The Ottawa Locks in Rideau Canal are a UNESCO World Heritage site. These beautiful locks with 8 locks (in flight) are located in the very center of Ottawa next to the Parliament buildings - connecting Rideau Canal with the Ottawa River. It takes a boat 1,5 hours to pass through the Ottawa Locks, which provide a lift of 24,4 meters.
The Ottawa Locks are the largest set of locks in the Rideau Canal lock system (202 km), out of 24 lockstations. The Ottawa Locks are the northern entrance to the Rideau Canal.
In 1826 Lieutenant Colonel John By got the orders to construct the Rideau Canal. The work took 6 years and was finished in 1832. Rideau Canal is all in all 202 km, stretching from Ottawa to Kingston. It is the oldest continously operating canal in North-America. It was built after the War in 1812 as a war supply route, but was never used as such, and became a major route for regional commerce. It is now mainly used by private boats.
The Ottawa Locks are so beautiful, framed by the Parliament Buildings and the fairy-tale like Chateau Laurier hotel (a national historic site) in the very center of Ottawa. Ottawa city grew around the Ottawa Locks.
There are some historic buildings by the Ottawa Locks, f.ex. the oldest surviving stone building in Ottawa, which now houses Bytown Museum. It was built as a Commisariat Building in 1827 - and was a warehouse for military and canal supplies.
Watch the screaming water below as you are standing on millions of years old ocean rocks at Hogsback Park and Locks. This is a must see activity and tourist attraction. Hogsback is a park, lake area that is part of the Rideau river and Rideau Canal water way system. This is the place where one river becomes a river and a canal. (Rideau Canal)
What you see there is a man made dam to control the water levels of the Rideau river. The history of this place goes back as early as 1845. The upper part of the river is very wide and it is part of Moonies bay.
The gates of the dam is usually closed in the summer time and they are wide open in the winter. When they close the gates, one or two still remains open. Partially anyways. The tremendous water pressure from the upper part blows the water through the gates and creates huge mist and noise.
The canal was constructed from 1826 to 1832 connecting the Rideau Canal to the Ottawa River; the locks continue to open and close by hand. The Rideau River falls 30 feet in a set of twin falls with the Sappers Bridge along the Ottawa River above and the Lockmaster's stone building at the head of the locks. We watched as the lockmaster's oiled the 9 locks and manually pulled them opened & shut allowing 6 vessels at a time to move up the canal.
The Ottawa locks at the beginning of the Rideau canal consists of 8 locks that takes ships up 24.1 meters from the Ottawa River upto theRideau canal.
These locks were build in the early 19th century in the middle of the wilderness. The reason the locks had to be build was that the Rideau River ends in twin falls at the Ottawa River, with a fall of 9.1 meters.
In 1826 the works started for building the Locks by Colonel By. First trees had to be cleared.
John Pennefeather was awarded the contract in April 1827 to do the excavation work for the locks. More contracts followed.
In 1828 the work was stopped, because a new decision was made that would allow steamboats to use the locks. In June of that year the Kempt Committee decided that locks would measure 134 feet (40.8 m) long by 33 feet (10.1 m) wide.
So, a part of the workks had to be modified and eight "locks "in flight" were constructed.
In September 1831 the steamboat Union was the first vessel to pass through the Ottawa locks.
Passing the locks takes 1.5 hours.
When visiting Ottawa one must walk from the Rideau Center toward the River and walk along the paved path. You can take this walk at night--this area is safe--toward the canal locks and walk along the top of the "gates" to the other side. During the day or night you can experience a beautiful part of Ottawa.
The Ottawa Locks is a series of locks at the edge of the Ottawa River between the Parliament Hill and Fairmont Chateau Laurier hotel. These locks mark the north end of the Rideau Canal which stretches for about 200km.
If you want to take a very nice stroll I suggest going to check out the Locks. It doesn't sound much fun, but trust me it is interesting! The locks are right beside the Chateau Laurier and the Parilament Buildings so you can not miss them!
Be carefull walking accross the narrow bridges as falling into the water wouldn't be much fun. The locks join up with Mayors Hill park. Good place for a picnic, jog, walk, date or a nap!
Between Parliament Hill and the Chateau Laurier are the Ottawa Locks, where the Rideau Canal flows into the Ottawa River. Around the locks is plenty of green grass and shade, so it's a great place to sit and relax or have a picnic if you've been on your feet too long. I'd definitely recommend a lunch down on the grass. You can see across the river into Quebec, with the Museum of Civilisation and the Champlain Bridge. It's a goreous view both at night and during the day. It's neat to watch the locks in action as well, although it takes patience. Another reason for having lunch!
Even nowadays operated manually, the locks are used to control the water level in the canal. When walking over to the Parliament buildings stop, and take a look across the river.
Right next to the locks there's also the Bytown museum. More info: http://www.bytownmuseum.com/
The magnificent flight of eight locks, once a dominant landmark in Ottawa are now dwarfed by the Parliament Buildings (Canada's seat of government) and the Chateau Laurier Hotel. The Bytown Museum is housed in the oldest building in Ottawa, the former Commissariat building for the Rideau Canal, built in 1827.
I wouldn't sit there and wait all day to see the boats pass through but it is interesting to get the idea of how they work and the history behind them!
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