Parks Canada is advising the public that the Rideau Canal’s 24 lockstations located between Ottawa and Kingston will be closed for the season starting on October 11, 2016, following the Thanksgiving long weekend.

From mid-October until mid-November, water levels in the Rideau Canal system, between Ottawa Locks and Burritt’s Rapids, will be decreased to winter storage levels by adjusting dams and spillways in the Lower Rideau Watershed in order to prepare for freeze up and to reduce the possibility of spring flooding. The following Rideau Canal sections will be impacted:

  • Water levels will be decreased in the sections below Hog’s Back, including Dow’s Lake, beginning Tuesday, October 11, 2016 and will remain at their lowest level until mid to late November, after which the water level will then be raised approximately one metre between Hartwells and Ottawa lockstations to prepare for the Skateway.
  • Water levels will be lowered between Hog’s Back to Black Rapids beginning Tuesday, October 11, 2016.
  • Water levels will be lowered between Long Island to Black Rapids beginning Tuesday, October 11, 2016.
  • Water levels will be lowered between Burritt’s Rapids to Long Island beginning Tuesday, November 1, 2016.

Standard full navigation water levels (5 feet) will not be maintained anywhere on the system outside of the navigation season. Parks Canada encourages the public to use caution in and around canal structures and channels over the winter months. From mid-October to the end of May, the canal’s lock stations are closed and use of the canal is at one’s own risk. Unmarked hazards may exist. Wet leaves, ice, and snow may remain on stairs and walkways, and ice conditions on the waterway can vary. Boaters are advised that during the non navigation season, aids to navigation may be missing, off-station, or inoperable until next spring. Parks Canada would like to thank all visitors for a great 2016 season and looks forward to welcoming you again in 2017 to mark Canada’s 150th birthday with free lockage for all. Mooring permits for 2017 will soon be available for purchase on the Parks Canada website.