Recently I read a blog that I follow and they mentioned that they had stayed at an RV Park in Sault St. Marie that we had planned on staying at, further into the blog they made the comment that they didn’t go into Canada on that trip. I was very confused, how could they stay in Sault St. Marie if they didn’t go into Canada? When I looked at the address of the RV Park I had chosen I realized it was in Michigan, up until that point I had no idea there was a Sault St. Marie in both Canada and the US!
Until 1812 these two communities were one city. A treaty after the war established the border between Canada and the United States right down the middle of the St. Mary’s River. The International Bridge now joins the two cities and today we will drive over it to visit the shipping locks, which are located on the US side of the river.
Sault St. Marie, Michigan has a population of 14,000 while Sault St. Marie, Ontario has a population of 75,000.
Yesterday it was pouring rain but it didn’t dampen our desire to visit the waterfront and see the Canadian locks. Our adventures started off at a park along the St. Mary River were we could see a ship entering the locks on the US side.
We then headed to the lock on the Canadian side. The Sault St. Marie Canal was completed in 1895 and provided the final link on the Canadian side from the St. Lawrence River to Lake Superior. The canal was designed and built by Canadians and was in use until 1987 when a lock wall failed. In 1998 a new modern lock was built within the old lock and it is now used for recreational boats. We were fortunate to see the lock in use when three sea-doo’s entered from the St. Mary River to pass through to Lake Superior.
It takes twelve minutes for the lock to fill up to the level of Lake Superior and I was surprised to find out there is no charge to use the lock. They will fill and lower the lock as many times as needed between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
After watching the lock fill up we took a walk, in the rain, around Whitefish Island.
We only walked 1.5 km because the rain just wouldn’t let up but there is also an additional 2.2 km walk you can do around the entire island. As we were leaving the park we passed by the old Engineers Residence, which sits, beside the locks.
Until next time …