The amount of water used in an average Rideau Lock (10 foot lift) is 1.3 million litres (280,000 imp. gal.) To drink a lock dry, you would have to consume 5.6 million cups of water.
The gates of the locks are made with Douglas Fir at the canal shops in Smiths Falls. They last an average of 15 years before they need to be replaced.
There are 45 locks along the Rideau plus two more locks at the entrance to the Tay Canal.
The highest single lift is 7.9 m (26 ft.) at Smiths Falls and the lowest lift is 0.6 m (2 ft.) at Kilmarnock.
There are four types of gate opening mechanisms on the Rideau – the endless chain crab system, the swing bar crab system, the push bar crab system and the electric-hydraulic system. Can you tell which one you’re looking at?
A Rideau lock chamber is 40.8 m (134 ft.) long (sill to sill) by 10.1 m (33 ft.) wide. The maximum vessel length that can fit into a lock is 33 m (110 ft.) to allow room for the upper breastwork and the swing of the lower gates.
It cost £822,000 to build the canal in 1832. It would cost over $500 million to replace all the canal structures today.
The lift from Kingston to Upper Rideau Lake (the highest point on the system) is 50 m (164 ft.) in 14 locks. The lift from Ottawa to Upper Rideau Lake is 83.2 m (273 ft.) in 31 locks.
The canal extends 202 kilometres (125 miles) from Ottawa to Kingston. Along this distance there are 292 islands and 1091 kilometres (675 miles) of shoreline.