The Rideau Canal connects Kingston on Lake Ontario to Ottawa on the Ottawa River. Both of these routes connect to Montreal and the St Lawrence River. The system was built as a precaution against American invasion. While they could possibly shut down shipping on Lake Ontario and the St Lawrence River, it would be more difficult for the Americans to proceed inland. Indeed, some of the locks have fairly heavily fortified block houses for extra protection. (click here for a map of the Rideau Canal system)
The Narrows Lock is one of these extra fortified locks, as the first photo shows. The blockhouse is to the right in this photo, and the lock is to the left. The lock is behind the bridge which is swung open to let the boats pass through. (click here for a map and aerial photo of the isthmus and canal)
Faintly visible beyond the land is Big Rideau Lake. There is just a narrow strip of land separating the two lakes. The original intent had been to join the two lakes without a lock, but the hard granitic rock was difficult to blast through, so just a narrow cut was made, and a lock was installed.
|We had our picnic supper on this pier.|
All of the locks on the Rideau Canal are like this and only used by pleasure craft these days. Barely visible in this photo on the other side of the lock are several boats which were docked overnight as the lock was closed for traffic at 5:00 PM.
|A closer view of the boats docked for the night.|
Opened in 1832, The Rideau Canal is " the oldest continuously operated canal system in North America, and in 2007 it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site."
After a pleasant drive, picnic lunch, and just plain sitting and enjoying the day and the view, I set up my camera and waited for the light.
Eventually, the light came. This photo was taken more or less in the direction that my camera was pointed in the earlier photos.