Lock Life Stories

Rideau Canal National Historic Site

Every visitor to the Rideau Canal is a story...

During the navigation season we interviewed visitors to the Rideau Canal and shared their stories on social media. Explore the archive of those posts below and learn more about the visitors of the Rideau Canal!

LOCKSTATION: Jones Falls Lockstation
July 2023

Starting from Bainsville, and originally from Montreal, Ben’s journey along the Rideau Canal will take him through all the locks of the system in one large loop. Temporarily stopped in Jones Falls, the boater took a moment to admire the scenery from the top of the locks. “I enjoy a lot” he says, speaking of the hidden spots he finds as he travels– bays and nooks with gorgeous scenery, perfect places for a jump in the water.

NAME: Karina
LOCKSTATION: Lower Beverages Lockstation
July 2023

After working for Parks Canada for 25 years, Karina truly has done it all. Beginning as a lock operating student, then a lock operator for thirteen years, before taking a temporary position in Smiths Falls Headquarters where she’s worked in many different jobs, before finally taking an opportunity to act as a sector manager. She’s enjoyed her time working for Parks, with this being her favorite acting assignment. After working on the locks for so long, she is excited to be able to “come back [to the locks] in a different capacity”.

NAME: Olivia
LOCKSTATION: Hartwells Lockstation
August 2023

Olivia is a Learn-to-Paddle instructor on the Rideau Canal at the Hartwells Lockstation. She has worked as an instructor for two summers, and absolutely loves working there. As a guide, Olivia and her co-workers start their mornings at 9, with set-up and preparation for the day’s lessons. Their lesson plans include thirty minute safety lessons to help novice paddlers learn how to canoe safely within the lesson and beyond, along with an hour of on-the-water time. For the guides, that means around 2-3 hours of paddling per day! On top of teaching people to canoe safely, Olivia and the other guides also get to learn about the history of the Rideau Canal and talk about it. Her favourite part of the job: “The people. You meet so many amazing people working here and get so many opportunities to talk to people from all walks of life.”

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