Enhancing Friends of the Rideau Logo     Rideau Canal World Heritage Site
Explore the Rideau Canal
and Friends of the Rideau
by following these links:

How A Lock Works
Introduction | Locking Up or Down | Evolution of the Lock | Lock Facts | About the Rideau

Some Interesting Lock Facts

  • The amount of water used in an average Rideau Lock (10 foot lift) is 1.3 million litres (280,000 imp. gal.) To drink a lock dry, you would have to consume 5.6 million cups of water.

  • The gates of the locks are made with Douglas Fir at the canal shops in Smiths Falls. They last an average of 15 years before they need to be replaced.

  • There are 45 locks along the Rideau plus two more locks at the entrance to the Tay Canal.

  • The highest single lift is 7.9 m (26 ft.) at Smiths Falls and the lowest lift is 0.6 m (2 ft.) at Kilmarnock.

  • There are four types of gate opening mechanisms on the Rideau – the endless chain crab system, the swing bar crab system, the push bar crab system and the electric-hydraulic system. Can you tell which one you’re looking at?

  • A Rideau lock chamber is 40.8 m (134 ft.) long (sill to sill) by 10.1 m (33 ft.) wide. The maximum vessel length that can fit into a lock is 33 m (110 ft.) to allow room for the upper breastwork and the swing of the lower gates.

  • It cost £822,000 to build the canal in 1832. It would cost over $500 million to replace all the canal structures today.

  • The lift from Kingston to Upper Rideau Lake (the highest point on the system) is 50 m (164 ft.) in 14 locks. The lift from Ottawa to Upper Rideau Lake is 83.2 m (273 ft.) in 31 locks.

  • The canal extends 202 kilometres (125 miles) from Ottawa to Kingston. Along this distance there are 292 islands and 1091 kilometres (675 miles) of shoreline.

Next Button
next page

Introduction | Locking Up or Down | Evolution of the Lock | Lock Facts | About the Rideau

General: Home | About Us | Membership | Newsletters | Advocacy | The Depot
Rideau: What's A Rideau | Rideau Corridor | Map | Communities | History | World Heritage | Fishing | Photo Gallery | Videos
Information: Tourist Info | Brochures/Guides | Paddling Guides | How A Lock Works | Stop Wash | Loon Aware
Links: Info Links | Web Links

©1997- Rideau Waterway Co-ordinating Association (Friends of the Rideau)

Comments about the website
email: webmaster@rideaufriends.com

Website design & maintenance donated by: Ken W. Watson