Ottawa Locks
Ottawa Locks
4.5
About
In use since 1832, these locks link the Ottawa River with the Rideau Canal and are still operated by hand.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.

Top ways to experience Ottawa Locks and nearby attractions

The area
Address
Reach out directly

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles791 reviews
Excellent
429
Very good
318
Average
40
Poor
4
Terrible
0

PookyCake
Victoria, Canada14,357 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Couples
In use since 1832, the “Ottawa Locks” form a vital link and connect the Ottawa River to Rideau Canal. If you wander to the locks adjacent the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, you’ll doubtless observe that they cascade down like a series of “steps.” This unique system, which is still operated by hand today, is designed to raise and lower boats from one level to the next as they navigate this part of the canal. Of course, it’s a slow process; so, one must be patient. It takes about 1.5 hours to clear the 8 locks.

Thus, the Ottawa Locks are much more than a mere historic curiosity. In one respect, they form part of an important center around which the fledgling Ottawa sprung. In the current day, they still serve a practical purpose – it’s just been augmented with a bit of tourism tossed in!

I would’ve rated the Ottawa Locks higher, but they weren’t set up at the time of my visit (if only I’d come here a week later!). Oh well, it was still cool to see the “steps.” It just would’ve been a hundred times better to observe the boats and locks in action!
Written November 13, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dimitris L
Sydney, Australia49,170 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
The eight Ottawa locks, which are the largest single set of locks on the entire Rideau system, connect the channel of the Rideau Canal to the Ottawa River.
They are designed to raise and lower boats from one water level to another. They were built, along with a series of dams, to bypass rapids and waterfalls.
It takes at least one and a half hours to go through the locks.
On one side of the locks are Canada’s Parliament buildings and on the other is the architecturally magnificent building of the Chateau Laurier hotel. Not to be missed!
Written October 14, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

hairybear007
Tipton, UK4,553 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023
In the centre of Ottawa ,nice view on a sunny day or if your cycling past or catching a boat cruise.
Written October 1, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dubes13
Peterborough, UK114 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
This is a really pretty area of Ottawa and you get a good view of the locks from either side of the canal or the bridge.

Get an ice cream from the Bytown Museum at the water's edge and spend an hour watching the boats go through the locks.

Just a really beautiful place and right next to Parliament Hill.
Written July 21, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

helpless1
turkey165 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023
This is a little oasis in a busy part of the city, there are places to sit and enjoy the quiet and get out of the hustle and bustle. There is building work going on by the riverside but once finished it is a nice place to relax
Written June 13, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jane N
London, UK986 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022
There are a series of steep, step-like locks between the Parliament Buildings and the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel. You can get a good view from the bridge where there is also information about the Rideau Canal. You can also go down and walk beside the locks and watch the boats going through.
Written May 8, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kiwidreamer
Auckland, New Zealand411 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
Fascinating to view the locks even on a cold April Day. The paths down by the locks were closed for the season but we got a good view of them from the bridge above and along the hillside walk beside it. The whole area around here is lovely to wander in and on the way from downtown to ByWard Market.
Written April 17, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dianne Smith
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
Go if you have never seen this. It is so interesting to watch boats of all sizes travel through the locks. It's a process that requires patience on the part of the boat owners.
Written July 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mesh
Stratford-upon-Avon, UK206 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Couples
Most unusual, original operated locks by hand, flight of eight takes over an hour to get through them all. Nice area park up near by and have a look around
Written June 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

beamans
New Brunswick, Canada39 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
The family visited the interpretive center and spent some time walking back and forth across the locks. No boats or ships were going through at the time and relatively low traffic around it at the time. Gorgeous view from the street.
Written May 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 669
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

OTTAWA LOCKS (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

All Ottawa HotelsOttawa Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Ottawa
All things to do in Ottawa
RestaurantsFlightsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars