Parks Canada says 122,400 vessels went through the Trent-Severn Waterway system from the May opening through to the end of September.
That’s a slight increase over 2016 numbers, which the agency explains is a better year for comparison than 2017.
“Last year, was a bit of an anomaly with larger numbers in response to free lockage in recognition of Canada’s 150 Anniversary Confederation,” said Aarin Crawford, spokesperson for Parks Canada.
Parks Canada says Lock 31 in Buckhorn is the busiest in Ontario. The community north of Peterborough relies heavily on summer tourism to drive its economy.
More boats on the water means more cash in the tills.
“We’ve had a good summer,” said Christine Williams, manager of the Cody Inn. “It’s Thanksgiving weekend. We’re gearing up. We have quite a few reservations. It’s been a good and steady summer.”
Business has also been steady across the street at the Mainstreet Landing Restaurant.
“It’s been really good,” said Danielle Stevens, restaurant supervisor. “The weather has been really warm. Good weather for boating and cottage country. It’s cooperated this year.”
There are 17 rental cottages at Three Castles Resort on Lower Buckhorn Lake. This summer, the resort was packed.
“We have a wonderfully busy weekend coming up. The whole year has been fantastic,” said Louis Melizan, owner of Three Castles Resort. “The weather co-operated. Usually, the warmer things are, the better we do.”
Parks Canada staff have already started lowering the water levels on lakes to the north near Haliburton, Ont., for winter.
This will cause the levels on the Trent-Severn Waterway to lower over the next few weeks.
The locks will close for the winter on Monday, Oct. 8, at 4:30 p.m.
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