The Rideau Canal known unofficially as the Rideau Waterway, connects Canada's capital city of Ottawa, Ontario, to Lake Ontario and the Saint Lawrence River at Kingston, Ontario. It is 202 kilometres in length; the name Rideau, French for "curtain", is derived from the curtain-like appearance of the Rideau River's twin waterfalls where they join the Ottawa River. The canal system uses sections of two rivers, the Rideau and the Cataraqui, as well as several lakes; the Rideau Canal is operated by Parks Canada. The canal was opened in 1832 as a precaution in case of war with the United States, it remains in use today for pleasure boating, with most of its original structures intact, operated by Parks Canada. The locks on the system open for navigation in close in mid-October, it is the oldest continuously operated canal system in North America, in 2007 it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The construction of the Rideau Canal was a preventive military measure undertaken after a report that during the War of 1812 the United States had intended to invade the British colony of Upper Canada via the St. Lawrence River, which would have severed the lifeline between Montreal and Kingston.
The British built a number of other canals as well as a number of forts to impede and deter any future American invasions of Canadian territory. The initial purpose of the Rideau Canal was military, as it was intended to provide a secure supply and communications route between Montreal and the British naval base in Kingston. Westward from Montreal, travel would proceed along the Ottawa River to Bytown southwest via the canal to Kingston and out into Lake Ontario; the objective was to bypass the stretch of the St. Lawrence bordering New York; the canal served a commercial purpose. The Rideau Canal was easier to navigate than the St. Lawrence River because of the series of rapids between Montreal and Kingston; as a result, the Rideau Canal became a busy commercial artery from Montreal to the Great Lakes. However, by 1849, the rapids of the St. Lawrence had been tamed by a series of locks, commercial shippers were quick to switch to this more direct route; the construction of the canal was supervised by Lieutenant-Colonel John By of the Royal Engineers.
Private contractors such as future sugar refining entrepreneur John Redpath, Thomas McKay, Robert Drummond, Thomas Phillips, Andrew White and others were responsible for much of the construction, the majority of the actual work was done by thousands of Irish and French-Canadian labourers. Colonel John By decided to create a slackwater canal system instead of constructing new channels; this was a better approach as it required fewer workers, was more cost effective, would have been easier to build. The canal work started in the fall of 1826, it was completed by the spring of 1832; the first full steamboat transit of the canal was done by Robert Drummond's steamboat, leaving Kingston on May 22, 1832 with Colonel By and family on board, arriving in Bytown on May 29, 1832. The final cost of the canal's construction was £822,804 by the time all the costs, including land acquisitions costs, were accounted for. Given the unexpected cost overruns, John By was recalled to London and was retired with no accolades or recognition for his tremendous accomplishment.
Once the canal was constructed, no further military engagements took place between Canada and the United States. Although the Rideau Canal never had to be used as a military supply route, it played a pivotal role in the early development of Canada. Prior to the locks being completed on the St. Lawrence in the late 1840s, the Rideau served as the main travel route for immigrants heading westward into Upper Canada and for heavy goods from Canada's hinterland heading east to Montreal. Tens of thousands of immigrants from the British Isles travelled the Rideau in this period. Hundreds of barge loads of goods were shipped each year along the Rideau, allowing Montreal to compete commercially in the 1830s and 40s with New York as a major North American port. In 1841, for instance, there were 19 steamboats, 3 self-propelled barges and 157 unpowered or tow barges using the Rideau Canal; as many as one thousand of the workers died from other diseases and accidents. Most deaths were from disease, principally complications from malaria, endemic in Ontario within the range of the Anopheles mosquito, other diseases of the day.
Accidents were rare for a project of this size. Inquests were held for each accidental death; the men and children who died were buried in local cemeteries, either burial grounds set up near work sites or existing local cemeteries. Funerals were held for the workers and the graves marked with wooden markers; some of the dead remain unidentified. Memorials have been erected along the canal route, most the Celtic Cross memorials in Ottawa and Chaffeys Lock; the first memorial on the Rideau Canal acknowledging deaths among the labour force was erected in 1993 by the Kingston and District Labour Council and the Ontario Heritage Foundation at Kingston Mills. Three canal era cemeteries are open to the public today: Chaffey's Cemetery and Memory Wall at Chaffey's Lock—this cemetery was used from 1825 to the late 19th century.
