The start of the 2015 navigation season for Ontario’s historic canals has been a banner one marked by unprecedented investment by the Government of Canada and an increase in boating numbers.
In keeping with this positive trend, I am very pleased to advise you that, for the first time, canal boaters can take advantage of FREE LOCKAGE on Wednesday July 1, 2015 in celebration of Canada Day throughout the Rideau Canal and the Trent-Severn Waterway! In addition, just as a reminder, boaters can continue to take advantage of the 2 for 1 lockage coupon until June 30, 2015.
For the month of May, on the Trent-Severn Waterway the number of vessels travelling through the system has increased 34% and the number of vessels mooring has increased 51% from 2014. On the Rideau Canal, the number of vessels travelling through the system has increased 32% and the number of vessels mooring has increased 20% from 2014.
This increased use of canals supports economic benefits for local communities and businesses and is due in part to investment in increased service levels and active promotions. Visitors travelling by land can also take advantage of new services offered on both the Trent-Severn Waterway and Rideau Canal this season including; oTENTiks, Red Chairs, and Voyageur Canoe tours at Ottawa Locks and at the Peterborough Lift Lock. Visitors will also find new showers, canoe docks, firewood and ice sales at select stations.
This month, the Government announced new infrastructure investments totalling more than $39 million for the Rideau Canal and more than $285 million for the Trent-Severn Waterway. This record investment will ensure the care and preservation of these treasured National Historic Sites and UNESCO World Heritage Site for use and enjoyment of future generations.
Parks Canada is committed to working in partnership with communities to further the recent positive trends and to raise the economic benefits of the waterways to new heightened levels through bold and concrete steps. To that end we are offering free lockage on Canada Day in hopes of exposing new boaters and visitors to the many opportunities available on the Historic Canals and in your communities. We invite you, our valued partner to join us in our effort to communicate this exciting opportunity and to further engage us in how together we can all realize the full potential of Ontario’s Historic Canals.
Director Ontario Waterways, Parks Canada