Boaters can expect lengthy delays along Trent-Severn Waterway in June

Peterborough Lift Lock Photo by Shutterstock/Anil-T

Boaters planning trips along the Trent-Severn Waterway this June will have to factor in some additional wait time as Peterborough’s historic Lift Lock is undergoing repairs.

According to Parks Canada, the lock, which was built in 1904 on the Trent Canal, is in need of routine maintenance. Sections of the east and west cylinders that work to raise and lower boats have reached the end of their service life and need to be replaced. As a result, the lock will operate on a modified basis until the end of June.

Peterborough Lift Lock
Photo Courtesy of Parks Canada

“For boaters, modified lockages will be conducted and delays experienced by boaters will vary depending on the position of the Lift Lock tubs when the boater arrives,” Parks Canada said in a statement.

The usual precautions will remain in effect during this time. Boaters are asked to reduce their speed when approaching the lock, and, once in the lock’s chamber, turn off all ignition switches, obey operation staff’s signals, and disembark their boats during the transfer process. Karen Feeley, a spokesperson for Parks Canada, said the reason boaters must disembark during this process is in case there’s a medical emergency.

“Should boaters remain on their vessels and if a medical emergency occurs, there would be no way for EMS to access the vessel during the transfer,” Feeley said in an email.

Boaters travelling upbound on the lock will experience approximately a four-hour delay, while downbound boaters will have to wait approximately 45 minutes. According to Feeley, the reason for the time disparity is because it’s faster to lower the chamber with the assistance of gravity than raise the upbound boats with pumps.

COVID-19 protocols are in place for all boaters using the lock, which includes maintaining a two-metre distance and wearing a mask when interacting with staff and other boaters.

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