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"It's a dangerous route to my father's lab, through the old canals."
Alyx Vance[src]

The Canals are a network of rivers and drainage tunnels which served as both drainage and possibly transportation located in City 17 and the Wasteland.



The canals near or in City 17 appear to be heavily used as drainage, and have a very large network of sewers and waste tunnels. Because of the Combine invasion and the drop of Earth's resources, the canals near the city had almost all drained out, and what remains is the riverbed and a large amount of waste. The canals are infested with Xen wildlife, made worse by constant Headcrab shells being fired by the Combine.

Outside City 17, the canals appear to be more rivers and waterways than tunnels and sewers, and was probably used more for transportation than drainage and waste disposal, as shown by the many shipwrecks along the larger tunnels. The water levels, however, are low, and following the Combine invasion, a large portion of the canals in both the city and outside had become toxic waste or other hazardous materials.

Civil Protection units frequently patrolled the canals for resistance activity, and were tasked with maintaining the many useful buildings and outposts located along the rivers.

Resistance presenceEdit

The Resistance had established an organised system of stations nicknamed "The Underground Railroad" for refugees hoping to escape City 17. Through the use of radios and hidden bases containing supplies and living quarters, the Resistance had formed a rather strong foothold in the canal areas.

Resistance used both the canals inside City 17 and outside, using the many tunnels and drainage areas to secretly establish living areas and bases.


Half-Life 2Edit

With the arrival of Gordon Freeman, Civil Protection was fully aware of the presence of resistance refugee stations, and were conducting raids on the stations and killing Resistance personnel. Eventually all the stations were either found and destroyed, or were closed down and abandoned. Freeman did however destroy almost all of the Civil Protection's outposts on his way to Black Mesa East.

Behind the scenesEdit

  • The Canals were originally to feature Bullsquids (which makes sense as there are many areas where toxic waste was flourishing). However, this was cut from the final release.[4][5]
  • The levels were also to be much longer and allow the player a deeper view of the Wasteland part of the Canals.[4]




List of appearancesEdit


See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

Preceded by
City 17
Half-Life 2 story arc journey Succeeded by
The Wasteland
Preceded by
City 17
Half-Life 2 original storyline Succeeded by
The Wasteland

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