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Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada

The History of the Rideau Canal


Specifications of the Lockstation:

Single lock with a 13 foot lift.

The Construction of the Lockstation:

Docking at Lower Brewers
Docking at Lower Brewers
©Parks Canada / SteveWeir / Rideau Canal

In pre-canal days a sawmill was in operation at Lower Brewers, but the mill was destroyed as a result of the construction of the lockstation. Samuel Clowes was the first contractor at Lower Brewers but, because his work was constantly being flooded by the mill owner at Upper Brewers and was frequently halted because of malaria, he was forced to quit. Robert Drummond took over for Clowes and completed the job.

The Structures of the Lockstation:

Lockmaster's House: A one-storey defensible lockmaster's house was constructed some time between 1832 and 1847. It was built of stone at a location that provided a clear view of both the upper and lower approaches to the lock. A second-storey frame addition was built in 1898-99.

Engineering Structures: The engineering structures at Lower Brewers are a 120 foot long dam, 9.5 feet high, a waste weir, a single lock and two bridges, one crossing the waste weir and the other, a wooden swing bridge, crossing the lock. The present swing bridge at the lockstation is a reconstruction of the original swing bridge built in 1872. It is hand operated and is one of five such bridges still in use on the Rideau Canal.