Merrickville Lockstation

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Aerial view of Merrickville
This aerial view of Merrickville shows the separation of the three locks by two large basins, a unique configuration. Commercial vessels could moor in the basins while waiting to be loaded.
© Parks Canada

73,8 km – 74,8 km

Merrickville Lockstation is in the historic village of Merrickville (population 1 000). The locks are located along the south side of the river in an excavated channel, 1 km long. A concrete dam runs the full width of the river, creating a slackwater section to Kilmarnock Lockstation. Two river channels, flowing from the water control weirs in the dam, create an island, which is the site of the Merrickville Industrial Complex.

Cultural Resources

Three locks – Three manually operated locks separated by two basins, with a combined lift of 7,4 m, 1830.CRM1.

Original dam – Remnants of the original stone masonry dam are still visible, 1830. CRM1.

Water control dams and weirs – A series of dams and weirs spanning the river, which provide for present-day water control.

Lower and upper basins – Large turning basins between the locks, 1830. CRM1.

Blockhouse – A two-storey building, the ground floor is stone, the second, frame, 1832. CRM1.

Storehouse – A frame, one-storey building, known as ‘The Depot’, 1900. CRM2.

Merrickville Industrial Complex – An intact foundry and stabilized ruins of a woollen mill, 19th century. CRM2.

‘The Depot'
‘The Depot’, originally a storehouse, is used as an interpretive centre.
© Parks Canada

A swing bridge
A swing bridge crosses the upper lock, which is separated by a turning basin from the middle lock. The lockstation office is in the background.
© Parks Canada

Merrickville’s blockhouse was the largest built along the canal. It is a national historic site of Canada.
© Parks Canada

Ruins of a woollen mill
The stabilized ruins of a woollen mill. In the mid-19th century, Merrickville was an important industrial community.
© Parks Canada

Merrickville Lockstation to Kilmarnock Lockstation

74,8 km – 86,7 km

An extensive slackwater section created by the construction of the original dam at Merrickville, and maintained by the present-day dams. There are classified wetlands throughout the section and a federal government bird sanctuary west of Merrickville.

Slackwater section
Passing along the excavated channel above Merrickville locks, the canal enters an extensive slackwater section stretching to Kilmarnock.
© Parks Canada

A view of part of the extensive wetlands along this section of the Rideau River. The lower gate of Kilmarnock lock is in the foreground.
© Parks Canada


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