|Ottawa - Locks 1 to 8
photo by: Ken W. Watson
|These are the northern entrance locks to the Rideau Canal. This magnificent flight of 8 locks lifts boats 79.1 feet (24.1 m) from the Ottawa River to the Rideau Canal. The stone building on the right of the locks in the photo is the oldest surviving building in Ottawa, the Commissariat Building built in 1827, now housing the Bytown Museum.
The quarries for the stones used to build the locks are located right here in the valley, now obscured by vegetation and later landscaping. In the original plan for the locks, there was to be a turning basin the middle (4 locks, a turning basin and then another 4 locks), but a decision to increase in size of the locks from the original 108 feet to 134 feet in June 1828 meant that the plan for a turning basin had to be abandoned in order to fit the increased size of the locks. This resulted in 8 contiguous locks, or in canal terms, 8 locks "in flight."
For a full history of the Ottawa Locks see: History of the Ottawa Locks
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