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Archive | The royal opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar15,2024

Archives | Opening Lawrence Seaway

The yacht Britannia officially opened the St. Lawrence Seaway on June 26, 1959


On March 19, 1941, the United States and Canada signed the St. Lawrence Seaway Pact. While an agreement in principle has just been reached to settle the strike which paralyzed its activities, our archives look back at the completion of this major project.

It was on June 26, 1959 that Canada and the United States inaugurated the St. Lawrence Seaway with great fanfare.

The objective is to make the Saint-Laurent a true river highway between the Atlantic Ocean and the economic heart of the two countries.

That day, the royal yacht Britannia entered the St. Lawrence Seaway with Queen Elizabeth II, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker on board.

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After five years of work and more than $1 billion in expenses, the project was completed at during the winter of 1958-1959.

Camera 59, June 28, 1959

The show < em>Camera 59of June 28, 1959 looks back on the official inauguration of the Seaway in the presence of heads of state.

“June 26, 1959 is now a date significant in the history of Canadian communications and intercontinental and transoceanic connections,” declares host Raymond Charrette in the opening.

Then, journalist Wilfrid Lemoine describes in detail the progress of the official and highly formal ceremonies.

I see in the completion of the work on the St. Lawrence pipeline a significance that goes beyond the economic benefits that will result from this. This achievement firstly opens a new chapter in the history of the Confederation.

A quote from Queen Elizabeth II in her speech in French at the Saint-Lambert locks

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Radio-canadie coverage… by on Scribd

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The same day, the event is also covered in special programming which spans more than two hours on the radio and television.

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Speech by American President Dwight Eisenhower , in the presence of Prime Minister of Canada John Diefenbaker, Queen Elizabeth II and many other dignitaries.

A model of the seaway is designed to Radio-Canada's television production.

Photo album: The inauguration of the Seaway

From the arrival of the American president at the Saint-Hubert military airport to the passage of the royal yacht under the triumphal arch specially erected on the outskirts of Saint-Lambert, the Radio-Canada teams follow the route of the official procession.

The inauguration of the St. Lawrence Seaway is generating excitement, but also some concern.

This report on the program L'Actualité on July 27, 1958 testifies to this.

L'Actualité, July 27, 1958

A year before the inauguration of the Seaway, it is feared that the Quebec metropolis will be disadvantaged by the new situation port.

It is precisely the numerous loads which arrive and depart from the port which have allowed Montreal to become the metropolis of Canada.

A quote from the narrator André Hébert

Experts suggest that Toronto would benefit more from the Seaway since a large part of trade would now be routed to the Great Lakes.

Others believe that this major achievement would allow Montreal to become a port as important as New York with an increase in maritime traffic, the size of boats and industrial development.< /p>

A Thousand Leagues on Fresh Water, June 27, 1969

Ten years after the Seaway was put into service, journalist Claude-Jean Devirieux takes stock of it in a report entitled A thousand leagues on fresh water.

Aboard a Canada Steamship Lines boat which sails from the Great Lakes to Montreal, he tells the tumultuous history of the St. Lawrence Seaway before its inauguration .

In 1969, the fear that the boats would go straight and not stop in Montreal did not materialize. The Quebec metropolis remains the one that welcomes the largest ships, to which is now added a fleet from the Great Lakes.

The history of this river corridor continues with other concerns and other innovations likely to shake up the course of commerce.

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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