The Peterborough Liftlock, built in 1904 is the highest hydraulic liftlock in the world. Part of the Trent Severn Waterway it is known as Lock 21. It’s dual lifts raise and lower boats 20m. It was designated a national historic site in 1979. A feat of engineering the lock requires no additional power to operate using gravity and counterweight to simultaneously raise and lower it’s two lifts. In the winter the canal at the foot of the lock has its water level lowered and in maintained as free public skating.
History of the Peterborough Liftlock
Designed by Richard Birdsall Rogers who, in 1896 travelled to France, Belgium and England to see similar examples in operation. The lock was constructed by Corry and Laverdure of Peterborough. The metal work was completed by the Dominion Bridge Company of Montreal. At the time of construction it was the worlds largest structure built from unreinforced concrete and the first lock to be built out of concrete.
An integral part of the Trent Severn Waterway
The Trent Severn Waterway runs 386kms connecting Lake Ontario to Lake Huron. It is operated by Parks Canada and is open for navigation from May to October each year. Originally built to aid commercial enterprises and the development of central Ontario it is now used for recreational purposes with commercial shipping today primarily using the Welland Canal.
The addition of the Canadian Canoe Museum
In 2016 it was announced the the Canadian Canoe Museum will be relocating to the lands at the base of the Peterborough Liftlock. The new facility will allow for additional on-water experiences and provide a one-stop destination for tourists. The design for the new museum complex was created by heneghan peng architects of Dublin, Ireland, in a joint venture with Toronto’s Kearns Mancini Architects, and Foggy River Farm, Landscape Architects.