In 1980, St. Lawrence Seaway was a very important transportation route for the economy of both Canada and the United States. It allowed boats to reach the Great Lakes region and its population of 90 million. Each year, approximately 50,000 million tons of goods passed through the Seaway St. Lawrence. Grain accounted for 40% of all goods transported while metals accounted for 33%.

Construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway

The opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959 was very important for Canada’s economy. The seaway allowed transatlantic ships to sail up the St. Lawrence right to the Great Lakes in order to supply the businesses in this area. The St. Lawrence Seaway is a network of canals and locks that link Anticosti Island and Duluth Minnesota. It allows ships of 225 metres in length and 23 metres wide to navigate the St. Lawrence and avoid obstacles like the Lachine Rapids and Niagara Falls. It replaced the Lachine Canal which was closed to navigation in 1970.

Good news for northern Quebec

The opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway greatly helped the economic development of northern Quebec. In reality, it became much easier to transport iron from Labrador and the North Shore to the large American companies in the Great Lakes. The port of Sept-Îles became very important because it was here that goods were loaded onto ships.

Author:  Alexandre Lanoix

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