End of 2018 Season Operations on the Rideau Canal; Lowering of Water Levels across the System

Issued: October 08, 2018

Parks Canada encourages the public to use caution in and around the canal structures and channels over the winter months. From mid-October to the end of May, the canal’s lock stations will be closed and the use of the canal will be at one’s own risk. Unmarked hazards may exist. Wet leaves, ice, and snow may remain on stairs and walkways, and ice conditions on the waterway can vary. Boaters are advised that during the non-navigation season, aids to navigation may be missing, off-station, or inoperable until next spring. 

From mid-October until mid-November, water levels in the Rideau Canal system, between the Ottawa Locks and Burritt’s Rapids, will decrease to winter levels by adjusting dams and spillways in the Lower Rideau Watershed. The following Rideau Canal sections will be affected: 

Water levels will be decreased in the sections below Hog's Back, including Dow's Lake, beginning Monday, October 8th, 2018 and will remain at their lowest level until mid-November, after which the water level will then be raised approximately one metre between Hartwells and Ottawa lockstations to prepare for the Skateway. 

  • Water levels will be lowered between Hog's Back to Black Rapids beginning Tuesday, October 9th, 2018
  • Water levels will be lowered between Long Island to Black Rapids beginning Tuesday, October 9th, 2018
  • Water levels will be lowered between Burritt's Rapids to Long Island beginning Monday, October 29th, 2018

We would like to thank all visitors and look forward to welcoming you again in 2019. Lockage and mooring permits for 2019 will soon be available for purchase on the Parks Canada website. 


Valerie de Winter 
Communications and Media Relations Officer 
Ontario Waterways 
Parks Canada