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“Interesting visit” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ottawa Locks

Ottawa Locks
1 Rideau Canal | Beside the Chateau Laurier, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 8S7, Canada
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Ranked #11 of 102 Attractions in Ottawa
Type: Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Landmarks
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Owner description: In use since 1832, these locks link the Ottawa River with the Rideau Canal and are still operated by hand.
Halifax, Canada
Top Contributor
498 reviews 498 reviews
194 attraction reviews
Reviews in 107 cities Reviews in 107 cities
257 helpful votes 257 helpful votes
“Interesting visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

You can walk up and down the canal beside the locks to the Ottawa river. There was not much happening on the day we visited, but interesting all the same.

Visited June 2013
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217 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Danish first
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English first
Santa Clara, California
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Historical Civil Engineering Gem Still Working!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

Unfortunately, I was not able to see the locks in action since my stay in Ottawa was during the late winter/early spring, but did spend time exploring and taking photos of this unusual bit of civil engineering.

Located near the Canadian Parliament, Byward Market, at the start of Rideau Canal, the locks are a fascinating piece of history. Compared to more familiar locks, ie. Panama Canal, they are tiny. By my estimation, I would say each lock is about 25-30ft wide and about 60-80ft in length (I am from the US, so I think in feet not meters). Surprisingly, they are operational. Large wooden/metal gates are used to close off successive levels allowing a boat to be raised or lowered from the river to the canal level.

Another surprise is how accessible they are. You can walk on and over the lock gates to the other side of the canal. Standing on the gates, looking down provides a great view of the water way.

The best part of the locks is that they are one of many great things to see in Ottawa and their location allows you to visit a bunch of attractions in one single visit (Parliament, Locks, Ottawa River Trail, Rideau Canal, Byward Market, ....).

You can spend a few hours or the entire day exploring the many attractions.

Have fun (I did).

Visited May 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
38 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
“Fascinating”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

It is really interesting to watch the locks in action and a beautiful setting. You can walk along the locks and then below Parliament Hill along the river. It is beautiful. Especially interesting when a number of boats are traveling through. We live in Ottawa and visit the locks regularly.

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Nice spot to sit in the sun”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

Definitely worth having a look. You can view it from the roadside bridge at the top but well worth wandering down to the bottom using the steps or sloped path. We the sat in the sun and watched the lock system in action. Nice tranquil walk along the riverside with baby geese a plenty. You can get a water taxi from here to access the Canada museum of Civilisation on the other side of the Ottawa River. Think it was about $5 per adult one way.

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Picturesque and not to be missed”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

Taking in the locks at the foot of Parliament Hill is one of the things that I do various times during all four seasons though in the Winter it is quiet. There is always quite a lot of activities with boats going up and down all day. Of particular note I was able to see the floating of the Fair Jeanne which is part of the Brigantine Ottawa organization. She sleeps in one of the locks during the winter and is floated out once the Canal opens to spend the Spring, Summer and early fall in Kingston teaching youngsters about sailing a tall ship. It was great to see and I spent a good two hours watching the process as she was manouvered up-canal toward her Summer port. Great stuff and always interesting.

Visited May 2013
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