Free lockage boosts Canal traffic despite torrential rain, high water levels

September 29, 2017 by

Locks 01Parks Canada’s free lockage on the Rideau Canal corridor this year provided a boost for traffic on the system, despite a late start and an unprecedented closure.

Overall boat traffic was up about 10 percent across the system – just over 58,000 vessels passed through, compared to 52,500 last year.

August saw the biggest increase with a 30% increase in local trips, as the free lockage likely drew local cottagers out into the system.

The biggest increases came in the southern section, from the Narrows to Kingston. Traffic there was up by more than 40% for the month of August.

In our listening area, the central section was up 4.8% on the season. Just over 19,100 vessels passed through our locks and waterways.

The season got off to a rocky start with high-water delaying the opening of the canal, and record-setting rain caused the first extended mid-season closure in the Canal’s history in July.