Waterway to open June 1

by Editorial Staff | May 27, 2020
Boats make their way along the Trent Severn Waterway east of Lake Simcoe
Boaters make their way east along the Trent-Severn Waterway just west of Canal Lake. (Photo by Jason Bain)

The Trent-Severn Waterway will open on Monday, June 1 with limited visitor access and basic services, with the exception of a lock station in Muskoka Lakes, officials announced on Wednesday, May 27.

The 387-kilometre national historic site, which cuts through the Kawarthas and links Trenton on Lake Ontario with Port Severn on Georgian Bay, normally opens on the Victoria Day long weekend.  

Opening delayed

This year’s opening was delayed when Parks Canada extended a pandemic-related service suspension on April 15.

Visitors will be able to access the following services and facilities:

  • lockage, boat launches, access points, and 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; and
  • public toilets where enhanced cleaning protocols will be implemented.

Respect closures

Facilities will remain closed until June 1 and Parks Canada asked that visitors respect these closures so staff can prepare for opening.

Swift Rapids lockstation will not open on June 1 due to structural repairs, work that is expected to be done later in June, officials stated.

Since visiting the waterway will be different, visitors are asked to plan ahead by checking the waterway website to learn what is open, what to expect in terms of modified lockage and mooring protocols, and how to prepare.

Follow health advice

Visitors are reminded to follow the advice of public health experts, including necessary hygiene practices and physical distancing of two metres.

“Parks Canada is asking Canadians to be cautious and conservative in their use of these places, to observe any regional or Ontario travel restrictions and to respect any closures that are in place,” officials stated. “Anyone participating in recreational activities should be extra cautious to avoid injury and/or getting lost to help minimize the demands placed on search and rescue teams and on the health care system.”

Emergency orders extended

The announcement came the same day as Ontario extended emergency orders that have closed outdoor playgrounds and bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery, for example, until June 9.

All camping facilities remain closed until at least June 21 while Parks Canada assesses whether and how these services might resume. Group activities and public events are suspended until further notice.

For more information, visit the Parks Canada website at pc.gc.ca.

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