The Trent-Severn Waterway
The Trent-Severn Waterway is the 386 kilometre route that connects Lake Ontario to Lake Huron at Port Severn. The waterway is a scenic, meandering route that connects several major natural waterways including the Trent River, Otonabee River, the Kawartha Lakes, Lake Simcoe, Lake Couchiching, and the Severn River.
Before being called “one of the finest interconnected systems of navigation in the world”, the canal was originally a sought after military route, but the building of the first lock in 1833 as a commercial venture connected the lakes and rivers and opened up the waterway to steamship navigation. For many years, the canal was used as a political tool to garner votes from seats along the route, with little construction actually being done to finish the canal. The completion of the canal did not happen until early 1920 and the first complete transit of the waterway happened in July of that year.
Today, the Trent-Severn Waterway is one of Ontario’s major tourist attractions and a National Historic Site of Canada. Every year, the winding waterway through cottage country draws thousands of visitors and is open for navigation from May until October.