THUNDER BAY – Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site and Catalyst Fitness are co-hosting a unique challenge that is sure to give participants a good workout, while helping preserve a piece of Sault Ste. Marie’s heritage.
On Saturday, December 4 at 10 am on the grounds of the national historic site, competitors will turn a large T-shaped handle to crank open the Canal’s upper valve. Spectators are invited to cheer on the teams of six as they complete as many revolutions as possible in a ten minute interval. In the past, it has taken Parks Canada staff as long as six hours to open the valve. These teams will be challenged to complete the same job in less than three hours!
The turning of the valve is part of a preventative maintenance program and helps to preserve the Sault Canal’s historic machinery. Completed in 1895, the Sault Ste. Marie Canal was the longest lock in the world, and the first to be electrically operated. The penstock valve controls the flow of water to the Powerhouse, where water turned the turbines that would generate the electricity used to power the lock.