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In 1818, Thomas Burrowes moved into barracks at the original Fort Henry in Kingston and, in 1819, married a local girl, Grace Rodgers. In 1826, the family – with three sons by that time – moved into a log cabin near the Rideau Canal works, and there a fourth son was born. This infant was christened John By Burrowes in honour of the commandant of the Rideau Canal project. He died seven months later. Much later, Burrowes wrote about his son’s burial:

“The spot chosen was on Sandy Hill and was selected by John McTaggart [sic] and Self. After traversing the ground – then in a state of wilderness – poor McT arrived at a healthy young beech . . . . McT. was deeply affected, and while his eyes filled with ill-suppressed tears, said to me: ‘Here, Tam, we’ll just lay the poor wee King’s head aneath this fine young tree.’”

Grace Burrowes died not long afterwards, and Burrowes married Margaret Morrison. 

Watercolour: View at the West end of Wellington Street, Upper Bytown, looking East, 1845

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View at the West end of Wellington Street, Upper Bytown, looking East, 1845
Watercolour
Thomas Burrowes fonds
Reference Code: C 1-0-0-0-10
Archives of Ontario, I0002128


Thomas Burrowes was one of the first to take up land and build a house on Ottawa’s Wellington Street. Some 20 years later, in 1845, he returned to paint the scene, looking eastward.