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Rideau Waterway

Rideau Waterway

Copyright Date: 1986
Pages: 320
  • Book Info
    Rideau Waterway
    Book Description:

    Since the publication of the first edition in 1955, Rideau Waterway has informed and delighted readers, among them historians, engineers, and vacationers. First revised in 1972, this classic guide has once again been brought up to date in a new edition.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-2781-9
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface to the Millennium Reprint Dedicated to the memory of Robert F. Legget, 1904–1994
    (pp. ix-1)
  4. Rideau Waterway
    (pp. 3-7)

    There is a lovely waterway in Old Ontario. The Rideau Canal is its official name but a greater contrast with the murky industrial trafficway which the word ‘canal’ immediately calls to mind it would be hard to imagine. Rather is this canal a silver chain of rivers and lakes, linked by small locks and winding channels. Let us call it theRideau Waterway, a gracious name for one of the most beautiful of all the inland water routes of North America. A canal it is in part, although for well over a hundred miles of its total length it is...

  5. The Setting
    (pp. 8-20)

    In order to visualize properly the setting in which the Canal was built, we have to look back well over a century and a half. Fortunately it is not difficult to do this in the case of the Rideau Waterway. Today one can paddle a canoe on any one of the Rideau Lakes past scenes which have not altered a great deal since they were first seen by the early explorers. The character of the trees has changed, since the noble white pine is no longer dominant, but the closely wooded shores, the rocky islands, and the quiet are as...

  6. Why the Canal Was Built
    (pp. 21-33)

    The story of the Rideau Waterway may really be said to start on that day in April 1760 when the last battle was fought at Quebec. At the signing of the Treaty of Paris, three years later, Canada became a colony limited to an area about two hundred miles wide stretching on either side of the St Lawrence from Gaspé to near Cornwall, including the Ottawa River and just touching Lake Nipissing. Most of what lay beyond these strange boundaries was unknown. It may be disconcerting to some to think that even the site of Toronto was not included in...

  7. Building the Canal
    (pp. 34-58)

    Colonel By landed at Quebec from England on 30 May 1826. His instructions were to complete a water communication having a uniform depth of five feet, from the Ottawa River to Kingston, along the route suggested by Samuel Clowes, that is to say not using the shorter of the two main routes, by way of Irish Creek, but the route which the Canal follows today. The locks were to be the same size as those on the Lachine Canal and on the Ottawa River canals which were already under construction by the Royal Staff Corps when By arrived. He was...

  8. Financial Worries
    (pp. 59-69)

    There is only one blemish on the long record of the Rideau Canal over the years of its construction, maintenance, and use. This was in connection with its cost, and with the necessary allocation of funds for its building from the British Treasury in London. When estimates of cost for modern engineering works in Canada are under discussion, it is not uncommon to read some pointed comment to the effect that original estimates have always been very much less than the actual cost of engineering works ‘ever since the time of the Rideau Canal,’ with the implication that poor engineering...

  9. John By, Soldier and Administrator
    (pp. 71-87)

    In the heart of the county of Sussex, England, near Tunbridge Wells, is the village of Frant. It is typical of all that one imagines an English village to be, with a village green dominated by an old parish church. A lych-gate lets the visitor into the churchyard, a pleasant garden dominated by old yew trees and favoured by wonderful view over its low stone wall. Here is English countryside at its best, rolling land with neat hedgerows and villages nestling among the trees of the valleys. The atmosphere calls to mind at once Gray’sElegy in a Country Churchyard...

  10. Down the Years
    (pp. 88-112)

    ‘Passed down ten Indian canoes.’ So reads the daily journal for Nicholsons Locks under date of Friday, 15 June 1838. Similar entries appear on many pages of this old leather-bound volume. The more recent records for the same lock contain other repetitive entries regarding the passage of the MVRadel II, the experimental radar research vessel of the National Research Council, on its way to and from Lake Ontario for its secret experimental work. It would be difficult to imagine a more revealing contrast between the early traffic on the Canal and that which it now carries or a more...

  11. Cruising the Canal: Kingston to Chaffeys Lock
    (pp. 113-140)

    To share with others the delights of the quiet beauty of the Rideau Waterway is the inevitable desire of all who come to know its locks and winding channels. A sail on its pleasant waters on a day in high summer adds to the joys of boating a feeling of intimacy with the past, with history that still lives in the work of men who were masters of the art of building. Even to visit the locks by land, as can now be done easily by automobile, is an attractive variant from the usual speeding along main highways, since most...

  12. Cruising the Rideau Lakes: Chaffeys Lock to Poonamalie
    (pp. 141-170)

    Chaffeys always seems to me to be more remote from everyday bustle than any other of the locks on the Waterway. It may be the effect of the stand of trees which surround the lock and its winding approach channel, possibly of the graciously sloping lawns of the Opinicon hotel or the well-kept grounds around the lock itself. Whatever the cause, the peaceful character of the surroundings cannot long be resisted. A rest at the water’s edge to watch the shoals of fingerlings darting about in the crystal-clear water in their unending search for food, a silent swim in the...

  13. Down the Rideau: Poonamalie to Ottawa
    (pp. 171-211)

    At Poonamalie, a name to excite the imagination, the Waterway has reached the Rideau River. This steady stream, fed by the Rideau Lakes, is to form most of the Rideau Waterway for the remainder of the route to Ottawa. A narrowing channel takes us from Lower Rideau Lake to a fork, the river going off to the left, and the marked route of the Waterway veering to the right. At the turn, we can just see the dam across the river which gives the necessary water level in the lake for navigation of this artificial canal. Just past the entrance...

  14. The Canal in Ottawa: Hog’s Back to the Ottawa River
    (pp. 213-249)

    At Hog’s Back the twin Rideau waterways, the river and the canal, separate. Hog’s Back is therefore a cardinal point in the layout of Ottawa. It is also, in its own right, a place of history and of drama.

    A glance at a map of the city from Hog’s Back to the Ottawa River at the foot of the great final flight of locks will make the last stage of our journey along the Rideau Waterway clearer. The city is clustered about the Chaudière Falls on the Ottawa River, but stretches far to the west, past the Remic and the...

  15. Bytown and Ottawa
    (pp. 250-274)

    Ottawa is a name now recognized around the world. Its citizens and its guests alike know it to be a young city, striving to keep pace with the steadily increasing demands upon it as the seat of Canada’s government, and also as a centre of small but important industrial enterprises. Every part of it is a development of the last century and a half, a short time indeed when compared with the life spans of other capital cities. Its future is assured; its eventual size no man can tell. But however it may develop, its waterways will remain a central...

  16. APPENDIX A References
    (pp. 275-279)
  17. APPENDIX B The Superintending Engineers and (under Parks Canada) The Superintendents
    (pp. 280-281)
  18. APPENDIX C Information, Charts, and Maps
    (pp. 282-285)
  19. APPENDIX D Fishing on the Rideau Waterway
    (pp. 286-288)
  20. APPENDIX E Table of Mileages, Lifts, and Clearances
    (pp. 289-292)
    (pp. 293-294)
    Robert Legget
  22. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS from the 1955 edition
    (pp. 295-298)
  23. INDEX
    (pp. 299-312)