Welcome to the Shubenacadie Canal web site!
Used by the native Mi'kmaq for centuries, the Shubenacadie waterway was carved out of bedrock by glaciers during the last ice age.
Work on the canal system began in 1826, ceased in 1831 and resumed in 1854. The canal was completed in 1861. Construction of 9 locks and 2 inclined planes connected a chain of 7 lakes and the Shubenacadie River, enabling boats to travel from Halifax Harbour to the Minas Basin. The only other route to the Bay of Fundy was by way of Cape Sable, a dangerous sail.
The Deep Cut.

The famous "deep cut" between Lake MicMac and Lake Charles was the single most expensive and time consuming piece of work in the entire canal. It could not be finished in a single work season and was hard to protect from the destruction of winter. It was a cut into the bedrock over a kilometer long and at least four feet deep.

The Shubenacadie Canal opened in sections and operated between 1856 and 1870. Steam vessels hauled barges laden with goods along the system. The canal moved goods needed for gold mining to Waverley which included machinery and coal from Dartmouth. Lumber, bricks, and granite from the Grand Lake area were also transported through the canal.

By 1870, railways were able to transport goods faster and more cheaply than ships. People's view of the canal as a viable method of transportation changed and the new railway was deemed superior. The canal was used in the construction of the railway and the low railway bridges that forced its closure in 1870.

The Shubenacadie Canal System is now a National Historic Civil Engineering site and a popular recreation and heritage corridor. The canal offers a wonderful wilderness experience for hikers and canoeists alike.

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