#205 Peterborough Hydraulic (Canal) Lift Lock


World's highest operating hydraulic lift lock, operating on the balance principle

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 lengthened 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.

Peterborough Hydraulic (Canal) Lift Lock



Hunter Street East
Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

Plaque Location

Honorary plaques on the exterior of the building


City of Peterborough

Ceremony Notes

July 17, 1999; jointly with CSME, nominated by ASME's Ontario Section

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

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