Crossing the Chaudière - Page Banner

The field notes of Thomas Burrowes capture some of the challenges that faced bridge-builders on the Ottawa River. “On my arrival at the Falls of the Chaudiere,” he wrote...

“I found Lieut.-Col. By was there awaiting the coming of His Lordship, the Earl of Dalhousie, Governor-General of British North America, whom I had passed on the way up….  On Monday, the 25th of September, 1826, the day after his Lordship arrived, he directed Colonel By to commence the erection of a Chain of Bridges over the several chasms and rock Islands below the romantic Falls at this place…. I was immediately ordered to measure the Gap or chasm at the north or Hull side of the River, and to draw a design for a bridge of rough stone to be thrown over the said chasm….”

The canal works on the southern shore of the Ottawa River were separated from Columbia Falls Village (later Hull) on the north by Chaudière Falls, a series of plunging falls that Thomas Burrowes painted in 1831. Burrowes’s first assignment was to draw up plans for a bridge.

Watercolour: The Great Kettle, Chaudiere Falls; taken from the Centre of the Truss Bridge, 1831

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The Great Kettle, Chaudiere Falls; taken from the Centre of the Truss Bridge, 1831
Watercolour
Thomas Burrowes fonds
Reference Code: C 1-0-0-0-7
Archives of Ontario, I0002124