The Surveyor’s Diary – Part 2

The natural beauty of the waterway

The Shubenacadie Canal Waterway used seven beautiful lakes and the iconic Shubenacadie River to link the Halifax Harbour to the Minas Basin. As he was surveying it, Valentine Gill could not help but notice the magnificence of Grand Lake, which is the largest of the seven:

Thursday, 6th July, 1815
Continued [to survey] the Lake which, is truly magnificent beyond my description. Clear and smooth as a blue mirror, with winding shores – bold and low points of land, clad with different shades of low and lofty trees, the gray or blue rocks peeping through their foliage.

You can visit Grand Lake today and see one of the products of Gill’s survey, lock 5. Lock 5 was originally constructed in 1828, during the first stage of construction along the waterway, but was eventually rebuilt in 1856 during the second stage of construction. The lock was restored in 1991 to be historically accurate, but boats cannot travel use it, as the water level is not high enough. It is about 43 metres long by 5 metres wide by 6.7 metres deep. The lock connects Fletcher Lake to Grand Lake.

Lock 5 is off of Kings Road, in Wellington NS, as shown on the map below. The street is unnamed, but there is a SCC sign at the beginning of the street. Click here for directions to the lock site from the Fairbanks Centre!

Thanks for reading!

– Martin Earle