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St. Peter's Canal National Historic Site


160 Toulouse Street

902-535-2118 (canal service)


Highlights

Note: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Parks Canada has suspended access to some facilities at St. Peters Canal National Historic Site until further notice. Boating is still accessible to those travelling through the locks and swing bridge. 

Please note that the visitor experience at Parks Canada places will be different than it has been in the past. The health and safety of visitors, employees and all Canadians is of the utmost importance. 

Parks Canada is asking visitors to comply with recommendations from Nova Scotia public health authorities by wearing a mask in indoor public spaces, and by respecting recommended social distancing measures at all times.

Parks Canada’s network of protected places is large and diverse. Visitor access, services, and even opening dates may vary across Cape Breton Island and Canso depending on local circumstances. Please visit pc.gc.ca/ns and follow Parks Canada’s social media channels for information and updates on the status of all Parks Canada places.

Overview

Visit St. Peters Canal, where the Atlantic Ocean joins the sparkling Bras d’Or Lake. Enjoy beautiful water views and outdoor experiences. Stop by Canal Landing to get your feet wet with stand up paddle board and kayak rentals, or try your hand at fishing from the banks of the canal. Boaters can enjoy the unique experience of crossing this striking 800-metre tidal lock canal, the oldest in North America. Keep your eyes peeled for marine wildlife and bald eagles as you meander connecting coastal trails or relax with a picnic at the water’s edge.

Explore this gateway to the village of St. Peter’s, whose history can be traced back to a traditional Mi’kmaq portage route and a fortified 17th-century trading post built by French merchant, Nicolas Denys. Learn about the canal’s  remarkable 15-year construction and evolution as a contemporary waterway, opening up Cape Breton Island development from the Atlantic Ocean to the Bras d’Or Lake.

Outdoor exhibits describe the lock’s unique double gates, each with 4 swinging doors that form a diamond shape when closed. The gates, designed to compensate for the tidal differences between the ocean and the lake, are the only ones of their kind in North America.

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