Thursday, June 06, 2019

Kirkfield Lift Lock on the Trent-Severn Waterway

Two giant bathtubs, or caissons, move boats vertically up and down at Lock #36 north of Kirkfield, Ontario. Massive rams buried deep in the earth move one bathtub up 15 metres while at the same time the other bathtub goes down. There are two lift locks in the Trent-Severn; the Kirkfield one about two hours north-east of Toronto and the higher Peterborough Lift Lock #21.
Kirkfield Road passes right under the canal

Kirkfield in the fall

See more of the lock after the jump.

The Trent-Severn Waterway is 386km long, moving pleasure boats along natural and man-made bodies of water between Trenton at Lake Ontario and Lake Huron/Georgian Bay at Port Severn. The Kirkfield Lock is the highest point in the waterway (256.20m above seal level) and instead of the traditional locks, they decided to go all out and put in a boat elevator.

Upper canal
You can find parking at the lock ($2 per day) and park grounds on both sides of the river. You can also take the steep set of stairs to go up to the slips along the higher canal. There is also bathrooms on the lower level. Luckily someone brought their boat along and when up to the top floor and I was very impressed with the relatively speedy operation.

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