New Concrete at Black Rapids Lower Wharf

May 17, 2018 – The replacement of the upper and lower wharves at Black Rapids Lock 13 on the Rideau Canal National Historic Site is now complete. The new wharves will be available for the enjoyment of boaters and land-based visitors alike this navigation season.

The Black Rapids Wharves replacement began with the contractor removing the old wharves, and creating a concrete foundation for the new wharves. Timber cribs were then constructed in situ. In order to pour the foundation and build the cribs, a temporary coffer dam was installed to hold back water and keep the worksite dry.

Recently, concrete was poured to form the deck of both wharves, which finalized their reconstruction. The site will be undergoing landscaping in the upcoming weeks in preparation for the navigation season. As it can take some time for grass seed and sod to take root, visitors to the site may see evidence of this re-beautification work into the late spring.

Work to replace the Black Rapids Wharves is part of Parks Canada’s unprecedented $3 billion dollar investment to support infrastructure work to heritage, visitor, waterway and highway assets located within national historic sites, national parks,and national marine conservation areas across Canada. These investments represent the largest federal infrastructure plan in the 105-year history of Parks Canada.

 New Concrete at Black Rapids Lower Wharf

About Black Rapids Lock 13

In 1827, Black Rapids Lock was built along a 2.4 kilometre stretch of rapids on the Rideau Canal. The lock was built out of local limestone sourced from a quarry on the east bank of the river, opened specifically to supply the lock construction. In 1829, the lockmaster’s house was completed, with the dam and artificial channel completion following thereafter.

Throughout the years, a number of repairs and modifications have been made at Black Rapids Lockstation. In 1925, the waste weir was rebuilt in concrete. Concrete was again used in the late 1940s and early 1950s to rebuild the timber dam. In the late 1960s, under the operation of Transport Canada, Black Rapids Lock was converted to hydraulic mechanized operation to improve efficiencies for recreational boat traffic.

For More Information:

For up-to-date news on infrastructure work along the Rideau Canal, please visit our website: If you would like to be added to our community engagement list, please e-mail and include “Black Rapids Wharves” in the subject heading.