Jones Falls Lock 39 Repairs

February 21, 2019 – The rehabilitation of the locks and replacement of the timber bridge at Jones Falls Lockstation on the Rideau Canal National Historic Site is well underway. Investments in the preservation, rehabilitation, and restoration of our national historic sites, such as Jones Falls, will protect our heritage and strengthen their appeal as destinations to celebrate our nation's achievements. Work on the Jones Falls Timber Bridge and Locks will preserve them for the enjoyment of future generations.

Jones Falls Lock 39-42 Rehabilitation

In January, the contractor installed the cofferdam – a temporary dam used to create a dry in-water work area – at Lock 39. Work has begun within the cofferdam on the installation of a concrete pile wall to prevent underground water migration into the lock. The contractor is also repairing a stone apron that was discovered on the upstream side of the lock.

Additionally, Locks 40 and 41 are undergoing repairs this non-navigation season. Lock 40 has been enclosed and repairs have begun on its floor. Lock 40 and 41 have had some of their timber gates removed to allow for repairs to the hollow quoins – the curved portion of the lock wall where the gates rest in the closed position.

This project will be completed over a three year period during the non-navigation season, with substantial completion expected for spring 2021.

Jones Falls Timber Bridge Replacement 

The old Jones Falls Timber Bridge, fixed dock, and concrete abutments have now been removed while the historic timber cribbing resting beneath the bridge are being preserved in their position underwater. The piles to support the new bridge deck are now in place and the west cofferdam is currently being installed. Construction of the new east and west abutment will soon follow.


These projects are part of Parks Canada’s unprecedented $3 billion dollar investment over 5 years 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 history of Parks Canada.

About Jones Falls

Work on Jones Falls began in 1827 and was completed in 1832. Given the rugged terrain, 
Jones Falls Lockstation demonstrates the impressive feats of the canal builders. In order to address the one mile long rapids with a fall of 60 feet, Colonel By proposed the construction of an arch dam 60 feet high and 350 feet in length. Four locks were constructed at the site, each with a lift of 15 feet. The upper lock and the flight of three lower locks are separated by a turning basin. 

In part, because of the breathtaking views throughout the site, Jones Falls Lockstation is designated as a cultural landscape of National Historic Significance by Parks Canada.   

For More Information:

For up-to-date news about Parks Canada infrastructure work in this area, please visit www.parkscanada.gc.ca/RCInfrastructure. If you have any questions about these projects, or would like to receive email updates, please email us at: RideauCanal.info@pc.gc.ca and include “Jones Falls” in the subject heading.