Lieutenant-Colonel John By was an English military engineer, best remembered for supervising the construction of the Rideau Canal and founding Bytown in the process, which would become the Canadian capital, Ottawa. By was born in Lambeth, the second of three sons of George By, of the London Customs House, Mary Bryan. By studied at the Royal Military Academy, he entered Officer Training in the army. He was commissioned in the Royal Artillery on 1 August 1799 but transferred to the Royal Engineers on 20 December the same year. In 1802 he was posted to Canada for the first time, where he worked on the fortification of Quebec City and on improving the navigability of the Saint Lawrence River. During the Napoleonic wars he returned to Europe, where he served in Spain under the Duke of Wellington from 1811 until 1815. With the end of the war By retired from the military, but in 1826 in view of his engineering experience in Canada, he was recalled and returned to Canada to supervise the construction of the Rideau Canal.
Since the canal was to begin in the wild and sparsely populated Ottawa River valley, his first task was the construction of a town to house the men who were to work on the canal, associated services. The resulting settlement, called Bytown in his honour, was renamed after the river; the canal was completed in six years, was acclaimed as an engineering triumph. The huge cost overruns, became a political scandal for the Board of Ordnance. Colonel By was recalled to London to face accusations that he had made a number of unauthorised expenditures; the charges were spurious and a parliamentary committee exonerated him. By petitioned Wellington and other military leaders to review his case, but the damage was done and he never received a formal commendation for his work on the canal, he died in 1836, is buried in the village of Frant in Sussex. By was married three times, first to Elizabeth Baines in 1801, who died in 1814, he remarried in 1818 to Esther March with whom he had two daughters: Harriet Martha By and Esther By Ashburnham.
By was survived by 2 brothers: The family is buried at St Albans Church in Frant. George By – died in 1840 without children Henry By – b. approx. 1789 and died in 1852 and predeceased by his son in 1847 John By's name lives on in a number of contexts: The Byward Market area of Ottawa's Lower Town His statue, executed by Joseph-Émile Brunet and unveiled in 1971, stands in nearby Major's Hill Park Ottawa's Colonel By Secondary School The scenic parkway of Colonel By Drive, which follows the first stretch of the canal 8 km through the city from Rideau street in Lower Town to the falls at Hogs Back The engineering building, Col. By Hall, was unveiled in September 2005 at the University of Ottawa: "Colonel By Hall 161 Louis Pasteur – Colonel By Hall, home to the Faculty of Engineering, is named in honour of Lieutenant-Colonel John By of the Royal Engineers, who led the construction of the Rideau Canal. Completed in 1832, the Rideau Canal was a remarkable engineering endeavour at the time, connecting a series of lakes and rivers to provide a secure supply route from Lake Ontario to Bytown, which became the city of Ottawa 150 years ago.
September 2005"In 1979, to commemorate the bicentenary of his birth, Canada Post issued a stamp bearing his image In Ottawa, Colonel By Day is the name given to the Ontario August civic holiday Colonel By Lake is an artificial lake on the Rideau Canal A sundial behind the present-day site of East Block on Parliament Hill and overlooking the set of locks was used on that site by the Royal Sappers and Miners under Lt Colonel John By, RE in 1826–27 and was restored in 1919. During the construction of the Rideau Canal, Barracks Hill was the site of the military barracks and military hospital. A historical plaque located on the grounds of Colonel By Secondary School states, "Colonel John By was born and educated in England and first came to Canada in 1802; as a member of the Royal Engineers, he worked on the first small locks on the St. Lawrence River as well as the fortifications of Quebec, he returned to England in 1811 and fought in the Peninsular War, but came back to Canada in 1826 to spend five summers heading the construction of the Rideau Canal, the 200 km long waterway, which now connects Ottawa and Kingston.
This formidable task included the building of about 50 dams and 47 locks, without the aid of modern equipment. But the amazing feat was never recognized in Colonel By's own lifetime, he died three years after its completion, never imagining that many thousands of Canadians would admire and value his achievement in the centuries to come. Colonel By's attributes of courage and diligence inspire us to emulate him, in the hopes that we too may somehow serve our country in a way which will benefit future generations."A plaque was erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board at Jones Falls Lockstation commemorating Lieutenant Colonel John By, Royal Engineers, the superintending engineer in charge of the construction of the Rideau Canal. The plaque notes that the 123-mile long Rideau Canal, built as a military route and incorporating 47 locks, 16 lakes, two rivers, a 350-foot-long, 60-foot-high dam at Jones Falls, was completed in 1832. A plaque erected by the Province of Ontario sits in the stairwell of Lambeth Town Hall, in Brixton, England, commemorating By's Lambeth origins.
Media related to John By at Wikimedia Commons Biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online Biography from the Dictionary of National Biography
Lake Ontario is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. It is surrounded on the north and southwest by the Canadian province of Ontario, on the south and east by the American state of New York, whose water boundaries meet in the middle of the lake. Ontario, Canada's most populous province, was named for the lake. Many of Ontario's most populous cities, including Toronto, Canada's most populous city, Hamilton, are on the lake's northern or western shores. In the Huron language, the name Ontarí'io means "Lake of Shining Waters", its primary inlet is the Niagara River from Lake Erie. The last in the Great Lakes chain, Lake Ontario serves as the outlet to the Atlantic Ocean via the Saint Lawrence River, it is the only Great Lake not to border the state of Michigan. Lake Ontario is the easternmost of the Great Lakes and the smallest in surface area, although it exceeds Lake Erie in volume, it is the 13th largest lake in the world. When its islands are included, the lake's shoreline is 712 miles long.
As the last lake in the Great Lakes' hydrologic chain, Lake Ontario has the lowest mean surface elevation of the lakes at 243 feet above sea level. Its maximum length is 193 statute miles and its maximum width is 53 statute miles; the lake's average depth is 47 fathoms 1 foot, with a maximum depth of 133 fathoms 4 feet. The lake's primary source is the Niagara River, draining Lake Erie, with the St. Lawrence River serving as the outlet; the drainage basin covers 24,720 square miles. As with all the Great Lakes, water levels change both among years; these water level fluctuations are an integral part of lake ecology, produce and maintain extensive wetlands. The lake has an important freshwater fishery, although it has been negatively affected by factors including over-fishing, water pollution and invasive species. Baymouth bars built by prevailing winds and currents have created a significant number of lagoons and sheltered harbors near Prince Edward County and the easternmost shores; the best-known example is Toronto Bay, chosen as the site of the Upper Canada capital for its strategic harbour.
Other prominent examples include Hamilton Harbour, Irondequoit Bay, Presqu'ile Bay, Sodus Bay. The bars themselves are the sites of long beaches, such as Sandbanks Provincial Park and Sandy Island Beach State Park; these sand bars are associated with large wetlands, which support large numbers of plant and animal species, as well as providing important rest areas for migratory birds. Presqu'ile, on the north shore of Lake Ontario, is significant in this regard. One unique feature of the lake is the Z-shaped Bay of Quinte which separates Prince Edward County from the Ontario mainland, save for a 2-mile isthmus near Trenton. Major rivers draining into Lake Ontario include the Niagara River, Don River, Humber River, Trent River, Cataraqui River, Genesee River, Oswego River, Black River, Little Salmon River, the Salmon River; the lake basin was carved out of soft, weak Silurian-age rocks by the Wisconsin ice sheet during the last ice age. The action of the ice occurred along the pre-glacial Ontarian River valley which had the same orientation as today's basin.
Material, pushed southward by the ice sheet left landforms such as drumlins and moraines, both on the modern land surface and the lake bottom, reorganizing the region's entire drainage system. As the ice sheet retreated toward the north, it still dammed the St. Lawrence valley outlet, so the lake surface was at a higher level; this stage is known as Lake Iroquois. During that time the lake drained through present-day Syracuse, New York into the Mohawk River, thence to the Hudson River and the Atlantic; the shoreline created during this stage can be recognized by the beaches and wave-cut hills 10 to 25 miles from the present shoreline. When the ice receded from the St. Lawrence valley, the outlet was below sea level, for a short time the lake became a bay of the Atlantic Ocean, in association with the Champlain Sea; the land rebounded from the release of the weight of about 6,500 feet of ice, stacked on it. It is still rebounding about 12 inches per century in the St. Lawrence area. Since the ice receded from the area last, the most rapid rebound still occurs there.
This means the lake bed is tilting southward, inundating the south shore and turning river valleys into bays. Both north and south shores experience shoreline erosion, but the tilting amplifies this effect on the south shore, causing loss to property owners; the name Ontario is derived from the Huron word Ontarí'io, which means "great lake". The lake was a border between the Huron people and the Iroquois Confederacy in the pre-Columbian era. In the 1600s, the Iroquois drove out the Huron from southern Ontario and settled the northern shores of Lake Ontario; when the Iroquois withdrew and the Anishnabeg / Ojibwa / Mississaugas moved in from the north to southern Ontario, they retained the Iroquois name. It is believed the first European to reach the lake was Étienne Brûlé in 1615; as was their practice, the French explorers introduced other names for the lake. In 1632 and 1656, the lake was referred to as Lac de St. Louis or Lake St. Louis by Samuel de Champlain and cartographer Nicolas Sanson In
Thomas Burrowes (artist)
Thomas Burrowes was a Captain with the Corps of Royal Sappers and Miners who served as both a surveyor and overseer during the construction of the Rideau Canal in Ontario, Canada. Burrowes is known, for having documented the construction of the canal and the landscape of the surrounding area in a series of watercolour paintings, thus creating an important eyewitness record of one of the most important engineering projects of 19th century Canada. Burrowes was born in 1796 in England. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the Corps of Royal Sappers and Miners, he was posted to Fort Henry in Kingston, Upper Canada in 1815. In 1826, he joined a team assembling in Montreal to build a military canal linking Lake Ontario to the Ottawa River. Assigned to Bytown, Burrowes served as Assistant Overseer of Works for the Rideau Canal project, he was one of the first persons to take up land and build a home on Wellington Street, the road upon which Canada's Parliament Buildings would be built decades later. In 1829, Burrowes was posted to Kingston Mills, upstream from Kingston, where he served as Clerk of the Works of the Cataraqui section of the Rideau Canal until his retirement in 1846.
In retirement, Burrowes worked as a farmer, supplementing his income by serving both as a postmaster and Justice of the Peace in Kingston Mills. Burrowes died in 1866, his home, still stands. Throughout his career, Burrowes painted watercolours documenting the construction of the canal and the landscape of Upper Canada, his paintings were discovered in 1907 in the attic of one of Burrowes' daughters in Detroit and were donated to the Archives of Ontario in 1948 by Burrowes' grandson. The paintings have been referred to as "some of the most famous images in Ontario history", constituting "one of the most important private donations to the Archives of Ontario". Notes Bibliography Eyewitness: Thomas Burrowes on the Rideau Canal - Online exhibit of the Archives of Ontario Osborne, B; the Artist as Historical Commentator: Thomas Burrowes and the Rideau Canal. 1983 Jan 1. Archivaria 1:17. Retrieved 2008-01-22
La Salle Causeway
The La Salle Causeway is a causeway that allows Highway 2 to cross the Cataraqui River at Kingston, Ontario. The causeway separates Kingston's outer harbours. Construction of the causeway was completed on April 15, 1917. Three bridges are incorporated into the causeway, the centre one being a Strauss trunnion bascule lift bridge designed by Joseph Strauss, designer of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco; the La Salle Causeway was named after René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle who oversaw the construction of Fort Frontenac in 1673 at, what is now, the western end of the causeway. The first attempt at transportation across the river was a cable-operated scow type of ferry that began operating in 1786. Two rowboats were available for use as well. In 1826 the Cataraqui Bridge Company was formed to build a wooden bridge "1800 feet long by 25 feet wide and built on stone piers"; the Cataraqui Bridge was opened in 1829. Tolls were collected from a toll booth on the west end of the bridge, since pedestrians were charged a penny, the bridge was popularly known as the "Penny Bridge".
