The Rideau Canal - Page Banner

Canada was once a rugged land, choked with forest and flooded with impenetrable swamps. Most rivers were shallow, broken by rough water and navigable only by canoe. By the dawn of the 19th century, canals were seen as essential to developing a modern transportation system. The plan for the Rideau Canal involved using as many natural lakes and rivers as possible, while constructing locks, dams and short stretches of channel where necessary. The work began in 1826 and ended little more than five years later, in 1832.

The technical virtuosity that engineers brought to solving problems and the sheer toughness that kept people working in a harsh landscape and climate made the Rideau Canal one of the engineering marvels of the 19th century.

Watercolour: Lock, Blockhouse &c at the Narrows, Rideau Lake - the first descent from Summit towards Bytown, 1841

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Lock, Blockhouse &c at the Narrows, Rideau Lake - the first descent
from Summit towards Bytown, 1841
Watercolour
Thomas Burrowes fonds
Reference Code: C 1-0-0-0-27
Archives of Ontario, I0002146