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Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada

The History of the Rideau Canal


Specifications of the Lockstation:

The Kilmarnock lockstation consists of 1 lockchamber. The lift at the locks is 0.6 m or 2 feet.

The Construction of the Lockstation:

Kilmarnock Cut Kilmarnock Cut
©Parks Canada

For most of the 19th century, Kilmarnock was known as Maitland's Lock, after James Maitland, a retired soldier, on whose property the lockstation was built. Maitland was appointed the first lockmaster of the station, in partial compensation for the expropriation of his property. Malaria was a major concern here, and Colonel By was compelled to revamp his original plans in order to speed up construction at the site.

The Structures of the Lockstation:

Lockmaster's House: The defensible lockmaster's house is believed to have been built in 1842. It was originally a one-storey structure but a stone second storey was added early in the 20th century.

Engineering Structures: Wooden swing bridges such as that at Kilmarnock were common the length of the canal until steel truss bridges were introduced in the late 19th century. Four wooden swing bridges survive on the canal, at Lower Brewers, Brass Point, Nicholsons, and Kilmarnock.