On the last Sunday in March, I had a bit of time on my hands around the noon hour, and decided to get some end of the winter photos in at a couple of locations. The first was at the Ottawa Locks, where the Rideau Canal meets the Ottawa River. I approached by passing beneath Plaza Bridge. The staircase you see here is closed during the winter. The building in the background is the lockmaster station, dating to the latter 19th century, and doubling these days as a gift shop linked to the Canal.
The eight locks here, nestled between Parliament Hill and the Chateau Laurier, are still open and empty, but later this month the water levels will start to rise for the boating season's kick off. During the winter, it is typical to find boats dry docked in the locks, as has been the case this winter, with these locks housing two of them.
The pathway follows the course of the locks down towards the Ottawa River.
Along the way is the Bytown Museum. Originally the Commissariat when Colonel John By was managing the building of the Canal, it now serves as home to a local history museum, all in the shadow of Parliament Hill. It dates back to 1827, constructed shortly after work on the Canal had commenced.
A view from the other side takes in the Museum, with the Chateau in the background, backlit in the sunlight.
The path led to the shoreline, where the Ottawa River was still mostly frozen over, but up around the bend you can see open water. The Canadian Museum of History is across the water on the Gatineau shore. Last spring, this area of the waterfront was closed off due to high waters- high enough that the bases of the lights you see here were in the water, as was the path itself.
Shifting right gives us a view of the Alexandra Bridge and Nepean Point. I left here and took shots from up on the Point, which I'll have in a comparative post later in the month.
Heading back out, I paused to photograph the other side of the Canal. Major's Hill Park is up there, and Colonel By's statue stands there looking down on his achievement. That side gets more sunlight during the day, so grass was already exposed.
Here I have one more view of the scene, taken from the Chateau's perspective, with the Canal and the Bytown Museum against the splendid backdrop of Parliament Hill. Tomorrow's post will start up there.