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Saint Lawrence River

The Saint Lawrence River (French fleuve Saint-Laurent), originally Kaniatarowanenneh ("big waterway") in Mohawk, is a large west-to-east flowing river in the middle latitudes of North America, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. It bisects the Canadian province of Quebec and forms part of the border between New York State in the United States and the province of Ontario in Canada.

The Saint Lawrence River is born at the outflow of Lake Ontario at Kingston, Ontario. From there, it passes Brockville, Cornwall, Montreal, Trois-Rivières, and Quebec City before draining into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, the largest estuary in the world. It runs 1900 miles (3058 kilometers), and together with the Great Lakes which it drains, and their tributaries, forms the world's largest fresh-water system.

The river includes Lac Saint-Louis south of Montreal and Lac Saint-François at Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec[?]. It surrounds such islands as the Thousand Islands near Kingston, the Island of Montreal, Île Jésus[?] (Laval), Île d'Orléans near Quebec City, and Anticosti Island north of the Gaspé.

Lake Champlain and the Ottawa, Richelieu[?], and Saguenay rivers drain into the St. Lawrence.

The first European to navigate the St. Lawrence was Jacques Cartier, who also claimed New France for Francis I. The French called the river Rivière du Canada until the early 1600s.

The St. Lawrence was formerly continuously navigable only as far as Montreal due to the Lachine Rapids[?]. The Lachine Canal[?] was the first to allow ships to pass the rapids; the Saint Lawrence Seaway now permits ocean-going vessels to pass all the way to Lake Superior.



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