Ontario's Historical Plaques 

Discover Ontario's history as told through its plaques

2004 - Now in our 15th Year - 2019

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The First Sault Ste. Marie Canal

First Sault Ste. Marie Canal

Photo by contributor Michael Eisen, Parks Canada - Posted November, 2011

First Sault Ste. Marie Canal

Photo from Google Street View ©2014 Google - Posted January, 2014

Plaque Location

The District of Algoma
The City of Sault Ste. Marie
On a pylon at the foot of Huron Street
beside the remains of the first canal

Coordinates: N 46 30.946 W 84 20.916


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Plaque Text

The French explorers who first reached this favoured Ojibway hunting and fishing ground were soon followed by fur traders and missionaries who built a post and mission. By 1762 the region had come under British control and the trade eventually fell into the hands of the North West Company. Canoes and larger boats were towed through the rapids, sometimes by oxen, until 1797-8 when the Company built a canal with a wooden lock sufficiently large to admit a Montreal canoe. The lock was destroyed by American troops in 1814.

Related Ontario plaques
Sault Ste. Marie Ship Canal
The North West Company Post



Fur Trade

Sault Ste. Marie Plaques

Here are the visitors' comments for this page.

> Posted January 31, 2012
In reply to comment of Jan. 19, 2012 - It's a good suggestion to note this plaque's origin. Parks Canada plays a vital role in supporting the work of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board (HSMB), including erecting and caring for these cairns and plaques. It's the Board which designates sites, events and people of national historic significance. The close relationship can confuse the public as to who does what, and it doesn't help to clarify things when Parks Canada actually operates certain national historic sites, as part of the national park system. However, this is not one of them. This plaque marks 'First Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Event', referring to a canal built in 1797. It's a different designation from Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site, built some 90 years later, and operated today by Parks Canada. Both were designated by the HSMB, but only the Site is a unit of the park system.

> Posted January 19, 2012
This is a Parks Canada sign identifying a National Historic Site which it might be appropriate to notice in the descriptor
Dieter K. Buse

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