A draw bridge allowed larger vessels to pass through. The draw bridge was replaced by an easier-to-operate swing bridge. In 1917, the Penny Bridge was replaced by the causeway which included three bridges: two bridges at each end of the causeway, the centre lift bridge. Of these, only the original centre lift. List of bascule bridges Notes Bibliography
Kingston is a city in Eastern Ontario, Canada. It is on the eastern end of Lake Ontario, at the beginning of the St. Lawrence River and at the mouth of the Cataraqui River; the city is midway between Toronto and Montreal, Quebec. The Thousand Islands tourist region is nearby to the east. Kingston is nicknamed the "Limestone City" because of the many heritage buildings constructed using local limestone. Growing European exploration in the 17th century and the desire for the Europeans to establish a presence close to local Native occupants to control trade led to the founding of a French trading post and military fort at a site known as "Cataraqui" in 1673; this outpost, called Fort Cataraqui, Fort Frontenac, became a focus for settlement. Cataraqui would be renamed Kingston after the British took possession of the fort and Loyalists began settling the region in the 1780s. Kingston was named the first capital of the United Province of Canada on February 10, 1841. While its time as a capital city was short, the community has remained an important military installation.
Kingston was the county seat of Frontenac County until 1998. Kingston is now a separate municipality from the County of Frontenac. A number of origins of "Cataraqui", Kingston's original name, have been postulated. One is it is derived from the Iroquois word that means "the place where one hides"; the name may be derivations of Native words that mean "impregnable", "muddy river", "place of retreat", "clay bank rising out of the water", "where the rivers and lake meet", or "rocks standing in water". Cataraqui was referred to as "the King's Town" or "King's Town" by 1787 in honour of King George III; the name was shortened to "Kingston" in 1788. Cataraqui today refers to an area around the intersection of Princess Street and Sydenham Road, where a village which took that name was located. Cataraqui is the name of a municipal electoral district. Archaeological evidence suggests. Evidence of Late Woodland Period early Iroquois occupation exists; the first more permanent encampments by aboriginal people in the Kingston area began about 500 AD.
The group that first occupied the area before the arrival of the French was the Wyandot people, who were displaced by Iroquoian groups. At the time the French arrived in the Kingston area, Five Nations Iroquois had settled along the north shore of Lake Ontario. Although the area around the south end of the Cataraqui River was visited by Iroquois and other groups, Iroquois settlement at this location only began after the French established their outpost. By 1700, the north shore Iroquois had moved south, the area once occupied by the Iroquois became occupied by the Mississaugas who had moved south from the Lake Huron and Lake Simcoe regions. European commercial and military influence and activities centred on the fur trade developed and increased in North America in the 17th century. Fur trappers and traders were spreading out from their centres of operation in New France. French explorer Samuel de Champlain visited the Kingston area in 1615. To establish a presence on Lake Ontario for the purpose of controlling the fur trade with local indigenous people, Louis de Buade de Frontenac, Governor of New France established Fort Cataraqui to be called Fort Frontenac, at a location known as Cataraqui in 1673.
