Lake st francis
Lake St Francis
Lake St Francis or Lac St Francois is a widening of the St Lawerence river in the region of the Quebec/Ontario border. It is 47 km in length , running from Cornwall Island, just beyond the Snell and Eisenhower Seaway Locks to the Beauharnois Canal and it’s two locks. There is a dredged Seaway channel to a depth of 27 feet. The St Lawrence drops about 12 inches through the length of this section.
Charts from the Canadian Hydrogaphical Service:
- 1411 St Lawrence Seaway Lac St Louis to Lac St Francois
- 1412 St Lawrence Seaway Lake St Francis East
- 1413 St Lawernce Seaway Lake St Franics West
Typical southern Canada weather, cruising season from May to September, peaks in June to August and ice from December to March.
Sources for weather forecasting:
no information available
Search and Rescue
Canada Coast Guard - JRCC Trenton.
24-hour emergency numbers: Toll-free (within Canada): 1-800-267-7270, Phone: (613) 965-3870, Fax: (613) 965-7190, Telex: 066-2282
There is apparently an inshore rescue boat station on the lake based in Valleyfield, Quebec.
There is a dredged and bouyed channel the length of the lake. Pleasure craft must give way to commercial shipping.
Entrance from the west end, or upstream part of the lake is though American Locks, Eisenhower and Snell. Entrance from the east end, or downstream part of the lake is through the Beauharnois Canal and Locks.
- Locking through the St. Lawerence Seaway - For recreational boaters.
- The Seaway website - Further information.
When entering Canadian Waters, one must contact Canadian Customs by calling 1 888 226 7277 from a designated site (see below), be prepared to provide the full name, birthdate, passport information and citizenship of each person on board. Report all currency and firearms being imported (please note that Canada has stict gun control laws).n At that point you may be instructed to stay on board until a Customs Agent arrives for processing or they may just authorize entry by phone. Failure to do so can result in fines, siezing of goods, including the vessel and criminal charges.
Some Custom Check in sites for Canada Customs:
- Cornwall Marina 2000
- Creg Quay
- Grays Creek Marina
- Rasin River (this is listed at the CBSA site, I guess this means the Rasin River Marina)
- Summerstown Governement Dock
- Summerstown Marina
If an American vessel they are not required to conform to Canadian saftey requirements for boating as long as the vessel is present for less than 45 days. However, the vessel must have a holding tank conected to any on board toilet and have a deck mounted pump out.
Entering into US - While passing through the locks you are not considered landed. So if you do not stop at any American port then you do not need to check in.
Ports and Popular Stops
- Cornwall, Ontario.
This is a city of 45 000 people. It is a city that has turned its back to the River. It does not have much in the way of waterfront development. The old canal is not navigable, so vessels pass well to the south to reach the American Locks. Most of the waterfront is the site of abandoned industry. There is one area near the Marina 2000 where an effort has been made. Nearby the marina there are some events and sites worth consideration. Next door is the Civic Complex that includes and aquatic center and an arena. The local Junior A hockey team, The Cornwall Colts plays there from September through the winter. Beside the Complex is Lamoureux park which hosts the Lift Off Ballooning Festival in early July. Across the street from the Marina 2000 is the Cornwall Square Shopping Centerwhich includes a Sears Department store and a "NoFrills" grocery store. The Hospital is a few kilometers away, beside the hospital on McConnell Avenue is a Medical Clinic with a "Walk in" service. Taxi service available from BlueLine Taxi (613) 938-3200
- Summerstown, Ontario
This is a hamlet halfway up the lake. There is a public wharf that can serve as a check in point for Canada Customs. Beside the wharf is a Bar/Restaurant/Patio, across the street is a small gift shop.
- South Lancster, Ontario
Another hamlet. Founded in the 18 century. There is a public wharf, with a bunch of boathouses on the west side of it. There are a number of historical homes in the community, but if you are looking for service you would have to hike about 1-2 km to Lancaster proper. There you will find a Tim Hortons, Dairy Queen, MacDonalds, a few gift shops and a wonderful grocery called "Henderson's", that carries a good selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, its own butcher and gourmet foods.
