The Canal Saint-Denis is a canal in Paris that is 6.6 kilometres in length. The canal connects the Canal de l'Ourcq, at a point north-northwest of the Bassin de la Villette in the 19th arrondissement, with the suburban municipalities of Saint-Denis and Aubervilliers in the department of Seine-Saint-Denis. There are seven locks along the canal's route, and, near Saint-Denis, the canal discharges into the Seine.
In 1802 Napoléon Bonaparte issued a decree for the construction of the canal to both expedite shipping and reduce the number of ships and barges sailing up and down the Seine through the center of Paris. Contracts to build and operate the canals in the Île-de-France were granted to private banking firms. These contracts required the city of Paris to purchase land, and the merchant-bankers who won the contracts, Roman Vassal, Lafitte, André, and Cottier, were expected to construct the waterways. As compensation for their large outlays, the bankers were permitted to collect tolls on the canal for a term of ninety-nine years. The canal was completed in 1821.
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