This exclusive dining experience is only available to sixteen people at a time. Step back in time as you meet up with storytellers playing the roles of a Canadian “voyageur” guide and Richard Birdsall Rogers, the man who engineered the Peterborough Lift Lock – a National Historic Site of Canada – and a marvel of engineering innovation and ingenuity which opened in 1904.
Prepare to have every other dinner party you’ve ever attended pale in comparison. It’s not every day that you get a behind the scenes look at a world famous landmark, paddle a voyageur canoe, enjoy the entertainment of local musicians and hear some incredible stories, all before you tuck into a tantalizing menu created by a trio of local chefs.
We flew up here just for this, and it was so, so worth it.Carolyn Parrish, California, USA
What to expect
Your journey will begin with a leap back in time, to before the Lift Lock was ever constructed aboard a voyageur canoe. Hear stories of voyageur life on this one-of-a-kind canoe tour. Paddle along the Trent-Severn Waterway to the Lift Lock, where your canoe will begin to rise – a dramatic 19.81 metres (65 feet).
Next, you’ll be joined by Richard B. Rogers, who will regale you with tales of this renowned engineering achievement, then enjoy a voyageur “toast” before joining the Lockmaster (a storyteller in his own right) who will tell you all about how he operates the lift lock today.
Take in stunning views of Peterborough & the Kawarthas countryside and sneak peeks of places most people have never seen within the lift lock, before winding your way down to the dining room, in the lower chamber of the lift lock. The boat chamber above you is now full of 1,700 tons of water.
Next enjoy an incredible meal created by Tres Hombres Chefs – with the freshest local ingredients artfully prepared. And of course, any great historic evening isn’t complete without a ghost story – wait until you hear the Lift Lock’s spooky stories.
Tres Hombres Chefs will tantalize you with creative dishes inspired by the freshest local ingredients, sourced from local farmers and producers and paired with a tasting of specially selected wines or beer. Watch as the chefs prepare the dishes directly in front of you and chat with them about their passion for food and the region.
Who exactly are these Tres Hombres Chefs?
Peterborough is well-known for its celebrated collaborations across industries, and the local culinary scene is certainly no exception. Chefs Kevin McKenna, Michael Sterpin (owner of The Club Cafe) and Brad Watt (co-owner of The Publican House) are three chefs who have embarked upon this friendly partnership in order to take food-loving guests on unconventional epicurean adventures.
While other adventures held by these chefs happen in undisclosed locations (a magical mystery dining tour), for Under Water Dining we see these chefs come together to deliver an incredible, locally-sourced, artfully-inspired dining experience to the sixteen people attending this one-of-a-kind experience.
What else can I do nearby?
- Sip and savour craft beer on the Brews, Bites and Barns Brewery Discovery Routes
- Hear more stories of Peterborough’s heritage in agriculture and innovation as you step back in time at Lang Pioneer Village, the region’s living history museum
- Step out to enjoy some dining and live entertainment (check our events calendar) in downtown Peterborough
Dress is casual – you will be paddling, so comfy clothes are perfect. Since we never know what Mother Nature will be doing that day it is best to dress in layers.
Recommended to bring: hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, bug spray
Paddles and life jackets are provided.
The interior of the lock tends to be cooler (even on a hot summer day) and the floors may be wet in places.
Closed-toe shoes (definitely no heels) that you don’t mind getting wet, are recommended.
Our chefs are planning a culinary delight. There will be a mix of mocktails (non-alcoholic beverages) and wine/beer pairings throughout the evening.
The pre-set menu offered for each date will differ based on what is in season locally (see sample menu).
Allergies must be identified when purchasing tickets.
Water will be available throughout the event.
Things to Note
Please note that if you’re claustrophobic or afraid of heights, you will be walking through some very narrow (one doorway is 21″ clearance in width), damp corridors & stairwells at varying heights and views.
Previous paddling experience is not necessary.
The Peterborough Lift Lock was built in 1904 and remains unchanged. Since this experience takes you into areas that are not normally open to the public, it is not deemed an accessibility-friendly structure.
Nervous of the paranormal? Just so you are aware, there have been claims of ghost sightings in the Lift Lock, and you will hear stories about those paranormal experiences.
You will be required to sign 3 waivers/releases (Parks Canada/Trent-Severn Waterway, Canadian Canoe Museum and Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism) prior to beginning the experience.
Don’t forget a camera or cell phone to capture this amazing experience.
Personal belongings are the responsibility of the owner, and we cannot be responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items. A locked storage box will be available for items to be placed during the paddling experience.
Weather & Cancellation Policies
Weather Policy: We will watch the weather forecasts in advance of the event and will be in touch with all the registered guests. In the event of light rain/drizzle the tours will take place as scheduled, however, the location of the first course may take place inside the structure. In the event of severe weather, we may be required to cancel and guests will be refunded the entire fee.
Cancellation Policy: Due to the advanced planning required to offer this experience, our cancellation policy requires at least 7 business days notice prior to the event. Cancellations received with less than 7 business days notice are subject to the full cost of the event plus HST.