Please note: this is not about the American Soo Locks on the Michigan side. This is about the Sault Ste. Marie Canal in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

SAULT STE. MARIE, ONTARIO, April 17, 2024 – In order to manage restoration work of the Powerhouse building at the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site, Parks Canada requires the recreational lock to remain closed until approximately August 2024.

Critical in-ground work is required to stabilize the foundation of the historic Powerhouse building, which is under threat from ground water intrusion. The fluctuating water levels during the recreational locks’ operation is impacting water levels within the construction area. Maintaining low water levels in the lock area ensures conditions remain dry for this important in-ground work.

Parks Canada recognizes this temporary closure impacts water-based visitation to the national historic site for the 2024 season and appreciates the understanding from visitors. Land-based visitation remains largely unchanged, and the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site looks forward to welcoming visitors with the Visitor Centre, Exhibit, and programming opening to the public on May 20, 2024. Access to the grounds, South St. Mary’s Island, and Whitefish Island will not be affected during the temporary lock closure.

In the interim, the Soo Locks on the Michigan side of the St. Mary’s River will be open and can continue to be used by recreational boaters and tourism operators. There are no fees to pass through the Soo Locks, nor need to report with Customs for transient boaters who are not planning to moor or disembark their vessel. Parks Canada and the project contractor are working closely together and have established checkpoints through this current phase to test the effectiveness of the work completed and allowing re-evaluation of lock opening timelines.

Parks Canada will work closely with local tourism operators, stakeholders and partners to support a successful tourism season across the region and will continue to communicate expected timelines and updates as the project progresses.

The Government of Canada is investing in the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site as part of the largest federal infrastructure investment program in the history of Parks Canada. This project is part of the approximate $18.5 million in federal investments to revitalize the site’s Historic Core; a cluster of heritage buildings made up of the Carpentry Shop, Stores Building and Blacksmith’s Shop, as well as the Powerhouse and surrounding landscape.

Megan Miller
Public Relations and Communications Officer
Northern Ontario Field Unit, Parks Canada