The Narrows Lockstation

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The Narrows Lockstation
The Narrows Lockstation was built at a point where the the Rideau Lake narrowed to a width of about 45 m. The dam created a second lake, Upper Rideau, the summit of the canal.
© Parks Canada

132,4 km – 132,5 km

Prior to canal construction, Big Rideau Lake and Upper Rideau Lake formed a single body of water. Upper Rideau Lake was created by the construction of an earth embankment dam at a shallow, narrow location on the original waterbody. A single lock was built at the north end of the embankment to connect the two lakes. A weir is located at the south end to control water flows.

Cultural Resources

One lock – A manually operated lock with a lift of 1,5 m, 1830. CRM1.

Earth embankment dam – An earth embankment dam, 400-m long, 1830. CRM1.

Blockhouse – A two-storey building, the ground floor is stone, the second, frame, 1833. CRM1.

Swing bridge – A manually operated unequal arm, through-truss steel bridge, 1898. CRM2.

Although the lock has one of the lowest lifts on the canal system, its construction was a significant engineering decision, saving money and time in construction at Newboro, located at the opposite end of the lake.
© Parks Canada
The 1832 blockhouse
The 1832 blockhouse at The Narrows was considerably altered in appearance over the years but was restored in the 1960s to its original appearance.
© Parks Canada
The 1898 swing bridge
The 1898 swing bridge carries a road across the lock. The bridge is operated by using hand-pushed sweeps.
© Parks Canada

The Narrows Lockstation to Newboro

The southern end of Upper Rideau Lake
The southern end of Upper Rideau Lake, where the canal crosses ‘The Isthmus’ and its descent to Kingston commences.
© Parks Canada

132,5 km – 139,3 km

Upper Rideau Lake was created and substantially enlarged by dam construction at The Narrows Lockstation. New wetlands, bogs and marshes were also created. As a result of canal engineering, Upper Rideau Lake became the divide of two watersheds and the highest elevation on the Rideau Canal. From here waters flow north and south.

The flooding from the dam at The Narrows reduced the amount of excavation required to link the two watersheds
The flooding from the dam at The Narrows reduced the amount of excavation required to link the two watersheds. Nevertheless, digging the Newboro channel across the Isthmus was a daunting task.
© Parks Canada


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