Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

December 20, 2013 13:26 ET

Canso Canal Closes for 2013 Season

AULD'S COVE, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - Dec. 20, 2013) - The Canso Canal will close for the 2013 shipping season on December 24 at 0730 hours Atlantic Time.

The canal closes annually in December due to ice buildup in the Northumberland Strait and reopens in April.

In 2013, there were 1501 ship passages through the canal carrying over 666,386 tonnes of cargo, an increase over last year. The bulk of the cargo was quarried materials and fish products.

The canal was opened in 1955 to allow for vessel traffic through the Canso Causeway which links Cape Breton Island and mainland Nova Scotia. The canal, the only one operated by the Canadian Coast Guard, is an essential navigation component of the federal-provincial transportation agreement signed in 1953 which approved construction of the causeway and associated structures.

The canal is comprised of lock approach structures and one tidal lock.

Quick Facts

  • The Canso Canal opened in 1955 to allow vessels traffic through the Canso Causeway.

  • The canal is 250 metres long, 24.4 metres wide and 9.8 metres deep at low tide. It was designed to be compatible with the St. Lawrence Seaway


For more information about the Canadian Coast Guard, visit

Contact Information

  • Communications Branch
    Maritimes Region
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada