Trent-Severn Waterway

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Carlb-trentsevern-lock-01.jpg
Lock One on the Trent-Severn Waterway

The Trent-Severn Waterway is a canal system formerly used for commercial purposes but now exclusively for pleasure boats connecting Lake Ontario at Trenton to Lake Huron at Port Severn. Its major natural waterways include the Trent River, Otonabee River, Kawartha Lakes, Lake Simcoe, Lake Couchiching and Severn River.

It traverses Southern Ontario's "cottage" country with recreational properties the primary industry along the waterway.

The total length of the waterway is 386 km, beginning at Trenton, Ontario. There are 45 locks, including hydraulic lift locks at Peterborough, Kirkfield and Swift Rapids on the Severn River, and a marine railway at Big Chute which transports boats between the upper and lower sections of the Severn.

It reaches its highest point at Balsam Lake; this is, in fact, the highest point on Earth to which a vessel can be navigated from sea level.

Contents

History

In the mid-1800's the river systems of central Ontario were used by lumber barons to easily transport their newly felled trees to sawmills closer to market. Many of the logging companies opposed the building of locks for it interfered with their business interests. Though the logging companies did help to create thriving communities like Bobcaygeon and Fenelon Falls, all of with helped to delay the building of the lock system.

Construction began in the Kawartha Lakes region in 1833 with the Lock at Bobcaygen marking its begining. It took over 87 years to finish the waterway, with it not being until 1920 that a boat could travel the whole route.

The slow progress was noticed by Government, in 1878 Prime Minister Sir John A. MacDonald tried to speed up progress by making it Government policy to see to it that the system would be completed. It wasn't until 1920 that the canal was finally finished.

The lock system did allow for development of central Ontario, allowing quick and efficient flow of goods to and from the major trading centres along Lake Ontario. The ruggid, rough terrain of the Province made travel by land, extreamly difficult, and time consuming.

When the canal was finally completed it failed to have a major impact on the economy of the regions it was built to serve. In general it was designed for boats that were to small to be commercially viable. And in the years that it was under construction railroads had further developed their networks and improved service, which influenced settlement patterns. It finally became fully obsolete for commercial purposes when the Welland Canal was built. The Welland Canal could handle ships larger enough to sail across the ocean.

The lock system is still in service and is maintained and operated by Parks Canada, a Government agency. The canals are now a tourist feature catering to recreational boaters.

List of locks

Starting from Lake Ontario (distance listed represents the distance via water from Lake Ontario which is KM 0)

Trenton Region

Lock 1 Trenton (2.9 km - lift height of 20 feet)
Lock 2 Sidney (2.4 km - lift 19 feet)
Lock 3 Glen Miller (6.2 km - Lift 28 feet)
Lock 4 Batawa (8.3 km - lift 18 feet)
Lock 5 Trent (10.3 km - Lift 17 feet)
Lock 6 Frankford (11.7 km - Lift 17 feet)
Lock 7 Glen Ross (22.2 km - Lift 11 feet)
Lock 8 Percy Reach (40.7 km - Lift 19 feet)
Lock 9 Meyers (42.5 km - Lift 15 feet)
Lock 10 Haigs Reach (45.0 km - Lift 24 feet)
Lock 11 & 12 Ranney Falls (47.8 km - Lift 48 feet)
Lock 13 Campbellford (51.8 km - Lift 23 feet)
Lock 14 Crowe Bay (54.2 km - Lift 26 feet)
Lock 15 Healey Falls (58.2 km or - Lift 22 feet)
Lock 16 & 17 Healey Falls (58.8 km - Lift - 54 feet)
Lock 18 Hastings (82.3 km - Lift 9 feet)

Kawartha Lakes Region

Lock 19 Scotts Mills (142.8km - Lift 8 feet)
Lock 20 Ashburnham (144.5 km)
Lock 21 Peterborough Hydraulic Lift Lock (Peterborough Lift Lock) (145.0 km - 65 feet)
Lock 22 Nassau Mills (151.7 km - Lift 14 feet)
Lock 23 Otonabee (152 km - Lift 12 feet)
Lock 24 Douro (155.1 km - Lift 12 feet)
Lock 25 Sawyer Creek (156.6 km - Lift 10 feet)
Lock 26 Lakefield (158.9 km - Lift 16 feet)
Lock 27 Young's Point (168.1 km - Lift 7 feet)
Lock 28 Burleigh Falls (181.8 km - Lift 24 feet)
Lock 29 A new lock was built in 1968 which replaced 2 older locks - therefore there is no longer any Lock 29.
Lock 30 Lovesick (184.7 km - Lift 4 feet)
Lock 31 Buckhorn (194.2 km - Lift 11 feet)
Lock 32 Bobcaygeon (222.4 km - Lift 6 feet)
Lock 33 Lindsay (251.6 km)
Lock 34 Fenelon Falls (247.2 km - Lift 24 feet)
Lock 35 Rosedale (252.9 km - Lift 4 feet)

Talbot Region

Kirkfield marks the downward desent towards Lake Huron

Lock 36 Kirkfield Lift Lock - Completed 1907 (272.6 km - Lift 49 feet)
Lock 37 Bolsover (284.9 km - Lift 27 feet)
Lock 38 Talbot (286.5 km - Lift 14 feet)
Lock 39 Portage (289.1 km - Lift 13 feet)
Lock 40 Thorah (289.8 km - Lift 14 feet)
Lock 41 Gamebridge - Built 1906 (290.9 km - Lift 19 feet)
Lock 42 Couchiching (337.8 km - Lift 21 feet)

Severn Region

Lock 43 Swift Rapids - Marine railway completed 1919 - replaced in 1965 with a hydraulic lock (361.2 km Lift 47 feet)
Lock 44 Big Chute - Completed 1917 (374.1 km - Lift 57 feet)
Lock 45 Port Severn (387.1 km - Lift 14 feet)

See also

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