In Peterborough you can ride through the highest hydraulic lift lock in the world

Peterborough, Ontario - It's not very often that you stand on the bow of a boat and look to a spectacular countryside view, and then when you glace down - it's a dramatic 65 ft drop. You can experience this in Peterborough - it's where you'll find the highest hydraulic lift lock in the world. You can ride up and down with the lock on a cruise boat, on a two-hour tour from town. It's like being in a boat in giant bathtub, which is able to raise or lower your boat from one level to another - like a type of giant open-air boat elevator.

Peterborough is on the Trent Severn Waterway, a 386 km water route with 45 locks. This lock, Lock 21, is a National Historic Site and it's located right at Peterborough.

Where: The city of Peterborough is in the scenic Kawartha Lake region, just 90 minutes east of Toronto. It has hundreds of shops and services, more than 60 restaurants, and accommodation ranging from bed and breakfasts to hotels. Each summer you can enjoy more than 300 festivals and events in Peterborough & the Kawarthas region. The region of Peterborough and the Kawarthas, which has more than 134 lakes, is the historical home of wooden canoe craftsmanship, offering everything from the Canadian Canoe Museum, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, boating and swimming, and cruises on the Trent-Severn Waterway.

Photos (c) Lucy Izon

In the News: There are deligthful summer theatre productions in the region on Winslow Farm in Millbrook. What make 4th Line Theatre so cool is that it's performed on an open air barnyard stage and sometimes the surrounding fields incorporated as part of the setting. Also in the region, Elmhirst Resort on Rice Lake, family-run for over a century, is a comfly place to enjoy a lakeside meal or setting in for a few days and enjoy the water, spa, etc.

National Canoe Day is celebrated annually in late June in Peterborough in conjunction with the Canadian Canoe Museum, which houses the largest collection of canoes and kayaks in the world. For 2012 the festivies will be on June 23, with free canoe rides and cake at the museum. And, the event 'Paddle to Power' will also be on, on that weekend. It focuses on the history of boatbuilding in the area, with canoes & kayaks, and antique power boats. Also on the same weekend in Peterborough: the 5th Annual Ode'Min Giizis Festival of Indigenous Arts (June 20-24.) Peterborough & Kawarthas Tourism has published the 'Come To Our Table' Culinary Guide. It showcases 12 resorts, restaurants, etc., in the region, with each describing how they use local foods, and each provides a recipe using local ingredients. A companion online site can be found at You can pick up a free copy at the Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism Visitor Information Centre, 1400 Crawford Dr., RR5, tel: 705 742-2201, or 1 800 461-6424.


Lucy Izon

Canada Cool is produced by award-winning Canadian travel writer & speaker Lucy Izon. Her travel stories & reports have appeared in numerous leading North American publications including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, and Chicken Soup for the Traveler's Soul. Bio page

Canada’s Coolest:

Welcome to a new feature on Canada Cool. I'll be presenting different 'Coolest' lists with my favorites and I encourage you to nominate suggestions from your own experiences. You can Twitter @CanadaCool or email Let me know what makes your suggestion exceptionally cool. Remember, by contributing your comments you are giving Canada Cool permission to quote you. Only a selection of submissions will be included, but all comments and submissions are greatly appreciated!

The first feature is: Canada's Coolest Single Day Scenic Drives

Here are some of my favorites...

Icefields Parkway - the world's most accessible glacier

The Icefields Parkway, Jasper National Park, Alberta - This 229 km (142 mi) Rocky Mountain route from Banff/Lake Louise to Jasper passes 100 frozen rivers and nudges the base of the Athabasca Glacier - the most accessible glacier in the world. You can stop and explore it. It spills down from the Columbia Icefield, an area of ice so massive that you could fit the entire population of North America on it with each person getting at least a square metre of space.

Algonquin Moose Viewing

The Corridor, Algonquin Park, Ontario – this 56-km stretch of Hwy 60 cuts through the southwest section of Algonquin Park. Less than three hours north of Toronto the park is a nature-lover's paradise with 7,725 km of lakes, rivers, forest, trails, camping, comfortable lodges and 2000 km of canoe routes. Offers hiking trails to stop and enjoy, but what makes it really cool is that it’s one of the best places in North America to spot moose (especially in May and June). And, on Thursday nights in August up to 600 cars will gather to listen to wolves howl.

Cape Breton Cabot Trail drive

The Cabot Trail, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia – Driving this 303 km (187 mile) route is like riding a roller-coaster: the road snakes around hairpin turns, rises to heights over 365 metres (1200 ft), weaves around headlands revealing spectacular coastal scenery, and plunges down to sea level taking you into the heart of small fishing communities. The most dramatic scenery is between the Cape Breton Highlands National Park entrance near Cheticamp and Pleasant Bay, so go slow. And, plan some flexibility into your schedule, so you can drive it on a clear day.

And here are some of your nominations for 'Canada's Coolest Single Day Scenic Drives'...


More from Canada’s Coolest

'Canada's Coolest' topics we'll be publishing in the future:

  • Golf Course Features
  • Haunted Hotels
  • Hotel Special Services

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