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Ste. Anne’s mystery unlocked

By Carmen Marie Fabio


The 36-ton artifact that was fished out of the Sainte-Anne’s rapids earlier this summer was believed to be part of an emergency door for the locks and likely dates back to 1972.

Ongoing maintenance work at the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue locks has revealed an enormous landmark from decades past – a 36-ton portion of an old lock gate that was finally removed from the Ste. Anne’s rapids October 27 after seen floating earlier in the summer, possibly dislodged by the current refurbishment.

“It’s exceptionally heavy,” said Parks Canada Communications Agent Audrey Godin-Champagne, “weighing as much as 13 adult elephants.” She said it’s in excellent condition and relatively intact with only the gangway and part of the door’s opening mechanism missing.

It’s speculated the structure was in use around 1972 as an emergency door near the bottom of the lock as part of a back-up system in case of breakage of the main gate.

“It hasn’t yet revealed all its secrets,” said Godin-Champagne who added that a heritage study was underway by Parks Canada experts to determine its eventual fate. It’s currently lying on the grass on the east side of the locks just north of the Galipeault Bridge.

Opened in 1843, the Ste. Anne’s locks connect Lac des Deux-Montagnes and Lac St-Louis and today are used primarily for the safe passage of pleasure craft.

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