St. Lawrence Seaway officially opened in 1959

On June 26, 1959, U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower and her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the St. Lawrence Seaway.

After addressing the crowd, Elizabeth and “Ike” boarded the Royal Yacht Britannia, which then made a ceremonial trip through the St. Lambert and Cote Ste. Catherine Locks.

The complex series of locks, canals, and waterways provided a link between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean.

Seven locks were built in the Montreal-Lake Ontario section of the Seaway, five Canadian and two U.S., in order to lift vessels to 246 feet above sea level. It is recognized as one of the most challenging engineering feats in history.

See all the historic photos and read the full history here.