Boaters will have more access to the open waters when the Trent-Severn Waterway opens starting Monday.

In Port Severn, next to Lock 45 is The Driftwood Marina and Resort, also home to 100 seasonal boat slips. Owner Brian Pugliese said with the lock opening, his boaters from other areas will have access to their slips.

"A lot of our boaters like to go up to Georgian Bay," says Pugliese, "so they'll take the locks and go down for a day trip or a week trip."

Boater Ed Ventura says it's an exciting time, even with the colder temperatures, it makes things feel more like summer.

According to Karen Feeley, public relations and communication officer with the Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site, recreational boating and water access will be allowed at most locations including docks, moorings, and boat launches.

She adds because of COVID-19, they are now doing touchless locking while reminding boaters to exercise caution.

"We're asking boaters to crew their own lines with the verbal assistance of our lockmasters," said Feeley. "We're asking them not to raft to each other in the lock chambers and stay on your boats while locking and cashless payments."

The only lock not opening Monday is Lock 43 in Swift Rapids, which is undergoing structural repairs. The entire system is expected to open by the end of June.