|First Tay Canal, Lock 1
photo by: Ken W. Watson, 2009
|This (the channel with the kayak) is the location of Lock 1 (also known as the "Port Elmsley Lock") of the First Tay Canal. It is in the Tay River, at the south end of the village of Port Elmsley. The stone in the foreground right marks the head of the original lock. The locks, which opened in 1834, were 20 feet wide by 100 feet long. This was the last lock to be fully operational since the contractor, John Jackson, had a great deal of difficulty hanging (installing) the lower gates. In the end he prevailed upon the Royal Engineers of the Rideau Canal to help him out, and the gates were put in place in the fall of 1834.
The Tay Canal, which connected the Rideau Canal to Perth, was never a commercial success. It eventually fell into disrepair by the mid-1800s. After much lobbying, a Second Tay Canal was constructed in the late 1880s. It used two new locks, built at the head of Beveridge Bay (those locks are still in use today) and bypassed Port Elmsley and the lower section of the Tay River (the location of Locks 1 to 4 of the First Tay Canal).
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