February 14, 2023 | Circular No. 11492

Dear Member,

The Seaway has announced its scheduled 2023 navigation season opening dates in its  Seaway Notice No. 1 issued on February 14, 2023. The opening of the 2023 navigation season is scheduled to commence on the following dates and times:

  • Welland Canal: March 22, 2023 – 0800 hrs (DST)
  • Montreal / Lake Ontario Section: March 22, 2023 – 0800 hrs (DST)
  • Sault Ste. Marie Locks and Canals: March 25, 2023


Montreal / Lake Ontario Section

  • Maximum allowable draft: 80.0 dm
  • To be increased to 80.8 dm for all vessels when the South Shore Canal is ice-free and water levels are favourable.

Welland Canal

  • Maximum allowable draft: 80.8 dm
  • Will go into effect for all vessels from the beginning of the navigation season.

Vessels equipped with an operational Draft Information System (DIS) will be permitted to transit at a draft of up to 7 cm above the maximum allowable draft.

Please note that vessel transits will be subject to weather and ice conditions.  Please direct any questions to the undersigned.


Farah Ahmad
Administrative Coordinator
Shipping Federation of Canada