Lachine Canal work update – Tree removal and re-planting
Parks Canada is undertaking work to repair the canal walls to ensure the long-term preservation of the Lachine Canal. The work involves digging a trench 1.7 to 2.5 metres deep and up to 3 metres wide along the outside of the canal walls. This will necessitate removing vegetation along the walls on the south side of the Lachine Canal, between the Senkus Footbridge and the LaSalle-Coke crane in the LaSalle and Le Sud-Ouest boroughs. As a result, 14 trees in this specific area will be felled to allow the work to proceed.
Parks Canada will also be re-planting more than 50 trees on the south side of the canal, west of the Monk Bridge, in an area where similar vegetation and tree removal was conducted last year in connection with infrastructure work in this sector of the Lachine Canal.
The Lachine Canal’s walls are necessary to the structure of the waterway since they retain the weight of the land and protect the shoreline. The tree canopy and greenery have grown significantly in recent years, both along and within the walls of the canal, creating a situation where the vegetation is compromising the preservation and maintenance of the canal. In order to maintain this historic structure, as well as to allow for the required restoration work, Parks Canada must remove trees and vegetation in specific locations.
Parks Canada is a leader in conservation and built heritage. Prior to the removal of trees and vegetation, all projects are subject to an environmental assessment to ensure mitigations are in place to maintain the ecology of the site and to ensure all work is conducted outside of bird nesting and migratory periods.
Parks Canada recognizes the tree canopy and extensive greenery are important elements of the Lachine Canal. Over the coming months and years, as work continues along the 14 km of the canal, additional tree and vegetation removal may occur in relation to the diverse work required along the canal. Parks Canada will continue implementing various actions to re-plant trees and restore greenery to ensure the revitalization of the vegetation cover at the Lachine Canal; thus, preserving the natural beauty of this historic waterway while protecting the heritage integrity of the site.
Parks Canada is carrying out various work to rehabilitate several infrastructure elements at Lachine Canal National Historic Site, including: bridges and footbridges; lighting system; retaining walls; and, locks. When this work has an impact on users, Parks Canada communicates in a variety of ways, including the @LachineCanal social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter) and online on the Info-Work – Plan Your Commute web page: parkscanada.gc.ca/lachine canal-work. Dates, areas affected, as well as impacts for canal users for this diverse work will be communicated as soon as they are known.
Parks Canada is investing an unprecedented $3 billion over 5 years to support infrastructure improvements in national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas. As part of this, nearly $170 million is being invested in Lachine Canal National Historic Site to upgrade several structural elements of the waterway, preserve the historic canal and enhance the experience of the more than one million people who visit this unique site every year.