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In September 1826, Thomas Burrowes left his family temporarily in Montreal and went up the Ottawa River. He arrived in Columbia Falls Village on September 23, 1826, just a few days after Lieutenant-Colonel John By, commandant of the Rideau Canal project. Burrowes and other members of the team stayed initially at a hotel in the little community. There, Lord Dalhousie (Governor of Canada) and Lieutenant-Colonel John By (commandant of the Rideau Canal) conferred and decided that, even before work began on the south shore of the Ottawa River, a bridge was needed to take men and supplies across the water. Thomas Burrowes was one of the men assigned to build the Union Bridge below the Chaudière Falls.

Watercolour: Hull, (Lower Canada), on the Ottawa River; at the Chaudier Falls, 1830

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Hull, (Lower Canada), on the Ottawa River; at the Chaudier Falls, 1830
Thomas Burrowes fonds
Reference Code: C 1-0-0-0-6
Archives of Ontario, I0002123

In 1826, Thomas Burrowes arrived in Columbia Falls Village (a town, later renamed Hull, that was founded on the north shore of the Ottawa River in 1800).  This painting shows the town facing out towards the steep and densely forested southern shore where work on the canal was about to begin.