MV Richilieu about to enter the harbour at Hamilton, Ontario
On our way to Upstate New York a couple of days before Christmas, my husband and I stopped to watch this laker on Lake Ontario as it entered the canal between the cities of Burlington and Hamilton, Ontario. Since 1826, the Burlington Canal has connected Hamilton with the Atlantic Ocean via Lake Ontario and the Saint Lawrence River.
Hamilton (arrow at far left) to the Atlantic Ocean (arrow at far right)
Hamilton is located on the western side of Lake Ontario, which empties into the Saint Lawrence River/ Seaway and then into the Atlantic Ocean.
Man standing beside the laker shows how big it is
MV Richelieu is a laker - or lake freighter - based in Montreal, Quebec. The ship was launched in 1980 so is 31 years old and showing some wear and tear.
Bulk carriers like MV Richelieu ship salt, ore, grain or rock in large contiguous holds, not in containers. Since this ship looked like it was headed for a steel mill, it likely contained iron ore.
To reach the steel mill it had to pass under the Burlington Lift Bridge. Built half a century ago in 1962 (it's the fifth such bridge in this location), the orange-red box carrying the road has gone up and down more than 166,380 times. Think of the long lineups on either side of the bridge!
MV Richelieu passing under the lift bridge
Once out from under the lift bridge but still in the canal, MV Richelieu had to also pass under a second bridge that...
MV Richelieu under the Burlington Skyway
did not have to rise because it was already tall enough for ships to pass under.
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