Lieutenant Colonel John BY, R.E., 1783-1836
Royal Sappers and Miners
Rideau Canal, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Founder of the City of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


Painting by Ruth McMillan in 1976
Shows the Head of the Rideau Canal Locks in Ottawa, Canada in 1893

New December 29, 2020:

This introductory text is from Rideau Waterway: Gateway to a Continent by Robert Legget, University of Toronto Press, 1955, ISBN 0-8020-2189-I, page 33. Colonel John By - Text by Legget
November 9, 2020:
Thomas McKay, best friend and colleague of Colonel By Picture is from page 69 of the book Ottawa: City of the Big Ears, by Robert Haig, 1969, Haig and Haig Publishing Company, Ottawa, no ISBN. Thomas McKay, friend of Colonel John By
keywords: Thomas McKay, Founder of the New Edinburgh neighbourhood
October 31, 2020:
Colonel John By's House in 1841 Picture is from page 89 of the book Ottawa: City of the Big Ears, by Robert Haig, 1969, Haig and Haig Publishing Company, Ottawa, no ISBN. Colonel John By's House, 1841

Keywords: P. J. Bainbrigge, Major Daniel Bolton, Joseph Bouchette (Surveyor-General, surveyed much of the Gatineau area).

From our Philomen Wright web page: Hull Township was surveyed by Joseph Bouchette in 1802. Land grants totalling 12,000 acres in all parts of the township were allotted to eleven men - Philomen Wright Sr., his three sons Philomen Jr., Tiberius and Ruggles Wright, James McConnell, Luther Colton, Isaac Remic, Edmond Chamberlain, Harvey Parker and Daniel Wyman. Encouraged by the prospect of inexpensive farm land, other settlers arrived soon after.
October 30, 2020:
The Royal Engineer's Office (at the second lock of the Rideau Canal) This painting shows the now extinct building opposite the Bytown Museum - the Royal Engineer's Office. The name on the lower left of the painting says that it was used by the late Colonel By. It is from page 35 of the book Ottawa: City of the Big Ears, by Robert Haig, 1969, Haig and Haig Publishing Company, Ottawa, no ISBN. Key words: William Foster Coffin, Commissioner of Ordnance Lands Building at Second Lock of ridcanal - Royal Engineer's Bldg

October 11, 2020:
This photograph shows Colonel By's House from a distance, on the hill to the east of the locks

Photo Source: Ottawa Past and Present 1927, by A.H.D Ross,
Reprinted by Global Heritage Press, 2007, ISBN 978-1-897446-00-3, page 86. Water Colour by Thomas Burrowes
Colonel John BY's House

The drawing (below left) of Lieutenant Colonel John By is from For King and Country: Lieutenant Colonel John By, R.E., by Mark Andrews, 1998, ISBN 0-9684014-0-6, page 50. The Photograph of the tablet, (below right) lies at the base of a statue of Colonel By in downtown Ottawa. The tablet was erected by the Historical Society of Ottawa.
Colonel John BY Tablet at Base of Monument for Colonel John By, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

September 11, 2020:
Drawing by Colonel By of Chaudiere Falls in 1826 Drawing of the Chaudiere Falls by Colonel John By in 1826
Drawing Source: Page 2 of images section in The Hub and the Spokes by Anson A. Gard, 1906, Re-printed by Global Genealogy in 1999
Hello, I have been searching the web to find where John By’s Estate was. Apparently some of my ancestors lived on the estate in the late 1860s. Do you have any idea where the property was? Thank you! Rebecca Macdonald _____________________ Al, Thank you for your response to my e-mail! It would be awesome if you could get your hands on that map. I did see a map with the Sparks property noted. If only those men knew what their property would look like today – I guess it’s beyond any imagination during their day! Yes, you can add my e-mail address. Are you aware of any directories for Ottawa from the time 1868 to 1880? That is when our family (James and Elizabeth Connor) lived there. Actually . . . another branch of our family John "Charles" Bacon + Annie Beatrice Bartlett also lived in Ottawa at the end of 1800s and early 1900s. They were married in St. George's Church on April 26, 1903. I don't know when they came to Canada. Charles worked for the Ogilvy family of Montreal and Annie was the lady in waiting for Lady Minto before Annie got married. After Charles and Annie got married they lived on the Ogilvy property (in Montreal) as Charles continued working for them for many years. If you have any resources that can help me find which boat they came from England on that would be awesome too. Thank you! ... Rebecca _____________________ Rebecca, here is a map showing the extent of the By estate in downtown Ottawa. Barrack's Hill is where our Parliament Buildings are today. The By estate was bounded by Maria Street, now Laurier Avenue to the north, Bronson Avenue on the west (Concession Line Road on the map), Gladstone Avenue to the south, and the Rideau River in the east. ... Al
Map Source: Ottawa, An Illustrated History by John H. Taylor, 1986, James Lorimer and Company, Publishers, ISBN 0-88862-981-8, page 14
Keywords for the search engine: Thomas McKay, Rideau Falls, Rideau River, Rideau Canal, Nicholas Sparks, Sandy Hill (Louis T. Besserer), Wrightstown, Bradish Billings, Chaudiere Falls, Captain John Lebreton (Lebreton Flats), Major's Hill Park and Uppertown.
May 31, 2008:
Colonel By's House in 1861 Photo Source: Dr. Lucien Brault, Ottawa Old and New, pages 80-81 Colonel By's House

October 27, 2009: I believe that the following sketch shows Colonel By's house on the east side of the head of the Rideau Canal locks. The commisariat building (out of view) is across the canal locks to the west. It is now used as the Bytown Museum. The East Block of the Parliament Buildings is on top of the hill, on the left. Source: Selections from Picturesque Canada, An affectionate Look Back, Sketch number 32, from the Original Illustrations and Text of 1882-85 Pandora Publishing Company, Victoria, B.C., 1975 (no ISBN) Colonel By's House
January 21, 2011:
Map Source: Ottawa, The Capital of Canada by Shirley E. Woods, page 74 This map shows the location of the Thompson and Perkins Sawmill, the McLachlin Saw Mill, the tavern of Isaac Firth and Richmond Landing Chaudiere Falls area in 1828, map by Colonel By, Oyttawa, Canada

July 31, 2014:
Colonel By Day and Night, 2014

November 18, 2014: Sometime in the early 1870's the estate of Colonel By was wrapped up by the executors. In addition to his large holdings in Centretown, he may have held land where the Central Experimental Farm is located today.
March 31, 2015: We have a new web page for the Royal Sappers and Miners at the Rideau Canal.
August 15, 2020: Source: Building the Rideau Canal: A Pictorial History by Robert W. Passfield, page 131. This watercolour was painted by C.W. Jefferies long after the canal was completed and depicts Colonel By in full dress uniform and the contractor, Thomas McKay, at the Entrance Valley locks where Royal Sappers and Miners are working. Although there are several inaccuracies depicted, this is an excellent representation of the work carried out.
Colonel By watching the building of the Rideau Canal
Keywords: New Edinburgh, Rideau Canal, Ruggles Wright
E-mail Allan Lewis

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