Hunter Street East
Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Notable for: world's highest operating hydraulic lift lock, operating on the balance principle
Owner, if different than above: City of Peterborough
Links: Friends of the Trent-Severn Waterway site: http://www.ftsw.com/final/Main.htm
More about . . .
Opened July 9, 1904, this lift lock is the highest of its type in the world, transferring boats between two water levels in a single 19.8 m (65 ft.) lift. Designed in place of conventional locks, which would have lengthed the time considerably to transverse a gradual drop, this lift lock was a unique solution made feasible. It operates on a balance principle. Each boat chamber is supported by a ram, 2.28 m (7.5 ft.) In diameter. These move up and down inside water-filled cylinders connected by a pipe. A valve, located in its centre, controls the flow of water between the two cylinders.In operation, the upper boat chamber is filled with an extra 30 cm (1 ft.) of water which weighs 130.6 t (144 tons). When the valve is opened, this added weight causes the upper chamber to descend and the lower to rise.
Visiting Info: Seasonal (May through October); observable from roadway, but there is a giftshop, with sightseeing to take you through the lock at regular times
Ceremony Notes: 17 July 1999, jointly with CSME, nominated by ASME's Ontario Section
Comments from Visitors/Members: Friends of the Trent-Severn Waterway can be contacted at PO Box 572, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, K9J 6Z6
Once released, the water in the higher chamber uses the weight of its water load to help push the other cylinder up. Like two tubs of water that pass each other as water flows from one huge piston to the other, visitors can see a large sightseeing boat lifted by the side containing a craft as small as canoe.
Richard B. Rogers, CE (1857-1927), designed and supervised the construction of the Peterborough lift lock. The original concrete work and hydraulic system are still functioning relatively intact. In 1964, manual operating controls were modernized.
The canal lock serves the 240-mile (387 km) route of the Trent-Severn Way, as it winds from Lake Ontario, through the Kwartha Lakes to the Georgian Bay.