Monday, 23 June 2014

Chaffeys Lock on the Rideau Canal - a lovely spot

As was their way,
the mill was expropriated.
Gillian GPS tracked us
from Kingston north to the lock.
Rideau Canal
It was a lovely day to get out of the house. We'd had some bad news, and wanted to get out and about.
The greens are so bright, with the rain we have had, although we need more now.

The locks are now on limited hours, which has ticked off some users. Unfortunately, the feds have cut funding and they need to stay within their budget. Small towns cry for financial support, since the user-pay system doesn't
bring in enough money to support the infrastructure required to run the recreational system. Either the users, or taxpayers, have to cough up the cash.

June 23 UPDATE: 

After much lobbying by town mayors, and those depending upon tourism, Parks Canada has back tracked and extended Rideau Canal hours.
"We listened to the people along the Rideau Canal," Brown said of consultations about hours, the season and fees, which have been frozen for five years. Brown said of work done promoting the four pillars of the Rideau Canal experience: season, fees, infrastructure and hours of operation."

limited hours
As of June 27, 2014, Parks Canada will be adding 1 hour to their daily summer lockages. In addition, Beveridges will now operate on the same schedule as the other Rideau lockstations. Fridays in the fall season have been reduced by 2 hours. This is shown in the schedule below.

Parks Canada's budget was cut by $29 million in 2012, resulting in job losses among park staff.
From The Ottawa Citizen: Last year, Parks Canada said the decision to shorten the lockstation hours was unfortunate but there just wasn’t the money to operate them longer. Particularly, when a plan to increase the locking fees was scrapped by Peter Kent, who was then the minister in charge of Parks Canada. 
We know that PM Harper has seriously cut funding in the area of the environment, flora and fauna seem to hold little import for him. Or, perhaps, its the boys in shorts who believe this.

The federal government has set aside $391.5 million to upgrade Parks Canada infrastructure. Recent reports tell us that the bridges are in serious disrepair, and this was not factored into the mix. Don Butler writes that new funding will benefit communities along the canal.
Some claim that many communities depend upon the canal for tourism. The tourists and locals, who want to go up and down the canal, have been frustrated with the condensed hours.

In 2000, UNESCO named the system as a World Heritage Site. The Rideau Canal system is 182 years old, and was built in the days of water being the major, most efficient, transportation system. The government wanted a safe, defensible inland route for troops and military supplies. It is 202km long, across a series of 47 lakes and rivers, built in the winter and spring of 1831/32, in unsettled, swampy, buggy wilderness. There are no records of those who perished building the canal. The tradesmen (masons, carpenters, blacksmiths) and primarily French-Canadian and immigrant Irish labourers who used picks, shovels and wheelbarrows who built the canal.

Early settlers became the main users of the system, as people sought land for settlement. Prime lands, nearest to the St. Laurence were picked up early. The canal ended up being a trade route for Eastern Ontario. Tourism, pleasure boating and cottagers now use it for recreational purposes.

Bridges over historic Rideau Canal in bad shape: Parks Canada report

Ottawa Citizen-Jun 9, 2014


Bill Nicholls said...

They are nothing like the canals we have here, far wider for a start

Rideau Ferry said...

Hi Jen, Did you visit the Chaffey's Lock Cemetery? It's a fascinating final resting place for some of the original canal workers.

William Kendall said...

Beautiful shots.

The Prime Minister and his cabal seem to have an institutional loathing of the capital and its surroundings. One of the many, many, many reasons they're unfit for office.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

It's a matter of purpose, I suppose, @Bill! UK has fabulous everything, though!
@Rideau Ferry, I did not! Hubby isn't well and we were coming home from Kingston. We might plan that for another time, though. Thanks for the suggestion. We'd packed a lot in that day!
@William - I know. Harper's a Reform Party, prairie man, with little respect for the ancient land, the people, First Nations and traditions.

Debbie said...

what a beautiful place, you got some great pictures!!!!

EG CameraGirl said...

Lovely area.