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Heritage At Risk
|Although this page was written in 2012/13, very little has changed at Jones Falls. Important heritage viewscapes remain obscured by vegetation and several key areas of the site remain uninterpreted. So this page remains quite relevant. The locks are now being rehabilitated but the heritage inappropriate monoliths are not being fixed.
Like a canary in a coal mine, Jones Falls serves warning for the entire Rideau Canal about the lack of attention being paid to heritage. At Jones Falls we see many examples, both in the physical structures and the interpretation of the site. The canary isn't dead yet - but it's on life support.
Jones Falls should be the shining light in the heritage presentation of the Rideau Canal. It is a relatively undisturbed site, the landscape much as it was when the locks first opened in 1832. It has some of the most spectacular examples of canal engineering, including the Great Stone Arch Dam. But many of the heritage features of the site are not being interpreted, physical structures are falling apart, repairs are not being done with heritage values in mind, the site is overgrown which obscures heritage details, and there is no heritage presentation plan for the site.
The photos below illustrate some of the problems - most were taken in late June, 2012. Mouse over each photo for a description and click on the photo to see a larger version.
Temporary Gate and Monolith Repairs
Great Stone Arch Dam
Sweeney House Viewscape
More Viewpoints Obscured
More and More
I could go on, but I'll stop here. Given Parks Canada's mandate to look after Canadian heritage it is shameful to see the state that lockstations such as Jones Falls have fallen into. It begs the question - why doesn't Parks Canada care about the heritage presentation of sites such as Jones Falls?
Oh, one more thing - it should be noted that Jones Falls isn't the only place with issues, the photo below was taken in June, 2012, of the lovely yellow warning tape keeping people away from the crumbling wall at Chaffeys Lock:
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