The Leopold Canal (Dutch: Leopoldkanaal or Leopoldvaart, French: Canal Léopold) is a canal in northern Belgium. Construction occurred between 1847 and 1850 after the Belgian government granted permission in 1846. It runs about 40 km (25 mi) westward from Boekhoute to Heist-aan-Zee just south of the Dutch border. It is between 1.2 and 2.3 m (3 ft 11 in and 7 ft 7 in) deep. The canal was proposed by Canon Andries[who?] to prevent the Dutch from blocking the discharge of water and inundating the Meetjesland after Belgium's independence from the Netherlands.