Saturday, July 1, 2017

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario: Canal National Historic Site

If you've looked at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, on a map, you probably know that it's the point where Lake Superior turns into Lake Huron, which makes it an easy crossing point between the United States to Canada.You probably don't know about the rapids, which made such crossings a bit tricking before the bridge was built.

What was obviously needed was some locks so that ships could sail smoothly in both directions. And that's what Sault Ste. Marie did in 1895. What's more, it's still open for business. In the photo here, you can see the bridge looking down on the area.

Interestingly, this was once the longest lock in the world. It's also said to be the first to use electrical power. There are no tricks or stunts here. You open the door to Lake Superior, the boat goes into the lock, close the first door, open the second door to Lake Huron, and the boat leaves. (Spoiler: This is a little oversimplified.)

The lock is too small for commercial ships these days, but recreational boaters can use it to this day. The area is also a nice park. During our visit, First Nation members were celebrating the first day of summer.

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