Here’s what to expect when the Trent-Severn Waterway opens on June 1

Camping facilities remain closed, touchless locking in place, boaters must stay on their vessel while locking

The Kirkfield Lift Lock in Kawartha Lakes is the second highest hydraulic lift lock in the world with a lift of 15 metres. (Photo: Wikipedia)
The Kirkfield Lift Lock in Kawartha Lakes is the second highest hydraulic lift lock in the world with a lift of 15 metres. (Photo: Wikipedia)

On Wednesday (Nay 27), Parks Canada announced the Trent-Severn Waterway would open for the 2020 navigation season on Monday, June 1st — but with one lock remaining closed and with limited visitor access and basic services everywhere else.

This year’s navigation season, which usually begins on the first Friday of the Victoria Day long weekend, was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. When the waterway opens, there will still be some restrictions in place along with changes to normal procedures due to the pandemic.

Beginning on June 1st, this is what will be open:

  • lockage
  • boat launches
  • access points
  • mooring areas
  • day-use areas (including green spaces, picnic areas, and parking lots)
  • day-use trails (including some cycling access on designated trails and pathways)
  • lockstation grounds
  • public toilets (where enhanced cleaning protocols will be implemented).
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However, all camping facilities will remain closed until as least Sunday, June 21st. All group activities and public events are suspended until further notice.

The Swift Rapids lockstation (Lock 43 in Muskoka Lakes) will not open on June 1st due to required structural repairs. Parks Canada expects the repair work will be completed later in June and the entire system will be open for navigation at that point.

There will also be some changes to how the Trent-Severn Waterway will operate due to the pandemic:

  • nautical distancing must be maintained
  • touchless locking will be in place
  • boaters must stay on their vessel while locking
  • cashless payment is preferred
  • no rafting is allowed.

Parks Canada is requesting that boaters and visitors using the Trent-Severn Waterway to follow the advice of public health experts, including necessary hygiene practices and physical distancing of two metres from others.

For updates on using the waterway during COVID-19, visit pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/on/trentsevern/visit/covid-19-info.

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