Sheek’s Island Sailboat, Sheek’s Island, Ontario, Canada
Sheek’s Island Sailboat, Sheek’s Island, Ontario, Canada

Sheek’s Island Sailboat | N 40.01.22 W 74.50.45 | Sheek’s Island, Ontario, Canada




A small yacht sailing past the seaweed covered shallows of Sheek’s Island in the middle of what is now Lake St Lawrence. Sheek’s Island had a long history of inhabitation before the construction and flooding of the St Lawrence Seaway. The most recent round of inhabitation – when the island was much larger and had a number of farming families – is evidenced by a clear, pale green rectangle, the concrete floor and foundation of an old building.

Evidence of a much longer history, a 3,500 year old Aboriginal village is also underwater. In the 1950s the University of Toronto pushed, without success, to conduct proper, extensive archeological excavations before the Seaway was flooded. Of the many legacies of the Seaway project is question of history both how Canadians (and Americans) understood and grappled with their actions and understood history in the 1950s and how we do (or do not do) now. The evidence - itself a long history of the authorities trying to ignore and officially forget the Lost Villages while at the same time celebrating all the modernity and progress the Seaway was meant to represent - suggests that Canadians are very poorly equipped to learn anything meaningful from the Seaway experience.


Sheek’s Island Sailboat, Sheek’s Island, Ontario, Canada
Sheek’s Island Sailboat, Sheek’s Island, Ontario, Canada

Sheek’s Island Sailboat | N 40.01.22 W 74.50.45 | Sheek’s Island, Ontario, Canada




A small yacht sailing past the seaweed covered shallows of Sheek’s Island in the middle of what is now Lake St Lawrence. Sheek’s Island had a long history of inhabitation before the construction and flooding of the St Lawrence Seaway. The most recent round of inhabitation – when the island was much larger and had a number of farming families – is evidenced by a clear, pale green rectangle, the concrete floor and foundation of an old building.

Evidence of a much longer history, a 3,500 year old Aboriginal village is also underwater. In the 1950s the University of Toronto pushed, without success, to conduct proper, extensive archeological excavations before the Seaway was flooded. Of the many legacies of the Seaway project is question of history both how Canadians (and Americans) understood and grappled with their actions and understood history in the 1950s and how we do (or do not do) now. The evidence - itself a long history of the authorities trying to ignore and officially forget the Lost Villages while at the same time celebrating all the modernity and progress the Seaway was meant to represent - suggests that Canadians are very poorly equipped to learn anything meaningful from the Seaway experience.