Skip to content

New Under Water Dining at Lock 21 Experience Available to the Public

By Kelly Jessup
underwater dining at Lock 21

Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism, a division of Peterborough Economic Development, is set to launch a new and exclusive experience called Under Water Dining at Lock 21, which will take visitors on a hands-on, historical dining experience through, inside and under the world’s highest hydraulic lift lock.

They’ve partnered with Parks Canada (Trent-Severn Waterway) as well as the Canadian Canoe Museum to offer this new experience which will allow visitors the opportunity to paddle a 36’ voyageur canoe through the lift lock. Participants will have a rare inside look at the inner sanctum of this engineering marvel on a private tour with the Lockmaster before being tantalized by Chef Brad Watt, Chef Michael Sterpin and Chef Kevin McKenna, working together as the Tres Hombres with a 5 course, locally-inspired meal underneath 1700 tons of water. The experience continues with further exploration of the hidden chambers where guests will end the evening enjoying dessert while hearing about the lift lock’s resident ghosts.

The creation of this signature experience is the result of a major shift in the tourism industry. In today’s competitive marketplace, savvy travellers desire experiential travel. They want an engaging experience that is inspiring, personalized and allows for self discovery.

“In order for our region to be competitive, we need to focus on experiences that cannot be found anywhere else. The combination of our two National Historic Sites of Canada, as well as the Canadian Canoe Museum allows us the opportunity to boast three differentiating factors; that we are located along the Trent-Severn Waterway, one of the finest interconnected systems of navigation in the world, which includes the world’s highest hydraulic lift lock and that we are home to world’s largest collection of canoes, kayaks and paddled watercraft. The creation of a signature experience that connects those experiences to our vibrant local food scene will help put us on the map.” explains Tracie Bertrand, Director of Tourism & Communications for Peterborough Economic Development.

“We want people coming away having had an experience unlike any other. Being known as a world-class destination will help us to build on the strength of our industry, bringing new visitors and spending to the region.” She adds.

The launch of this new experience was timed with the year-long celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, and will be followed later this spring with the launch of a new marketing campaign.

Organizers ran a dress rehearsal of the experience last summer, which garnered a lot of attention throughout the province, and as a result, they are expecting tickets to sell out quickly. Starting today at 10am, tickets will go on sale for four dates in 2017. Seating for each experience is limited to 16 people, and tickets are $265 CDN per person (+ HST). To learn more about Under Water Dining at Lock 21 or to purchase tickets visit

Imagine this. You start your journey in a 36’ voyageur canoe, paddling along Canada’s Treasured Waterway and into a large chamber. Effortlessly your canoe begins to rise – you’re in the world’s highest hydraulic lift lock. You paddle out of the chamber and turn around to prepare for your descent – you have a spectacular countryside view and then you glance down – it’s a dramatic 65 foot drop!

Not to worry, it’s a safe descent and with your fellow voyageurs you join “Richard Birdsall Rogers”, the engineer of this magnificent structure who will share stories of the design, construction and workings of this engineering wonder. Sip mocktails and savour hors d’oeuvres with the Tres Hombres, a trio of talented local chefs who have prepared an intimate 5 course dinner for you.

Now it’s time to follow the Lockmaster on a tour of the inner sanctum –  a series of tunnels and chambers, full of secrets and ghostly residents, and a place where very few get to venture. Hidden under the chamber awaits some of the finest and freshest culinary offerings Peterborough & the Kawarthas has to offer.  Retire to the turbine chamber for dessert and appertifs as you cross another unique experience off of your bucket list

Note: Since the posting of this article all 2017 experiences are sold out. Those interested are encouraged to sign up for the Peterborough & the Kawarthas Insider newsletter to be notified of 2018 ticket sales and dates.