Lock 36 - Kirkfield

Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site

In September 2022, the Kirkfield Lift Lock site was closed due to a mechanical failure. While repairs progressed, Parks Canada implemented single chamber lockages during the 2023 season, and we thank the public for their understanding and patience during this time. As we prepare to open for the 2024 season on May 17th, Parks Canada can confirm that new chamber gates have been fabricated and installed and major mechanical components are all in place. Final testing will continue through the month of May in anticipation of a smooth operating season ahead.

Past News

The historic Kirkfield Lift Lock is located a few kilometres north of the Village of Kirkfield. The Kirkfield Lift Lock is the second highest hydraulic lift lock in the world with a lift of 15 metres (49 ft). The lock is situated at the highest point along the Waterway at 256.20 meters (840.5 ft) above sea level. Most boaters prefer to stay on the lower reach to avoid the stairs and gain easy access to the washrooms.

Getting here
  • Address: 2023 Kirkfield Road, County Road #6, Kirkfield, Ontario
  • Nautical chart: #2025 (more on Nautical charts)
  • Kilometer marker: 272.6 km (mile 169.4)
  • GPS: 44°35'23.0"N 78°59'24.0"W

Hours of Operation


Navigational data
  • Lock length: 42.2 m (138 ft)
  • Lock width: 10.2 m (33 ft)
  • Average lift: 14.9 m (49 ft)
  • Max. mooring period: 2 nights

Facilities and services

Facilities and services at this lockstation are currently limited due to ongoing construction work

  • Overnight mooring (not recommended)
  • No camping
  • Washrooms
  • Potable water
  • Picnic area - Not available (construction)
  • Visitor information
Construction of the Kirkfield lockstation
Constructed: 1900-1905

Part of the Simcoe-Balsam Lake section, the contract for the Kirkfield Lift Lock was awarded to Larkin and Sangster. Unlike the Peterborough Lift Lock, this construction utilized metal frames rather than concrete towers to guide the metal tubs. Today the site is located in the middle of the Carden Alvar, where spring floods and dry summers provide a unique habitat for many rare species.

Tourism information
Google Street View

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