History of the Burritts Rapids lockstation

Rideau Canal National Historic Site

Specifications of the lockstation

A single lock with a lift of 3.2 m (10.5 feet).

The Construction of the lockstation

The contractor for this lockstation was Philemon Wright & Sons. Wright’s sons, Tiberius and Ruggles were the active contractors. Philemon Wright was active in the timber trade and was the founder of Hull, Quebec.

The Burritts Rapids lockstation is located at the downstream end of a natural flood channel, the Oxford Snie, that was made navigable by adding embankments and damming the river to flood the navigation channel.

The Village of Burritts Rapids, one of the earliest settlements in the Rideau Corridor, was founded in 1793 by Colonel Stephen Burritt, a Loyalist from Connecticut, who built a house at the site.

Structures of the lockstation

Former Lockmaster's House: The plan was to build a blockhouse at Burritts Rapids, but only the stone walls for the ground floor were ever built and it became the lockmaster's house. It was demolished in 1914 and replaced by a two-storey house, built on the old foundation. That house was torn down in 1969. The present lockstation office was built at that time just in front of the old lockmasters house.

Dam: A 68 m (224 foot) long dam and waste weir, built on the bed of the Rideau River, near the head of the island, regulates water levels.

Bridges: Two bridges are located at Burritts Rapids. The bridge that crosses the river channel is a concrete on steel span fixed bridge built in 1983. The bridge that crosses the navigation channel is a steel truss swing bridge built in 1897. It was extensively rehabilitated in 2018.

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