The fort served as a trading post and military base, attracted indigenous and European settlement. In 1674, René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle was appointed commandant of the fort. From this base, de La Salle explored south as far as the Gulf of Mexico; the fort was experienced periods of abandonment. The Iroquois siege of 1688 led to many deaths, after which the French destroyed the fort, but would rebuild it; the British destroyed the fort during the Battle of Fort Frontenac in 1758 and its ruins remained abandoned until the British took possession and reconstructed it in 1783. The fort was renamed Tête-de-Pont Barracks in 1787, it is still being used by the military. It was renamed Fort Frontenac in 1939. Reconstructed parts of the original fort can be seen today at the western end of the La Salle Causeway. In 1783, Frederick Haldimand, governor of the Province of Quebec directed Deputy Surveyor-General John Collins to lay out a settlement for displaced British colonists, or "Loyalists", who were fleeing north because of the American Revolutionary War and "minutely examine the situation and site of the Post occupied by the French, the land and country adjacent".
Haldimand had considered the site as a possible location to settle loyal Mohawks. The survey would determine whether Cataraqui was suitable as a navy base since nearby Carleton Island on which a British navy base was located had been ceded to the Americans after the war. Holland's report about the old French post mentioned "every part surpassed the favorable idea I had formed of it", that it had "advantageous Situations" and that "the harbour is in every respect Good and most conveniently situated to command Lake Ontario". Major John Ross, commanding officer of the King's Royal Regiment of New York at Oswego rebuilt Fort Frontenac in 1783; as commander, he played a significant role in establishing the Cataraqui settlement. To facilitate settlement, the British Crown entered into an agreement with the Mississaugas in October 1783 to purchase land east of the Bay of Quinte. Known as the Crawford Purchase, this agreement enabled se
The Gananoque River is a river in Leeds and Grenville United Counties in Eastern Ontario, Canada. The river is in the Atlantic Ocean drainage basin and is a left tributary of the Saint Lawrence River; the name "Gananoque" has been spelled many different ways over the years and so has been assigned several different interpretations, including "place of health" or "meeting place". The Gananoque River Waterways Association was founded in 1963 to include "...property owners, resort operators, farmers and all other interested parties..." for the purpose of getting together to "Protect wild life, arrange for equitable water levels, facilitate navigation, maintain health standards through the purity of the water confer with officials in regard to definite arrangements for maintaining and improving the waterway for everyone's use." The Gananoque River begins at Gananoque Lake in incorporated Leeds and the Thousand Islands township. It flows south, passes through the community of Marble Rock turns southwest and reaches the community of Maple Grove.
It heads again south, takes in the right tributary Mud Creek, passes under Ontario Highway 401, enters the town of Gananoque. It flows over the concrete dam for the Gananoque Generating Station, in service since 1939, empties into the Saint Lawrence River where that river is part of the Thousand Islands region; the Gananoque watershed included waters south of the present day Rideau River / Cataraqui River watershed divide near Newboro, Ontario. Water from present day upper Cataraqui watershed lakes such as Birch, Buck, Newboro, Indian, Benson and Sand flowed through the Jones Falls rapids to the White Fish River; that river flowed from there to the Gananoque River. The original native canoe route from the Ottawa River, via the Rideau River, went to the White Fish River and from there to the St. Lawrence River at Gananoque; this was due to the fact that a direct waterway connection to the Cataraqui River did not exist at that time. This started to change c.1803 when brothers Lemuel and Carey Haskins built a timber dam and sawmill at White Fish Falls, near today's Morton, Ontario.
Their dam backed up the water from the White Fish River, overflowing the Cranberry Flood Plain and sending it to the Cataraqui River at the Round Tail. By 1816, the Haskins built a mill dam at the Round Tail; this flooded the Cataraqui Flood Plain by about 6 feet, making it navigable by canoe and allowing direct navigation to Kingston. When the Rideau Canal was built Haskins' mill dam at White Fish Falls was replaced by a canal dam and weir, the dam at Round Tail replaced by a canal dam at Upper Brewers; the Rideau Canal dam at the foot of Morton Bay now diverts most of the flow to the Cataraqui River. Today's slow flowing Morton Creek is all, left of the original White Fish River. List of rivers of Ontario Gananoque River Bridge Gananoque River Waterways Association