Community Update: Combined Lock 29A – Construction Work Update

Rideau Canal National Historic Site

Workers untie components of the cofferdam from the bucket of an excavator – black metre bags filled with clean stone
Contractors install a cofferdam barrier along Victoria Park. This will keep canal water out of the construction site when the concrete canal walls are repaired.

February 9, 2018Cofferdams have now been installed for the first phase of work in Parks Canada’s construction project at Combined Lock 29A in Smiths Falls. This first phase of work, taking place this winter, includes the restoration and replacement of both north and south concrete walls that line the basin above the lock.

Winter. A rock breaker chips the edge of a concrete wall. The earth behind it is excavated
Contractors break concrete within the work site along Victoria Park in Smiths Falls, on the Rideau Canal
Demolition of concrete has begun on both sides of the basin. The next stage will be to construct an enclosed space around the work area that can be heated to ensure the new concrete cures at appropriate temperatures for strength. While completing concrete work in the winter can be more difficult, requiring this kind of added work, it is an example of how Parks Canada’s Ontario Waterways team works hard to complete work outside of the navigation season – continuing to offer truly unique tourism experiences, and contributing to the important tourism economy of central and eastern Ontario.

For More Information:

If you have any questions about this project, or if you would like to receive email updates, please email us at: and include “Combined Lock 29” in the subject heading. 

Background: Construction at Combined Lock 29A

This project includes the replacement of both sets of hydraulic gates at Combined Lock 29A, enhancements to both hydraulic and electrical systems to improve the reliability of operation, repairs to the downstream concrete wharf and upper basin walls, and improvements to guard rails and hand rails at the site. This first phase of concrete work will be completed in time for the beginning of the Rideau Canal navigation season in 2018.


Pedestrians and bicyclists who would normally use pathways within Centennial Park and Victoria Park are asked to obey detour signage. At Victoria Park, paths are re-routed to the south side of Lombard St. Paths through Centennial Park will be re-routed via Confederation Drive, Strathcona St., and Park Ave.

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