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St. Peter's Canal National Historic Site

160 Toulouse Street

902-535-2118 (canal service)



Built on an isthmus, the 800-metre St. Peter’s Canal joins the Atlantic Ocean to the sparkling Bras d’Or Lake, meandering along Battery Park, popular for boating, fishing, and picnicking.

As the pride of St. Peter’s village, whose history can be traced back to a traditional Mi’kmaw portage route and a fortified 17th century trading post built by French merchant, Nicholas 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 Lakes.

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. Pop by the Canal Landing and rent stand-up paddleboards and kayaks to explore the canal from the water! 

In 2020 we will be celebrating the 150th Anniversary of St Peter’s Canal, and Parks Canada is planning to celebrate all season long in partnership with the communities of St. Peter’s and Potlotek, creating memorable experiences for visitors and community members to mark this anniversary.

Nearby Things To Do

Nicolas Denys Museum

Region: Bras d’Or Lake

Community: St. Peter’s

Overlooking the St. Peter’s Canal. Collection of local historical materials housed in a French-styled building inspired by the trading pos...


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