Have Fun and Stay Safe

Boats in waterThe St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes are a shared resource that is transited by commercial vessels and pleasure craft alike , and enjoyed by visitors as well as by shoreline residents. The regions bordering the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes are magnificent spots to visit!

Safety is the number one priority for The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) and the U.S. Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (GLS). The SLSMC and the GLS oversees the locks, canals and channels that enable vessels to transit from Montreal to Lake Erie.

Frequent and rapid changes in water levels and flows around our facilities are part of our day to day operations, as we process the transits of commercial and recreational vessels.

  • Giant valves, large enough for a car to drive through, are opened and closed to fill and drain locks. A spot that looks calm and safe one moment can become dangerous within a few seconds as water levels and flows change, often without warning.
  • Propellers on 30,000 tonne lakers generate strong undertows, able to suck a swimmer into the path of the churning blades.
  • 740 foot long vessels can create strong suctions, affecting nearby watercraft.

For your own safety, recreational activities such as swimming, water skiing, fishing, and diving are strictly prohibited in all Seaway canals, channels, pleasure craft docks, locks, weirs, and their approaches.

These prohibitions are enforced under the Canada Marine Act as well as under various regulations governing Seaway property. Violators will be subject to substantial fines.

Obey all warning signs, fences, and barriers. They are put there to protect you.Warning notices: no swimming, no fishing

Seaway Structures

The Seaway operates locks and bridges to enable vessels to transit our system. Some of these structures are operated by remote control via closed circuit cameras and other sensors.Safety icon

To avoid the risk of accidents, please:

  • Stay in the public access areas
  • Pay attention to all warning signs and obey all restrictions and traffic signals
  • Do not dive or swim from Seaway structures

Remember, have fun and stay safe.
We’re talking about your life!

Dangerous Water of the Welland Canal:

Be our guest. You’re in good hands!

Many locks have observation platforms or observation zones where you can safely admire the passing ships as they transit from one level to the next!

Visiting the Seaway is a unique experience, where you can learn about one of the top 10 public works projects of the 20th century.

You will see imposing ships side by side with pleasure craft, ingenious structures that enable vessels to climb from one water level to another and magnificent views, from the St. Lawrence River to Lake Erie.

Welland Museum

Welland Canal Museum and Observation Centre at Lock 3