A tour of the last remaining canals in Venice Beach California. Many of the streets in Venice were once canals, and only one small section of canals are still around today. Officially known as the “The Venice Canal Historic District” it’s comprised of six canals, approximately one and a half miles in length, and fifty feet in width, and are laid out in a grid. Nine footbridges provide access within the canals. The canals’ ocean water comes from the Marina del Rey and is controlled by tidal gates. The Canals are listed on the National and City of Los Angeles Registry of Historical Places.
The canals were built in 1905 as a private real estate development, Short Line Beach Venice Canals Subdivision No. 1, to capitalize on Abbot Kinney’s “Venice of America,” a canal development and amusement center to the north. Both canal projects, built with a lot of speed and too little sturdy construction had fallen into disrepair by the early 1920’s and all the canals were scheduled to be filled in, but the Venice canals were spared. The canals are a designated wildlife preserve where you can see Herons, Egrets, Mergansers, Coots, Cormorants, Sea Gulls, Pelicans, sometimes the Least Tern, and domesticated Mallard ducks.