along the upper part of the Richelieu River helps connect the St. Lawrence River in
. The canal and its locks allowed boats to bypass the Richelieu River rapids near Chambly and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Work began on this canal in 1831 and was completed in 1843. The canal from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu to Chambly is 12 miles (19 km) long.
The Chambly Canal was part of a network of canals, lakes and rivers connecting New York City to the St. Lawrence River. Freight such as lumber and coal could be shipped from the St. Lawrence River, up the Richelieu River and Chambly Canal to Lake Champlain, and down the Champlain Canal to the Hudson River to New York City. This route was opened during a period of increasing Canadian-American trade. After World War I commercial traffic declined, but has partially been replaced since with tourist pleasure cruises.