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Lachine Canal looking east toward the Atwater Market and downtown Montreal: Right: kayakers on the Lachine Canal.

Lachine Canal looking east toward the Atwater Market and downtown Montreal: Right: kayakers on the Lachine Canal.

Parks Canada has announced that paddleboarding (stand-up paddleboarding or SUP) will be allowed on almost the whole of Montreal's Lachine Canal this summer.

Specifically, Montrealers will be able to SUP in the 12-kilometre span between lock number two near the Old Port and lock number five at the western end of the canal in the borough of Lachine.

Paddleboarders will only be able to access the canal via designated boat ramps and won't be able to pass through locks to get from one section of the canal to the other.

They'll also have to follow safety regulations that require the use of personal flotation devices (PFD, such as a life vest) and whistles.

SUPers can either wear their PFD and whistle or simply carry their PFD on board, in which case they must also bring a floating throwing rope.

Paddleboarders on the Lachine Canal will further need what's called a "seasonal sticker" for a non-motorized boat. They cost $25 and are sold by lock operators at locks one, three, four, and five (Parks Canada warns that the operators can't make change).

The stickers are valid for the whole season.

Other non-motorized boats, including kayaks and canoes, are already allowed on the canal. Some are even available for rent at waterside vendors. Unlike SUPers, kayakers and canoers are able to use the canal locks but need to purchase a "seasonal lockage permit," which cost $4.75/foot per vessel as of the time of writing. The permits are available online.

Diving in the canal still isn't allowed.

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