- St. Anicet, Quebec
A small village. There is a public wharf, but I wouldnt want to moor there with a north wind. There is a small park and Chip wagon at the waterfront. There is a large old church easily identifiable from the lake. You have to walk south through town to get to the grocers, well stocked.
- Port Lewis, Quebec
- Riviere Beaudette, Quebec
- St. Zotique, Quebec
- Valleyfield, Quebec
Valleyfield has recently made great efforts to develop its waterfront. It has opened its old canal (but not for passage), and has developed a boardwalk. There are many events throughout the summer months, including the Valleyfield Regatta, which is powerboat racing, in early July. Its a popular local event, but it can be noisy and restricts usage of the bay leading in to town. Try Destination Valleyfieldfor more information. A local map shows a shopping center nearby, no further info as of yet.
Marinas & Yacht Clubs
- Marina 2000 Cornwall, Ontario
- Gray's Creek Marina - and Conservaiton Area, Cornwall, Ontario
- King's Marina, Snye, Quebec (Akwasasne)
- Summerstown Marina, Summerstown, Ontario
- Wimpey's Marina, Summerstown, Ontario
- Roy's Marina, Sumerstown, Ontario
- Mac's Marina, South Lancaster, Ontario
- Rasin River Marina, South Lancster, Ontario
- Creg Quay Marina, Bainsville, Ontario
- St. Anicet Marina, St. Anicet, Quebec
- Marina de la Pointe, St. Anicet, Quebec
- Port Lewis Marina, Port Lewis, Quebec
- Castagnier Marina, St. Zotique, Quebec
- Club Nautique, Ile Raymonde, Quebec
- Marina Valleyfield, Valleyfield Quebec
List details of all safe anchorages in the area.
Popular passages/routes, timing, etc.
Passing through Lake St Francois means passing through the St Lawrence Seaway. This is the access route from the Atlantic to the Great Lakes. This is why cities such as Green Bay, Wisconsin and Chicago, Illinois are ports.
At times passage through this part of the St Lawrence is considered part of the Great American Loop, but not usually. Most "loopers" either go up the Ottawa River and along the Rideau Canal to join the St Lawrence at Kingston, considered by some the greatest part of the loop. Others take the short cut along the Erie Canal, either to the Oswego Canal or all the way to Lake Erie.
Tourism & things to do ashore
List places of interest, tours, etc.
Fuel, Water, & Electricity
- Don Cherry's. This is pub food, they have a patio, it is located in the Cornwall Civic Complex, next door to Marina 2000
- King's. This is where people go to get cheaper fuel, and mostly fast food. Try the poutine. I understand the steak sandwich/sub is greasy but well liked.
- BaySide. A chip wagon between Cornwall and Summerstown. There is a dock with about 3 foot draft.
- Blue Anchor. Although it is in the water it isn't very good at accomodating to boats. It has a cement wall to tie up to. Every time I tried to go there the area was occupied by a few boats and PWC poorly space out and monopolizing the whole dock. No one in the staff seemed to notice or care about the three or four hovering boats, hoping that someone would re-align them. We all left.
- Edgewater. Is now closed and gutted for years. Rumour is that it will eventually reopen.
- TJ's Roadhouse. Plastic docks, often covered in duck excrement. Doesnt exactly stimulate the appetite. Regular bar food.
- Creg Quay. Restaurant closed in 2008. It seems that it opens each year with new management and each time more dissapointing than the last.
- Ile Raymond. Looks like some ones cottage with a few picnic tables. The only food available on our visit was a bbq hamburger and a few potato chips out of the bag.
- St Anicet. There is a snack bar near the public wharf.
- St. Zotique - Le Maski - this is what a waterside place should be. Nice docks, friendly staff come out to assist in landing. Good atmosphere, always busy, good music. Eating terrase right on the water. Good menu and food. Good service.
- Valleyfield - McBroue - is along the old canal. Free overnight docking with services. Good full menu, but when we went for lunch on a Saturday there was a resticted weekend lunch menu of a few sandwiches. They were all right, but whats the deal, they dont expect people on the weekend? I would like to try dinner sometime, the menu looks better.
Motorbike & Car Rentals
Marine Stores Facilities
Submit addresses and contact details of marine related businesses that are of interest to cruisers.
References & Publications
Publications, Guides, etc.
Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.
List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)
Links to relevant websites.
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