Turning Basin

Because Richmond’s canals were so narrow, “turning basins” were specially constructed so long barges and passenger boats could turn around. Richmond’s original Great Basin stood between 8th and 11th streets and Cary and Canal streets, and was connected by a series of locks to the Richmond dock. In 1998, a new turning basin for the restored canal was constructed between Virginia and 14th streets.

  • Public art commemorates the original Great Basin as the center of commerce.  You will find this installation in the James Center Atrium located next to the Omni Richmond Hotel at 12th and Cary streets.
  • The Great Turning Basin historic marker can be reached from the intersection of South 10th and East Cary streets.
  • More than 22 historic markers are within walking distance of the Turning Basin and Riverfront Canal Walk.


Along the Riverfront Canal Walk, a public park open from dawn to dusk