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Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada

The History of the Rideau Canal

EDMONDS LOCKS

Specifications of the Lockstation:

One lock with a lift of 8 feet 8 inches.

The Construction of the Lockstation:

Heron at the base of Edmonds SpillwayHeron at the base of Edmonds Spillway
©Parks Canada / Rideau Canal

Edmonds lock was named after James Edmonds, one of the earliest settlers in this part of the Rideau Valley. For part of the 19th century, it was known as Mills Lock after its long serving first lockmaster, Edward Mills. Edmonds Lock was designed by Colonel By with an overflow arch dam designed to maintain a navigable water level above the lock while allowing excess water simply to pour over the dam. Experience at Edmonds Lock as well as Clowes and Black Rapids, soon proved that overflow dams were subject to considerable damage during spring flooding. The design was discarded in favour of higher dams accompanied by waste weirs at other lockstations.

The Structures of the Lockstation:

Originally Edmonds lockstation consisted of a mill, a lockmasters house and a canalmens house. Today, only the lockmaster house remains although it is not the original structure. The initial lockmasters house, like so many other houses had fallen into disrepair by the late 19th century. A number of these houses were restored, but the Edmonds house was torn down in the early 20th century. It was replaced on the same site by a two-storey frame house. This house survived until the mid-20th century when it too was removed. The other structure that did not survive is the mill. It was located below the dam on the north side, and was built post-1860.

Engineering Structures: Although Edmonds Lockstation still has an overflow dam, a waste weir was eventually built to relive the pressure of spring floods on the structure.

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