The Route South

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Rideau Canal

We really enjoyed our time on the Rideau.  The Parks Canada brochure describes it well - I can't say it any better.

"The Rideau Canal is a chain of beautiful lakes, rivers and canal cuts winding over 120 miles from Kingston, at the head of Lake Ontario, to Ottawa, Canada’s capital city.
One of Canada’s historic canals and a Canadian Heritage River, the Rideau is maintained and operated by Parks Canada to preserve and present the canal’s natural and historic features, as well as to provide a navigable channel.
The Rideau Canal was conceived in the wake of the War of 1812. It was to be a war-time supply route providing a secure water route for troops and supplies from Montreal to reach the settlements of Upper Canada and the strategic naval dockyard at Kingston.
In 1826, England sent Lieutenant
Colonel John By of the Royal Engineers to 
supervise canal construction. Thousands 
of Irish immigrants, French Canadians and Scottish stonemasons were among the labourers who helped push the canal through the rough bush, swamps and rocky wilderness of Eastern Ontario.
Opened in 1832, the Rideau Canal was one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century. When the fear of war passed, the canal soon became a major artery for regional commerce. This role continued for several decades but began to decline with the completion of the St. Lawrence canal system and the introduction of the railway and steamboats. Today, the log rafts, barges and steamers have given way to pleasure boats, while roads provide easy access to lockstations by land."
Below is a short video we shot while traveling through one of the many small creeks passing between the lakes.  It looks more like a canoe trail than a boat channel!