The Houtkopersburgwal connects the Oudeschans to the Uilenburgergracht around the island of Uilenburg. It constitutes the southwest limit of this island. Its route is parallel to that of Rapenburgwal, which defines the northeast border of the island. The canal is crossed by the Nieuwe Uilenburgerstraat via Bridge 291, Steenvoetsluis, in the center of its length.
The canal was dug following construction of the Uilenburgergracht in 1593 in order to link it to the Oudeschans. A 1737 map shows that the canal once ran further east to the Markengracht. This was back-filled in 1968 during construction of the IJtunnel. In the nineteenth century, the newly created islands of Uilenburg and Valkenburg (aka Marken) were the poorest neighborhoods of the Jodenbuurt (Jewish quarter).
- Cees Boekraad (2001), "VaRa-strook/VaRa strip Amsterdam 1990-1999", Atelier Pro, Rotterdam, retrieved 2019-07-29
- "De Houtkopersburgwal", amsterdamsebinnenstad.nl (in Dutch), retrieved 30 August 2013
- Gerrit de Broen (1737), Amsterdam, retrieved 2017-07-31
- "Markengracht", Joodsamsterdam, 2 March 2017, retrieved 2019-07-29