Community Update: Update on Infrastructure Projects

Rideau Canal National Historic Site

Jones Falls Locks 39 and 40

March 16, 2018 –
Jones Falls lockstation is located at the southern end of Sand Lake where the Cataraqui River connects with Whitefish Lake. Built in the late 1820s to early 1830s, Jones Falls boasts many significant Canadian cultural resources such as its sandstone constructed locks, stone arch dam, timber bridge, and historic landscape offering breathtaking views. These features have helped to make the Jones Falls lockstation a truly special place for generations of visitors.

Parks Canada has announced a number of investments into the historic infrastructure at the Jones Falls lockstation that will help to preserve this special site for generations to come. Having finished repairs to the Jones Falls concrete bridge in 2016, Parks Canada is now completing plans for the next phases of work.

Waste Weir Railing Replacement

Jones Falls Weir
This summer, work at Jones Falls will begin with the replacement of the railings on the waste weir. These efforts will align the railings with the site’s historic landscape and improve the aesthetic appeal of the weir. Timber Bridge Replacement In the fall, the contractor will start on the replacement of the Jones Falls

Timber Bridge

Jones Falls Timber Bridge and Lock 40-42
The new bridge will match the existing structure and replicate the original bridge elevation. The concrete abutments and wing walls will be replaced with reinforced concrete to better support the structure and a timber deck will also be installed. The timber bridge replacement is expected to be completed in spring 2019.

Jones Falls Locks Rehabilitation

Jones Falls Lock 40
Concurrently, the four locks at Jones Falls will undergo historic masonry repairs including stone replacement, repointing, and grouting. Significant historic, environmental, and operational consideration has gone into the project planning and construction approach for the lock repairs which will be completed over a three year period. These repairs are monumental, as they are one of the largest capital projects undertaken on the Rideau Canal since its original construction. The full project is expected to finish in spring 2021.

Repairs to the Jones Falls site is part of Parks Canada’s unprecedented $3 billion dollar investment over 5 years to support infrastructure work to heritage, visitor, waterway and highway assets located within national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas across Canada. These repairs are essential for preserving the heritage value of the Jones Falls site and maintaining quality visitor experience.

About Jones Falls

Work on Jones Falls began in 1827 and was completed in 1832. Given the rugged terrain, the Jones Falls lockstation demonstrates the impressive feats of the canal builders. In order to address the one mile long rapids with a fall of 60 feet, Colonel By proposed the construction of an arch dam 60 feet high and 350 feet in length. Four locks were constructed at the site, each with a lift of 15 feet. The upper lock and the flight of three lower locks are separated by a turning basin.

In part because of the breathtaking views throughout the site, both from on land and in water, Jones Falls Lockstation is designated as a cultural landscape of National Historic Significance by Parks Canada.

For More Information:

For up-to-date news on infrastructure work along the Rideau Canal, please visit our website: If you would like to be added to our community engagement list and receive updates on these projects, please e-mail and include “Jones Falls” in the subject heading.

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