|I wasn’t planning on going anywhere today because rain was forecast & I also felt like a rest but this morning was beautifully sunny so I felt I shouldn’t waste it. First of all though I spent some time planning what I would do this week because it’s been on my mind that next weekend is a big weekend & I should have a reservation somewhere.
July 1st is Canada Day & because this is Canada’s 150th birthday, they’re making a big deal of it. It’s a long weekend so it would be busy anyway but it will be extra busy this year. Added to that, it’s the first weekend of the school holidays plus, being this close to the US border, July 4th also adds to the equation.
It took me a while but I’ve got it all figured out & have made reservations through Monday July 3rd.
That done, I drove downtown to have a look at the Sault Ste Marie locks.
The water level between Lake Superior & Lake Huron falls about 21 ft, causing the rapids at Sault Ste Marie which were a problem for the voyageurs transporting goods from Fort William to Montreal. They had to unload their canoes & portage everything around the rapids to get to Lake Huron.
The first lock was built by the Northwest Trading Company in 1788 but was destroyed by the US in the war of 1812. The Americans built another lock but in 1870 they refused to let a Canadian steamer through because it was carrying military reinforcements to Fort Garry (Winnipeg) in response to the Louis Riel rebellion.
That prompted the Canadians to build their own lock on their side of the rapids & still today, there are 2 sets of locks although the US locks handle all the commercial shipping & the heritage Canadian lock only handles recreational craft.
When it was built in 1895, the Canadian lock was the largest in the world & the first electrically operated lock. It was the last link in the all Canadian navigation system stretching from Fort William on Lake Superior to the St Lawrence River.
Due to a wall failure in 1987, the historic lock was shut down indefinitely. A new lock, built within the old one, was opened in 1998 & most of the original machinery used to operate the lock is also still in place.
The weather has been fine all day so I don’t know what the forecasters were on about. Let’s hope they’re wrong again tomorrow.