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Canal Regulations (C.R.C., c. 1564)

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Regulations are current to 2020-06-17 and last amended on 2008-09-05. Previous Versions

PART IIRegulations Respecting Particular Canals (continued)


Hand Lines

  •  (1) The hand lines of every vessel shall

    • (a) be made of manilla or other material acceptable to the Superintendent; and

    • (b) have a minimum diameter of 12.7 mm and a minimum length of 30.48 m.

  • (2) Knotted or weighted hand lines shall not be used in the lock chamber.

  • SOR/80-467, s. 2

Speed Limits

  •  (1) The maximum speed over the bottom for a vessel of more than 12.19 m in overall length in the Sault Ste. Marie (Canada) Canal channel shall be so regulated as not to adversely affect other vessels or shore property and in no event shall such a vessel proceed at a maximum speed in excess of 6.1 knots (11 km/h).

  • (2) Every vessel under way shall proceed at a reasonable speed so as not to cause undue delay to other vessels.

  • SOR/80-467, s. 2

Meeting and Passing

  •  (1) The meeting and passing of vessels shall be governed by the Rules of the Road for the Great Lakes.

  • (2) No vessel shall meet another vessel within the limit of approach signs at bridges or within any area that is designated as a “no meeting area” by signs erected by the Superintendent at that area.

  • (3) Except as instructed by the vessel traffic controller, no vessel shall overtake and pass or attempt to overtake and pass another vessel

    • (a) within 609.6 m of the Sault Ste. Marie (Canada) Canal entrance;

    • (b) after the order of passing through has been established by the vessel traffic controller; or

    • (c) between the western end of the Vidal Shoal Cut and the upper entrance of the lock.

  • SOR/80-467, s. 2

Vessels in Tow

 No vessel that is not self-propelled shall be underway in the canal unless it is securely tied to an adequate tug or tugs in accordance with special instructions given by the Superintendent.

  • SOR/80-467, s. 2

Employment of Tugs

 No tug shall be fastened alongside a vessel in the canal so that the aggregate of the beams exceeds 16.76 m.

  • SOR/80-467, s. 2

Order of Passing Through

 Every vessel shall advance to the lock in the order instructed by the vessel traffic controller.

  • SOR/80-467, s. 2

Draught of Vessels

 Every vessel with draught in excess of 4.5 m shall clear their transit in the canal with the vessel traffic controller by radiotelephone on reaching C.I.P. No. 17 or C.I.P. No. 18.

  • SOR/80-467, s. 2

Tying up of Vessels

 Where the master of a vessel wishes to tie up the vessel to a lock wall or tie-up wall, he shall request permission to do so from the officer in charge of the wall and, unless otherwise directed by the officer, shall tie up the vessel as set out in the table to this section.


Tie-Up WallsLock Walls
  • SOR/80-467, s. 2

Preparing Vessel Lines for Passing Through

 Before a vessel enters the lock,

  • (a) sufficient lengths of mooring lines to reach the mooring posts on the lock walls shall be drawn off the winch drums and laid out on the deck; and

  • (b) the eye of each mooring line shall be passed outward through the fairleads at the side.

  • SOR/80-467, s. 2

Entering the Lock

  •  (1) No vessel shall proceed into the lock in such a manner that the stem passes the “STOP/ARRÊT” sign on the lock wall nearest the closed gates.

  • (2) Every vessel proceeding into the lock shall be positioned and moored as directed by the officer in charge of the lock.

  • SOR/80-467, s. 2

Emergency Procedure

 When the speed of a vessel entering the lock chamber has to be checked immediately, the master or the officer in charge of the mooring operation shall order all mooring lines to be put out as soon as possible and the master shall signal a full check by sounding a series of five or more short blasts of the vessel’s whistle.

  • SOR/80-467, s. 2

Tandem Lockage

 Where two or more vessels are being locked together, vessels astern of the leading vessel shall

  • (a) come to a full stop a sufficient distance from the preceding vessel to avoid a collision; and

  • (b) be moved into mooring position as directed by the officer in charge of the lock.

  • SOR/80-467, s. 2

Mooring in the Lock

 No winch from which a mooring line runs shall be operated until the officer in charge of a mooring operator has signalling that the line has been placed on a mooring post.

  • SOR/80-467, s. 2

Attending Lines

  •  (1) Lines of a vessel shall be under visual control and attended by at least one member of the vessel’s crew during the period that the vessel is passing through the lock.

  • (2) Where a vessel that is not equipped with mooring winches is in the lock, each line of the vessel shall be attended by one member of the crew.

  • SOR/80-467, s. 2

Leaving the Lock

 No vessel shall proceed out of the lock until the exit gates are in a fully open position and the officer in charge directs the vessel to cast off.

  • SOR/80-467, s. 2

Explosive, Flammable and Otherwise Dangerous Cargo

 Where cargo that consists in whole or in part of any explosive, flammable or otherwise dangerous goods, including empty tanks that are not free of gas is being transported in a vessel, the master of that vessel shall ensure that the requirements of the Dangerous Goods Shipping Regulations are complied with.

  • SOR/80-467, s. 2


Navigation Restricted to Pleasure Craft

 No vessel, other than pleasure craft, shall navigate between lock No. 5 and the point east of Wellington Basin at which the canal is infilled.

  • SOR/81-69, s. 2


 Every person who violates subsection 23(1), section 27, 56 to 63, 66, 67, 71 or 72 is liable to a penalty not exceeding $25.

 Every person who violates section 18, 24, 29, 30, 32, 47 or 48, subsection 49(4) or section 50 is liable to a penalty not exceeding $200.

 Every person who violates section 5, 12, subsection  23(2), (3) or (4),  section 28 or subsection 49(1), (2) or (3) is liable to a penalty not exceeding $400.

 Every person who violates any section of these Regulations, for the violation of which no penalty is elsewhere provided in these Regulations, is liable to a penalty not exceeding $100.

 Every person shall comply with any order, direction or instructions given to him pursuant to these Regulations.

 No person shall obstruct an officer or employee in the execution of his duty under these Regulations and no person shall address any canal officer or employee while on duty with profane or abusive language.

 The owner of a vessel and the person in charge of a vehicle, animal or other thing, by means of or in relation to which any of these Regulations have been violated, is liable for the penalties prescribed for such violation as is any other person who may be liable under these Regulations for such violation.

  •  (1) Where, in the opinion of the Chief, Superintending Engineer or the Superintendent, any person has incurred any charges, damages or penalties under these Regulations in respect of any transaction, matter or thing, the Chief, Superintending Engineer or Superintendent may estimate the amount of the charges, damages or penalties that in his opinion have been incurred or ought to be paid.

  • (2) The Chief, Superintending Engineer or Superintendent may seize any vessel, vehicle, animal, or other thing by or in relation to which any charges, damages or penalties have in his opinion been incurred and may detain it until the amount estimated in respect thereof under subsection (1) has been paid or until security, in cash, for the payment of such amount is deposited with the Minister.

  • (3) If, within 30 days after anything has been seized under this section, the amount estimated under this section in respect thereof is not paid and no deposit is made as security for the payment thereof, the thing seized and detained may be sold by public auction and the proceeds applied in payment of the amount so estimated and the balance, if any, shall be paid to the owner of the thing seized.

  • (4) Payment of the amount of any penalty estimated under this section operates in full satisfaction thereof and no further penalties are payable by the same person in respect of the same transaction, matter or thing.

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