Can we fit 300 canoes and kayaks into the Peterborough Lift Lock for Canada 150?

Second annual Lock n' Paddle on Saturday, June 24 attempts to break last year's record

This year's Lock N' Paddle on Saturday, June 24 will attempt fit 300 paddlecraft into the Peterborugh Lift Lock, with 150 in each chamber in honour of Canada 150, far exceeding last year's record of 138. (Photo: The Canadian Canoe Museum)
This year's Lock N' Paddle on Saturday, June 24 will attempt fit 300 paddlecraft into the Peterborugh Lift Lock, with 150 in each chamber in honour of Canada 150, far exceeding last year's record of 138. (Photo: The Canadian Canoe Museum)

Tomorrow (June 24) is the second annual Lock n’ Paddle event, where as many paddlers as possible fit into the Peterborough Lift Lock.

This year, in celebration of Canada 150 and National Canoe Day, the Peterborough Lift Lock National Historic Site of Canada (in partnership with The Canadian Canoe Museum and The Land Canadian Adventures) will attempt to fit 150 canoes and kayaks into each chamber of the Peterborough Lift Lock, for a total of 300 paddlecraft — breaking last year’s record of 138.

Special guests at the event include MP for Peterborough-Kawartha Maryam Monsef, who will be paddling with James Raffan of The Canadian Canoe Museum, and best-selling author and canoe enthusiast Kevin Callan.

VIDEO: 2016 Lock N’ Paddle

At 1 p.m. on Saturday, the lockage will begin.

This year's Lock N' Paddle on Saturday, June 24 will attempt fit 300 paddlecraft into the Peterborugh Lift Lock, with 150 in each chamber in honour of Canada 150, far exceeding last year's record of 138. (Photo: The Canadian Canoe Museum)
This year’s Lock N’ Paddle on Saturday, June 24 will attempt fit 300 paddlecraft into the Peterborugh Lift Lock, with 150 in each chamber in honour of Canada 150, far exceeding last year’s record of 138. (Photo: The Canadian Canoe Museum)

To get an accurate count, each paddlecraft needs to be counted individually as it enters into the lock. Once the gates are opened, paddlers should line up and enter in single file. There will also be three safety boats per lock chamber; for every few lines of paddlecraft, a safety boat will cut into the line and enter the chamber.

This is a first-come first-served event, so arrive early to help ensure you get a spot in the Lift Lock (no later than 12 p.m.). Once the chambers are full, the gates will be closed.

After the lock chambers are at an equal elevation, the Lock Master will halt the lockage and participants and visitors will be invited to raise their paddles and sing both “O Canada” and “Happy Birthday” in celebration of 150 years of Confederation.

The goal is to have as many paddlers as possible at this event. If you are an experienced paddler, please consider putting in at a location other than the Peterborough Lift Lock Visitor Centre, which is the best location for less-experienced paddlers or those with accessibility needs.

For experienced paddlers, here are alternate put-in locations with the average time required to paddle to the Peterborough Lift Lock. Note that if you are going through Lock 20 – Ashburhnam, you need to allow an extra 45 to 60 minutes to transfer and paddle to the Peterborough Lift Lock.

  • Beavermead Campground (2011 Ashburnham Dr.) – 5-minute paddle to Lock 20, 45-60 minutes to transfer and paddle to Peterborough Lift Lock
  • Rogers Cove (131 Maria St.) – 5-minute paddle to Lock 20, 45-60 minutes to transfer and paddle to Peterborough Lift Lock
  • Millennium Park (130 King St.) – 20-minute paddle to Lock 20, 45-60 minutes to transfer and paddle to Peterborough Lift Lock
  • Del Crary Park (100 George St.) – 35-minute paddle to Lock 20, 45-60 minutes to transfer and paddle to Peterborough Lift Lock
  • Warsaw Swing Bridge (Parkhill Rd, E. and Canal Rd.) – 20-minute paddle to Peterborough Lift Lock
  • McFarlane Bridge (McFarlane St. & Ashburnham Dr.) – 10-minute paddle to Peterborough Lift Lock
  • Trent-Severn Waterway Headquarters (2155 Ashburnham Dr.) – 5-minute portage to launch at the top and west side of Lock 20, 20-minute paddle to Peterborough Lift Lock.

All participating paddlers need the following gear: a PFD (paddlers must wear it), a sound signalling device, a buoyant heaving line, and a bailer for each boat. Also bring sunscreen and a hat (or an umbrella or raincoat depending on the weather forecast) and a water bottle.

A screenshot from the 2016 drone video showing the 138 canoes and kayaks being lifted in one chamber of the Peterborough Lift Lock. This year, both lock chambers will be filled with 150 paddlecraft for a total of 300.
A screenshot from the 2016 drone video showing the 138 canoes and kayaks being lifted in one chamber of the Peterborough Lift Lock. This year, both lock chambers will be filled with 150 paddlecraft for a total of 300.

If you have extra space in your canoe or kayak — or if you need one — join the Paddle Pool Facebook Group to connect with other paddlers.

If you want to rent a boat or gear, you can get it at one of the following local rental suppliers:

  • Pedal and Paddle (Millennium Park at the Silver Bean, 100 King St., Peterborough)
  • Wild Rock Outfitters (169 Charlotte Street, Peterborough)
  • Adventure Outfitters (1828 8th Line, Lakefield)
  • Beavermead Campground (2011 Ashburnham Drive, Peterborough)
  • Cottage Toys (180 Charlotte St., Peterborough; 96 Clementi St. Lakefield)

The Land Canadian Adventures is offering an all-inclusive guided paddling experience for Lock n’ Paddle for $35 per person. Book your space.

The Land Canadian Adventures will also be attending the event and is organizing several activities, including a wild edible and medicinal plants of the Kawarthas demonstration, bushcraft and traditional skills workshops, and a plein air painting demonstration. They will also be offering free professional portraits in front of the Peterborough Lift Lock.

Notes:

  • For safety reasons, stand-up paddle boards will not be permitted at this event.
  • By participating in this event, all paddlers agree to be photographed and filmed.

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