St. Mary’s River

Why Was the River Designated?

The outstanding cultural values and recreational heritage of the St. Mary’s River led to its designation to the Canadian Heritage Rivers System in 2000.

The 125 km river, which flows eastward out of Lake Superior into Lake Huron, has long been a strategic link for travel across the continent. Lock and canal building began as early as 1798, when the Northwest Company built small locks for fur trade canoes to pass around the rapids. The Canadian lock, completed in 1895, was the most advanced in the world at that time. Now a national historic site managed by Parks Canada, it was rebuilt and opened to pleasure craft in 1998.