Sault Ste Marie – Soo Locks

Soo lock opening
Gate of Canadian lock opening.

There are a total of five locks that raise boats and ships the seven meters between Lake Huron and Lake Superior. Four locks are on the American side, which are used for the largest Great Lakes freighters. These are:

Name Year Built Dimensions
Sabin Locks (2) 1919 411m x 24m x 7m
MacArthur Lock 1943 244m x 24m x 9m
Poe Lock 1969 366m x 34m x 10m

The lock on the Canadian side is the oldest, dating back to 1895. It broke down in 1987, and a new lock was built within the old lock, opening in 1998. The new lock (76m long, 16m wide, and 3m deep) is used for pleasure boats.

Tour boat
Lock tour boat MV “Chief Shingwauk”.

There is a boat trip, lasting two hours, that takes tourists up through one of the American locks, across to the Algoma Steel mill, and back down through the Canadian lock.

Entering American lock
Entering one of the locks on the American side.

About a thousand kilometers downstream, the freighters pass through the Welland Canal.

Great Lakes freighter
Large Great Lakes freighter heading towards Lake Huron after leaving the locks.