Questions or comments about Dartmouth’s Shubenacadie Canal District can be posted here.
The Shubenacadie Canal Waterway is a one-of-a-kind, inspiring path to recreation, history, and nature.
Archaeological evidence shows that the Mi'kmaq used the waterway as a “main highway” between Halifax Harbour and the Bay of Fundy at least 4,000 years ago.
Watch this 12-minute film about the Shubenacadie Canal’s history.
The project will focus on establishing a historical inventory; trail connections, and promotional concepts for enhanced signage, tourism development, and promotion in Dartmouth.
There are numerous points of interest along and adjacent to the Canal route.
They have been organized into three suggested “Walks” within the Dartmouth section of the Canal.
(Canal history courtesy of Bernie Hart, Shubenacadie Canal Commission)
Canal Walk #1 is the most urbanized of the entire Canal system.
Most of the Canal in this area is, unfortunately, located underground between Sullivan's Pond and the Dartmouth Curling Club, however, the Flume House and Cradle have been restored, and sections of Sawmill Creek put underground following damage from a hurricane in 1971 are now being “day-lighted” by Halifax Regional Municipality.
Flume House and the Cradle were the main structures used to transport boats up an inclined railway, thereby connecting Halifax Harbour via a series of locks to the Shubenacadie River, and eventually to the Bay of Fundy.
There is free parking available at the Telford Bridge at the foot of the Canal.
There is metered parking throughout Downtown Dartmouth and at the Alderney Landing parking lot (free on weekends and after 6 pm weekdays).
If you are interested in taking Canal Walk #1 in reverse order – going from Lock 1 to Halifax Harbour – there is also free parking at the end of Nowlan Street, off Prince Albert Rd., and along Hawthorne St.
The route is accessible by foot from the Dartmouth Harbourwalk, the Dartmouth Ferry or from Downtown Dartmouth.
The route described here is from the Ferry Terminal.
From the Dartmouth Ferry, take the trail along the railway tracks, past Ferry Terminal Park to Telford Bridge (or, park at the Bridge and start from there). Who was Telford?
Walk across the bridge, turn left at Canal Street and head towards St. James United Church. About St. James United Church
Alternatively, from the Telford Bridge parking lot, walk along the Canal, across the footbridge to the Dartmouth Curling Club and turn right onto Canal Street. You will be walking beside Sawmill River. What if you had a time machine?
Cross over Portland Street and make your way to the stone wall in front of the Church. Find the 'Mason's Marks'
Cross Prince Albert Rd. at the lights and turn to your right. Some of us are Up Alongs...some of us...Down Alongs!
As you proceed along Prince Albert Rd. you will cross over to Irishtown Rd. Follow the sidewalk and cross Irishtown Rd. to the Flume House and Cradle. Irishtown
If you are continuing to Lock 1, which across Hawthorne St at Sullivan's Pond, follow the trail to Ochterloney St., take the sidewalk past the Esso Station, and use the crosswalk at the Christmas Tree to Sullivan's Pond. Take the Sullivan's Pond trail past the bandstand, cross Hawthorne Street (at the crosswalk) and continue on the trail through Henry Findlay Park to Lock 1. You can return to the Ferry via Nowlan Street, Prince Albert Rd., or Ochterloney Street.
Flume House (watch this 7-minute film of the Inclined Plane)
Canal Walk #2 takes you along Sullivans Pond and Lake Banook, which is located in the centre of Dartmouth and home to the Banook, Mic Mac, and Senobe paddling clubs.
In the summertime, paddlers can usually be seen on Lake Banook – this is the site of many local regional and national paddling events and championships.
Dartmouth is known worldwide for its rich history of paddling and rowing. There are trail connections into Birch Cove Park, and across the Fraser Conrad Bridge ultimately into Mic Mac Mall. By walking between these connections and following Crichton Avenue, Lake Banook can be encircled.
Lock 1 is a highlight at Henry Findlay Park, which also includes a children’s playground. There are historical plaques and sculptures throughout Canal Walk #2.
There is free parking available at the end of Nowlan Street (off Prince Albert Rd.), along Hawthorne St., and at the end of Oakdale Crescent; also at Kiwanis Graham’s Grove on Prince Albert Rd. towards the Circumferential Highway (Hwy. 111) opposite the Braemar Superstore. The trails in this area are all multi-use and fully accessible.
This part of the Shubenacadie Canal is easily reached from any of the free parking areas, also from Ochterloney Street or the Dartmouth Ferry. The multi-use trail and boardwalk along Lake Banook are generally linear; you can walk around Sullivans Pond via the trail and sidewalk along Prince Albert Road and connect back to Lake Banook.
Canal Walk #3 includes many trails within Shubie Park. The most popular is along the restored canal itself, which connects Lake Charles to Lake Mic Mac. There are 2 off-leash dog parks located in Shubie Park. Also, find:
Artefacts and exhibits at the Fairbanks Centre
There are about 5 free parking areas within Shubie Park itself. The most central is the parking lot found at the Fairbanks Centre, at the end of Locks Road. Other parking lots can be found on Locks Rd. and at Shubie Park Campground (take Waverley Rd. and follow the campground sign at Jaybe Drive). If you are staying in Burnside or Dartmouth Crossing, Shubie Park can also be accessed by a footbridge and parking area at the end of Shubie Drive in Dartmouth Crossing.