Lock 36 - Kirkfield

Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site


On September 2, 2022, the Kirkfield Lift Lock site was closed due to a mechanical failure. Since then, construction crews have been on-site working to restore the asset to full operation. While repairs are progressing well, Parks Canada wishes to advise boaters that expedited single-chamber lockages will be in place for the beginning of the 2023 season.

These single-chamber lockages will operate on demand and are estimated to take approximately 60 minutes. This timing will be finalized upon the final commissioning of a new pump installation. In addition, short delays may be experienced as vessels are grouped for each transfer. Boaters are being requested to remain on their vessels during the transfer and listen carefully to all instructions provided by lock staff.

Given the current conditions and with construction activities expected to continue outside of regular hours of operation, overnight mooring is not recommended at this time, and boaters are encouraged to moor at adjacent lockstations. If boaters should decide to moor at the Kirkfield Lift Lock site, they will be placed on the upper reach of the Lift Lock but will be able to access the grounds and public washrooms via the south stairs from the upper reach.

For land-based visitors, due to the requirements of the construction project, the public parking lot at the lockstation will be closed until further notice. Visitors to the site are also asked to respect any temporary restrictions to the grounds that may be in place for the construction project.

Past News

The historic Kirkfield Lift Lock is located a few kilometres north of the Village of Kirkfield. The Kirkfield Lift Lock is the second highest hydraulic lift lock in the world with a lift of 15 metres (49 ft). The lock is situated at the highest point along the Waterway at 256.20 meters (840.5 ft) above sea level. Most boaters prefer to stay on the lower reach to avoid the stairs and gain easy access to the washrooms.

Getting here
  • Address: 2023 Kirkfield Road, County Road #6, Kirkfield, Ontario
  • Nautical chart: #2025 (more on Nautical charts)
  • Kilometer marker: 272.6 km (mile 169.4)
  • GPS: 44°35'23.0"N 78°59'24.0"W

Hours of Operation


Navigational data
  • Lock length: 42.2 m (138 ft)
  • Lock width: 10.2 m (33 ft)
  • Average lift: 14.9 m (49 ft)
  • Max. mooring period: 2 nights

Facilities and services

Facilities and services at this lockstation are currently limited due to ongoing construction work

  • Overnight mooring (not recommended)
  • No camping
  • Washrooms
  • Potable water
  • Picnic area - Not available (construction)
  • Visitor information
Construction of the Kirkfield lockstation
Constructed: 1900-1905

Part of the Simcoe-Balsam Lake section, the contract for the Kirkfield Lift Lock was awarded to Larkin and Sangster. Unlike the Peterborough Lift Lock, this construction utilized metal frames rather than concrete towers to guide the metal tubs. Today the site is located in the middle of the Carden Alvar, where spring floods and dry summers provide a unique habitat for many rare species.

Tourism information
Google Street View

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