Friends of the Rideau
Locks at Old Slys

photo by: Ken W. Watson, 2000

The lockstations today look quite a bit different today than they did in 1832. Perhaps this is no more evident than at Old Slys where the area behind the dam has been filled in, turning the area in beautiful landscaped lawns.

During the building of the lockstations between 1827 and 1832, the areas around the lockstations were cleared of trees. Flooding resulting from the daming of the waterway created fetid smelling swamps as recently drowned vegetation decomposed. Travellers accounts of trips along the Rideau in the 1840s and 1850s noted that conditions were rather unpleasant.

However, in the 170 years since the canal was built, trees have returned to all the lockstations, fetid swamps are now beautiful marshlands teeming with wildlife and a trip along the Rideau is a wonderful experience, as every visitor today will attest to.

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photo © Ken W. Watson