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Description found in Archives

The St. Lawrence Seaway Authority fonds [multiple media]. 



Place of creation

No place, unknown, or undetermined

46.65 m of textual records
ca. 3830 technical drawings and other technical drawing.
ca. 864 maps and other cartographic material.
ca. 295 architectural drawings.
131 leaves.
807 photographs b&w.
1 print col.
16 photomechanical prints col.

Added language of material: French

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records created and/or maintained by the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority and its predecessors. Researchers are cautioned that unprocessed textual records and records in other media are not reflected in this description. The photographic material document views of construction of St.Lambert Lock, Lachine Section; Iroquois Lock, Beauharnois and Côte St.Catherine Locks; views and some aerial photos of various St.Lawrence Seaway system during and after construction; opening ceremonies of the St.Lawrence Seaway by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and President Dwight David Eisenhower of United States on June 26, 1959. Photos of the two silver presentation pieces that were presented to Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II and President Dwight D. Eisenhower on the occasion of the Official Opening of the St.Lawrence Seaway. Photos by Hans van der Aa, André Sima, Canada Wide, New Press, Montreal Gazette, Canada Pictures Ltd, Montreal, Que.; Capital Press, Newton, National Film Board, Ottawa, Ont.; Smith's Photo Service, Morrisburg, Ont.; St.Lawrence Sun.

Multiple media - for use in descriptive records only
96: Restrictions vary
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.

Terms of use

Copyright belongs to the Crown.

Finding aids are available. See lower level descriptions and accession records in ArchiviaNet (the NA website). (Other)

Biography / Administrative history

The St. Lawrence Seaway Authority is the most recent administrative unit to have jurisdictional responsibility over the various commercial locks and linking canals of the Seaway System. In the early part of the nineteenth century, canal surveying, construction and maintenance were administered by government-appointed commissions. Commencing in 1839 in Lower Canada and shortly thereafter the whole of United Canada (1841), administrative responsibility for canals was assumed by the Board of Works. After 1859, the Board's successor, the Department of Public works retained control of the canals for a period of twenty years. In 1879, responsibility for canals was transferred from the Department of Public Works to the newly-created Department of Railways and Canals. In 1936, the Department of Transport absorbed the Department of Railways and Canals, including the administrative responsibility for all matters related to canals.

With the construction of the Seaway well under way, the Welland, Cornwall, Lachine and Sault Ste. Marie canals were transferred from the Department of Transport to the Authority, for purposes of operation and maintenance(R.S.C. 1985, c. S-2). In 1972, the responsibility for the operation, maintenance and repair of all `non-commercial' canals (including for example the Trent, Rideau, Chambly, Beauharnois amongst others) was transferred to Parks Canada.

The St. Lawrence Seaway Authority (SLSA) was established in 1954 by the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority Act (P.C.1954-1000; now RSC 1970 and is designated a proprietary corporation (Schedule III, Part I) within the meaning and purpose of the Financial Administration Act. The Authority was incorporated to ensure the acquisition of lands for and the construction, maintenance and operation of a deep waterway between the Port of Montreal and Lake Erie. The Authority has jurisdiction over the five Canadian locks and linking canals located in the Montreal-Lake Ontario section of the waterway and the eight locks and the all-Canada Welland Canal. The Authority is entrusted with the operation, maintenance of two international bridges connecting Canada and the United States, namely The Seaway International Bridge and The Thousand Islands Bridge. The Authority reports to Parliament through the Minister of Transport.

The three members of the Authority, appointed by order-in-council, as well as the Corporate Secretary are located in Ottawa. The headquarters of the Maisonneuve Region, which extends from Montreal to Lake Ontario, is located in St. Lambert, Quebec, as is the Engineering Services Branch office. The Niagara Region headquarters, which operates the Canadian-owned Welland Canal, is situated in St. Catharines, Ontario.

On December 1st 1998, the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority was abolished by order-in-council (P.C. 1998-2034). A non-profit corporation called The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) was then created to manage the Seaway, while the bridge administration was assigned to a new institution: the Federal Bridge Corporation Limited. The SLSMC was mandated to manage and operate the Canadian installations of the Seaway for the Federal Government, in accordance with a long-term agreement signed with Transport Canada. The Federal Government retains ownership of the infrastructure and is responsible for its regulation. The SLSMC is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of nine members. The Board is responsible for monitoring the long-term viability of the Corporation and the Seaway as an integral component of the infrastructure of transportation in Canada. In 2007, according to the Corporation's Annual Report, the Board of Directors represented the following sectors: the Federal Government, the governments of Ontario and Quebec, the Corporation itself (the President), international and domestic ship owners, the cereal sector, the iron and steel sector, as well as other industries and groups. Note that the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation shares the management of the Seaway with his American counterpart, the "St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation."

Additional information

Physical description note
Textual record - Includes RG52M 80103-42: 5 m of textual records (15 boxes).

Source of title
Title based on the act creating the Authority

Further accruals are expected.


Other system control no.