists of the canal walls and fixed wharf of a man-made waterway constructed in the mid 19th century to by-pass the Ste. Anne’s Rapids in the east channel of the Ottawa River opposite the village of Ste.-Anne-de-Bellevue on the tip of Montreal Island.
Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal was designated a national historic site as part of Canada’s national canal system and because it commemorates the role of the waterways during the 19th and 20th centuries as a part of the canal network that linked Montréal to New York, via the Saint-Lawrence, Rideau, Cataraqui and Ottawa rivers.
Its heritage value resides in the navigable route of the canal and in those vestiges of the canal that witness the materials, forms, and technology of its construction and operations as a commercial canal.
Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal was constructed by the Board of Works of the United Canadas in 1840-1843, and altered in 1879-1883, then repeatedly modernized throughout the 20th century. In 1963 its role changed from a commercial to a recreational canal. After it was acquired by Parks Canada in 1972, parts of the 1.6 hectare canal property not essential to canal operations and historical interpretation were subdivided and sold.
Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, November 1987.
Key elements contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
- the route of the canal bed, its walls and their alteration over time;
- vestiges of earlier periods of canal construction and operations;
- the form and materials of the original lock of the first canal which are the only remains of the original 1840-1843 canal (in particular the entrance walls above and below the lock, and the stone masonry coping of the lock walls which can be seen outlining the lock chamber which is covered in grass);
- the form, surviving original materials and functioning technology of the stone masonry lock constructed by the Department of Railways and Canals in 1881-1882 (in particular its original lock wall masonry);
- the continued legibility of the former upper canal entrance (which has been converted into docking bays for pleasure boats);
- the forms and fabric of four buildings on the canal site constructed in the 1960s and 1970s (the Superintendent’s House, the Watchhouse, the Workshop and an Oil Storage shed);
- remains of former canal buildings that may exist on Parks Canada canal property (on or adjacent to the sites of recent buildings, or in the landscaped picnic area);
- viewplanes of economic development that occurred along the canal banks spanning the mid 19th to mid 20th-century period in which this was a commercial transportation route.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
1879/01/01 to 1883/01/01
1909/01/01 to 1965/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Technology and Engineering
- Developing Economies
- Communications and Transportation
Function - Category and Type
- Canal or Canal Works
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection