Happy 150th Canada! Come Enjoy Free Lockage.

A milestone birthday is always a good excuse to celebrate. In 2017, Canada will mark its 150th anniversary of Confederation.  Communities from coast to coast will mark Canada’s 150th birthday in many exciting way and, on the Historic Canals, all lockage will be free for the entire season!

Parks Canada has joined in and is pleased to offer free admission for all visitors to national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas in 2017.  Mooring and camping fees will still apply.  This is a great way to encourage everyone to enjoy the beauty and majesty that Canada has to offer.

Plan Your Summer 2017 Adventures Now

For boaters planning to take in any of the seven canals administered by Parks Canada, it is especially exciting as all lockage fees will be waived for the entire 2017 navigation season.

The Ontario Waterways offer two such canals on which to enjoy the summer of 2017. The historic Rideau Canal, Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site, provides 202 kms of beautiful waterway between Ottawa and Kingston and runs through towns such as Merickville, Leeds and Grenville, Manotick, and Portland.  Each of which is a lovely place to stop and take in the local sites. The majestic Trent-Severn offers 386 kms of waterway and allows visitors to alights at such towns as Peterborough, Lakefield, and Bobcageon just some of the picturesque communities which make an excellent stop on your waterway adventure.

Friendly Parks Canada staff across both waterways will be enthusiastically greeting boaters and locking them through in some cases the exact same way they have since the first day the waterways were opened; cranking crabs and guiding boats by hand and in other cases through the use of marvels of engineering like the Peterborough Lift Lock or the Big Chute Marine Railway. The Rideau Canal and the Trent Severn Waterway are some of the country’s best examples of living history experiences.

In addition to being a beautiful place to cruise and paddle, the Ontario Waterways is also a destination with accommodations to serve visitors traveling by land and boat alike.  Parks Canada oTENTiks are a cross between a cabin and a tent and are located at lock stations along the waterways, available for rent to boaters or those who choose to arrive by land.

The oTENTIks are equipped with bunk beds for 6, table and chairs, a barbeque, a fire pit, and a food lockbox.  All you need is food and a sleeping bag. (See reservation.parkscanada.gc.ca for information). If camping is more your style, remember that mooring passes come with one free camping site so pop up a tent at a lock station and make use of the running water and washroom facilities.  For those who prefer a more refined experience, the Davis lockmaster’s House offers a posh cottage-like experience.

With all these great offers, we invite visitors to consider all parts of our navigations season when planning their visit.  Our shoulder season begins the May long weekend (Friday, May 19th) and runs until the end of June, when high season begins, followed by the latter shoulder season in September until closing which is Thanksgiving Monday.

Free lockage for all boaters is something Parks Canada is pleased to offer in celebration of Canada 150 and boaters can expect to hear all about how to get their own free lock pass this spring.  Our social media and webpages are the best source for up-to-date information on all things Canada 150.

For More Information

Our twitter feeds @RideauCanalNHS and @TrentSevernNHS will keep boaters up to date on our activities, any issues and news that may affect trip planning.

Boaters can visit our websites at http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/on/rideau/index.aspx and http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/on/trentsevern/index.aspx throughout the year to get more information on Canada 150 activities and how Parks Canada and the Ontario Waterways will celebrate this important year.