On the edge of the rapids at Sault Ste. Marie, lie the historic buildings, antique machinery and picturesque grounds of the Sault Ste. Marie Canal.
The buildings on the canal edge (Visitor Centre, Powerhouse, Stores, Canalman’s Shelter and Superintendent’s Residence) were made of local red sandstone excavated during the construction of the lock. The buildings were built in three distinct architectural styles – Neoclassical, Gothic Revival and Second Empire. The lock itself was a technological marvel in its day – the longest and most modern in the world in 1895. Whitefish Island to the south of the canal was a First Nations encampment for hundreds of years and has been declared a National Historic Site. Over 3 km of scenic nature trails take you under the International Bridge right to the edge of the St. Mary’s Rapids. Picnic areas, guided tours, displays, brochures, an audio visual presentation, ample parking and a gift shop are available on site. The lock is open to recreational boats from mid-May to mid- October. Visitor Centre is open from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving. Admission to the site is free.