Final repairs to two lock stations along the 181-year-old Rideau Canal National Historic Site and UNESCO World Heritage Site in Ontario are now complete. Repair projects at Chaffey's and Jones Falls lock stations were identified as priorities in Parks Canada's canal asset management plan and cost a combined $1.1 million to complete.
Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds–Grenville, announced the completion of two infrastructure projects on behalf of Peter Kent, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada.
"I am pleased to see the continued commitment to the revitalization of infrastructure along the Rideau Canal,' said Brown. "The recent investment of $1.1 million will ensure that this treasured location continues to engage Canadians while generating important economic benefits for the local community.'
Chaffey's Lock station underwent masonry repairs in addition to the reconstruction of sluice gates and their frames. The cost for the Chaffey's Lock station project was $520,000.
The right wall of Lock 40 at Jones Falls Lock station underwent repairs that involved a range of excavation, drilling, grouting and masonry and marked the first time the outside of the wall had been excavated since the Rideau Canal opened in 1832. The cost of the Jones Falls Lock station project was $630,000.
"Our Government is a leader in the protection of Canada's national historic sites and recognizes the importance of these locations to the economy,' said Minister Kent. "These investments in infrastructure reflect our government's commitment to economic growth as well as to the physical integrity of these historic canals and the sustainability of the communities along it.'
After recent consultations with the public and canal government Members of Parliament, Minister Kent announced on May 14 that Parks Canada plans to freeze lockage fees along Canada's historic canals for three years at 2008 levels. During this time, Parks Canada will work with local MPs, community leaders and the tourism industry to develop and implement an improved operating model to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the canals operations.
Parks Canada is the largest provider of historic and natural heritage tourism in Canada, with a network of 44 national parks, 167 national historic sites and four national marine conservation areas.