Thursday, October 20, 2016

Two seasons along the Rideau Canal

[A view of the bikepath in summer along the Rideau Canal with the St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic National Shrine in the background]

I forget that Ottawa is a city with a canal running through it - the Rideau Canal - but the E. L. Moore canal posts helped remind me. 

You can read all about the Rideau Canal at its wikipedia entry, but the short story is that it runs about 202 km from the Ottawa River here in Ottawa to Lake Ontario at Kingston. It opened in 1832 and is still in operation today, but mainly for pleasure craft.

There's a bicycle path that runs along the canal for several kilometres, and I've been riding it quite frequently this year. The pictures in this post were taken along a strip that is opposite Carleton University, parallel to Colonel By Drive.
In the fall the canal is drained in preparation for winter. At this time of year the waterway is just a puddly creek. You can see from the above that the canal isn't that deep.
This building is close to the entrance of the Hartswell Locks near Carleton University on the Hog's Back Lock side of the canal. On the "there's a prototype for everything" front, the windows on the first floor of that building, as well as several other buildings near the lock site, are painted on boards and aren't actual windows.
When the canal is drained, it looks rather forlorn. 
Way off to centre-right you can just make out the gates of the first lock.
In summer there's a steady stream of pleasure boats being lifted through the locks.
But now that the canal's drained, I saw that one of the local tour boat operators has contracted to use the empty lock to store his boat for the winter. This could make for an interesting scene to model. The shadowy figure along the bottom is me. I'm not saluting, just holding my camera :-)
The bikepath is gorgeous this time of year, and I'm not looking forward to storing my bike away when the snow flies.

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