The Trent-Severn Waterway is a
formerly used for commercial purposes but now exclusively for
pleasure boats, connecting
Georgian Bay at
Port Severn. Its major natural waterways include the
Otonabee River, the
Lake Couchiching and the
It traverses Southern
"cottage country" with recreational properties being the primary industry along
the waterway. It is open for navigation from May until October.
The total length of the waterway is
beginning at Trenton, Ontario, with roughly 32 km of man-made channels. There
locks, including 36 conventional locks, two sets of
flight locks, hydraulic
Kirkfield, and a
marine railway at Big Chute which transports boats between the upper and
lower sections of the Severn. The system also includes 39 swing bridges and 160
dams and control structures that manage the water levels for flood control and
navigation on lakes and rivers that drain approximately 18,600 square kilometres
of central Ontario's cottage country region, across four counties and three
single-tier cities, an area that is home to more than a million Canadians.
It reaches its highest point at
Balsam Lake. It is often claimed that this is the highest point on Earth to
which a vessel can be navigated from sea level; however, portions of the
Mississippi River that are higher can be reached.
The Trent-Severn Waterway is managed by
Canada under the statutory authority of the Historic Canals Regulations.
These regulations outline the Waterway's responsibilities for navigation,
resource protection, dredge and fill operations, the operation of boater
campgrounds etc. The 386 km navigation corridor includes over 4 500 km of
shoreline and over 500 square kilometers of water. More than 125 000 private and
commercial properties abut onto the navigation corridor of the Trent-Severn
Waterway. The Trent-Severn Waterway also has regulatory responsibility and
authority under the Dominion Water Power Act for the 18 hydroelectric generating
facilities located along its route.