Regional survey launched on Soulanges Canal development


Residents of Vaudreuil-Soulanges and those visiting the area from June through September will have the opportunity to express their opinions on the economic development of the Soulanges Canal. The project titled ‘Point de vue sur le canal’ was launched during a press conference held Thursday, June 28 hosted by Développement Vaudreuil-Soulanges (DEV-VS) and the Municipalité régionale de comté Vaudreuil-Soulanges (MRC-VS) in the Town of Point-des-Cascades.

Canal development and recreational tourism

“We are looking for ways to bring tourism to Vaudreuil-Soulanges,” said MRC-VS Prefect Patrick Bousez who also serves as Mayor of Rivière-Beaudette. He noted that approximately 35 kilometres of cycling trail already exist along the banks of the canal. “The question is, what can we do to add to the value of the canal for the region,” he said. “There are people who think that tomorrow morning we can open the canal, that the locks will be repaired – we are a long way from that,” he said of the historical shipping canal whose commercial operations stopped when the St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959 . “The first step is to find out what our residents think about the canal. In Europe, people use the canals for other nautical activities, such as swimming,” Bousez said.

Survey locations

Throughout the summer months, a retrofitted shipping container will travel to four communities situated along the route of the canal. It will be stationed on sites with easy access to each of the towns, the cycling trail, and the canal. Visitors to the container will have the opportunity to fill out an interactive digital questionnaire created by Entreprise MiRoaR, a company that specializes in interactive multimedia projects. The questions were developed around four themes: sailing, culture, cycling and winter pleasures.

PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Throughout the summer months, residents of Vaudreuil-Soulanges and visitors to the region are invited to express their views and wishes on the development of the Soulanges Canal with the help of artist Sonia Haberstich (left).

The container will be in the following locations:

Pointe-des-Cascades from Friday, June 29 to Sunday, July 15;

Les Cèdres from Thursday, July 19 to Sunday, August 5;

Coteau-du-Lac from Thursday, August 9 to Sunday, August 26;

Les Coteaux from Thursday, August 30 to Sunday, September 16.

Artistic connection

Hudson multidisciplinary artist Sonia Haberstich will be on hand to host workshops where visitors will have the opportunity to participate in creating artwork that will be used to decorate the container throughout its journey. The project also offers other activities such as a chance to taste food products from the region and enjoy a yoga workshop.

“This is the first phase of a larger development project for the canal,” said DEV-VS Communications and Marketing Councillor Audrey Bourgon Touchette. According to Touchette, funding of approximately $45,000 for the survey project comes from various government levels through the MRC-VS. Community groups, businesses, artists and any other interested individuals are invited to participate in the survey either through the container activities or directly with Marianne Sigouin-Lebel at mslebel@developpementvs.com or by calling (450) 424-2262, ext. 3231. Details of the container activities will be published on the Vaudreuil-Soulanges regional tourist web site explorevs.co/calendrier.

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