The natural routing of the Ottawa River from the neck of the Island of Montreal towards Ottawa City, a distance of almost 100 miles, is interrupted between the thirteen-mile-apart villages of Carillon and Grenville by Carillon, Chûte à Blondeau, and the Longue Sault Rapids in that sequence from east to west, connected by the Carillon Lock.
History Of The Carillon Lock
At Hawkesbury, the three short Ottawa River Canals circumvented the Ottawa River’s 21 km (13 km) long Long Sault rapids. In 1819, Lt. Col. Henry Du Vernet ( a British Army engineer) began the Grenville Canal construction project, a 9.6-kilometer-long (6-mile-long) waterway with seven locks. In 1826, construction began on the Chute-à-Blondeau canals, measuring 0.25 miles in length with one lock, and Carillon, measuring 3.2 miles in length with three locks. All were operational by 1834 and could handle boats with 1.8 m (6 foot) draughts.
Hydro-Quebec constructed a large dam at Carillon between 1959 and 1963, which flooded locks and canals at Grenville. However, a new lock built at the time of dam building at Carillon and still in use for recreational traffic today permits a 19-meter drop (62 ft.).
The Uniqueness of Carillon Lock
The site has many distinctive features such as:
- The Carillon lock is distinctive because it raises vessels 20 m on the Carillon Canal. A 200-ton lift gate is used to open and close the lock.
- Next to the lock is a massive hydroelectric power facility.
- Several historical components, such as the remnants of lock No. 1, remain on the canal’s banks.
- The combined locks serve as the river’s lower entrance to the initial canal.
- The canal path leads to the existing lock, a portion whose shape and stonewall on the south are connected with the old second canal.
St Lawrence Cruise Lines offers a range of superb cruise options, including the Carillion Lock, and you can also visit the impressive Carillon Canal. If you’d like to see the best of the St. Lawrence River, cruise with us. We are the most experienced cruise operator in the region.
For more details, please visit our website. If you have any questions, please contact us.