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Canso Canal
Lighthouse DSC00786B - Canso Canal Lock (15347720277).jpg
Canso Canal lock and lighthouse
Canso Canal is located in Nova Scotia
Canso Canal
Location in Nova Scotia
Country Canada
Coordinates 45°38′53″N 61°24′50″W / 45.64806°N 61.41389°W / 45.64806; -61.41389
Length 0.56 km (0.35 miles)
Maximum boat length 225.6 m (740 ft 2 in)
Maximum boat beam 23.8 m (78 ft 1 in)
Minimum boat draft 9.8 m (32 ft 2 in)
Locks 1
(Seawaymax Lock)
Status Open
Navigation authority Canadian Coast Guard Maritimes Region
Principal engineer O.J. McCulloch Engineers Ltd. of Montreal
Construction began 1953
Date completed September 2, 1955
Start point St. George's Bay in the Northumberland Strait, a sub-basin of the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the north.
End point Chedabucto Bay of the Atlantic Ocean to the south

The Canso Canal is a short canal located in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Canal location

The Canso Canal is located in the Strait of Canso, on the eastern side of the Canso Causeway, a rock-fill causeway which opened in 1955 to carry a 2-lane highway and a single rail track from Cape Breton Island to mainland Nova Scotia. The canal was built through Balache Point in Inverness County.

The causeway completely blocks the Strait of Canso, which links the waters of St. George's Bay in the Northumberland Strait, a sub-basin of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, with Chedabucto Bay on the Atlantic Ocean.

Canal dimensions

The canal, constructed between 1953 and 1955, is 24 metres (79 feet) wide and 570 m (1,870 ft) long, with a minimum depth of 9.8 m (32 ft 2 in). It has a single Seawaymax lock to account for tidal differences; any vessel capable of transiting the St. Lawrence Seaway will fit through the Canso Canal.

The Canso Canal Bridge is a 94-metre-long (308 ft) swing bridge which carries the Trans-Canada Highway and a railway line across the canal immediately south of the southern end of the lock.

Canal operation

Vessels entering St. George's Bay to the west of the canal, or Chedabucto Bay to the east, must comply with a Vessel Traffic System operated by the Canadian Coast Guard.

An average of 2,069 ships, with an average gross tonnage of 1.88 million tons pass through the Canso Canal each year. About 85 per cent of vessel traffic is owned or operated by shipping companies, fishermen and government, the remainder being pleasure craft users.

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