A new visitor centre at the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site is officially open.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Friday with officials from Parks Canada and local Indigenous and Metis dignitaries.

The centre is fully accessible and includes a series of interactive displays about the history of the site, including a mechanical, scale-model of the Sault Canal lock.

Visitors can plan their tour using an interactive map inside the visitor centre. Another exhibit is a canoe that was used to repatriate the remains of Indigenous people that were being kept in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

The building dates to 1896 and required a very careful, stone-by-stone reconstruction of one of its walls. It’s part of a $14 million restoration project for the Sault Canal National Historic Site.

The canal lock opened in 1895 and was designated a national historic site in 1987.