The Ottawa - Kingston - Montreal Steamboat Run in the 1800's

This painting of the head of the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Canada
was painted by Ruth McMillan in 1976.
It shows the locks as they were in the year 1893


Map Source: , page 27, Robert F. Legget, ISBN 0-8020-5794-2, University of Toronto Press. The Triangle from
Montreal to Ottawa to Kingston

November 18, 2021: Launching the Ship Canadian Settler , c. 1930,
at the Davie Shipbuilding and Repairing Company Limited ... Two spectacular photocraphs from 1930 at the Davie Ship Building Company
See photographs on our steamer web page under date of November 18, 2021.

Two New Items today also -- the Eastern Townships October 4, 2021:
Map Source: Canals of Canada, page 43, Robert F. Legget, ISBN 0-88914-045-6 Canals to States

October 3, 2021:
This map is the key to the much of the research on this web site ... Al
junction ottawa st lawrence rivers
Map Source: Canals of Canada, page 52, Robert F. Legget, ISBN 0-88914-045-6
September 29, 2021: The Trent Canal in Ontario September 28, 2021: The breach in the Hog's Back dam, 1830 and 1845. Picture Source: Page 64 and 65 in the book Building the Rideau Canal, A Pictorial History, by Robert W. Passfield, ISBN 0-88902-726-9, Supply and Services, 1982.
I believe that the two men at the top of the dam are my GGGrandfather Lawrence Burns and his brother Terrence.
More at
September 27, 2021: A New Book for our web site research!!!
September 26, 2021: Laying Power Cables to the GM Plant across the Welland Canal in 1965-66. September 24, 2021: The SS Tadoussac on the Saguenay River Heading toward the Hotel Tadoussac September 23, 2021 A modern picture of Hartwell's Lock on the Rideau Canal at Carleton University.
September 22, 2021: Colour Painting in 1855 by Edwin Whitefield showing the Ottawa River Looking East from Parliament Hill
September 20, 2021: Diagram Source: Page 33 of the book St. Catharines: Garden on the Canal, An Illustrated History by Robert Shipley, 1987, Windsor Publications.
Welland Canal Development Diagram
Diagram by Robert Shipley See also our web page on the WElland Canal
September 18, 2021: I have ordered a couple of historical books about Canadian canals (the Welland and the Lachine) and will be updating these two web pages on my account. Also, about the last week of September, I will be taking a photographic trip to the Lachine Canal. Here is a work plan of what is being done now on the Lachine Canal. ... Al (
September 15, 2021: Added another page (180) from Robert Passfield's interesting Epilogue. Search down on this page for September 15, 2021 or search down for page 180. Added a new link to the Welland Canal
September 14, 2021: Added another page from Mr. Passfield's excellent description of Canal / Steamboat History to this page. Search for September 14 or Page 179: ... Al Colonel By and financing the Rideau Canal
September 7, 2021: CSL (Canada Steamship Lines) purchased the Kingston Shipyard facility in 1945. We have a photograph of the Kingston Shipyard c. 1920.
September 6, 2021: About 15 ships trapped in the ice off of Thunder Bay, Ontario in 1961. Winds closed off the channel cut by the Ice Breaker Alexander Henry. September 5, 2021: Robert Drummond builds the Lock at Vaudreuil. September 4, 2021: Added a photograph of the S.S. Rapids Queen shooting the Lachine Rapids. Search for September 3 on this page to read yesterday's blurb on the Economic Theory of Steamboating. September 2, 2021: Added a picture of a proposed Block House by Lieutenant Colonel John By. September 1, 2021: Added a better photograph (by W.J. Topley) to our page on Moss Kent Dickinson. August 27, 2021: John Rudolphus BOOTH - (J. R. BOOTH)
Ottawa Valley Lumber King and Railway Builder August 26, 2021: We have started a new web page for Moss Kent Dickenson, sometime Mayor of Manotick and later of Ottawa. August 24, 2021: I have added a new web page for the creation of the Carillon Canal on the Ottawa River. It was begun about 1823 by the builders of the Rideau Canal. And here is some descriptive material about the canal from the book The Ottawa by William Greening: August 22, 2021: The following photograph is by W.J. Topley, ca. 1880. Frost and Wood Plant at Smiths Falls Photo Source: From War to Winterlude - 150 years on the Rideau Canal by Mary E. Peck, ISBN 0-660-51015-4, page 75. Library and Archives, Canada, Picture Division, Negative Number PA-8810. See also Our Smiths Falls web page.
August 21, 2021: The SS Lemoyne in the St. Clair River in Sarnia in 1947
from August 12 to August 17. August 11, 2021:
Title: Passage to the Sea - the Story of Canada Steamship Lines New Book Arrived Yesterday Author: Edgar Andrew Collard Quantity: 1 ISBN: 9780385251686 Binding: Hardcover
Paul Martin Introduction
Book Passage to the Sea

July 14, 2021:

If you are unfamiliar with the details of the Steamship industry in the 1800's, watch the following PBS video called Steamboats on the Red, 26 minutes well spent. ... Al steamboatsontheredlogo Picture Source below: Library and Archives Canada, C 2813
A Birds-eye view of Bytown before 1855, from Library and Archives Canada, C 2813 Birdseye map of Bytown before 1855 from LAC Text Block Source Below: The Rideau: A Pictorial History of the Waterway, Edited by Adrian G. Ten Cate, Besancourt Publishers, ISBN 0-920032-04-4, 1981, Page 122. June 4, 2021: (I have also added this text block to our page of many steamers).
June 5, 2021: Added a story about a trip by the local Masons from Perth to the Tay Canal in 1904.
April 11, 2021: This book, written by Professor Donald G. Creighton, in 1937, is the best book for Canadian History and Canadian Economics and Politics. It was originally published as The Commercial Empire of the St. Lawrence, 1760-1850. Published in Toronto by the Macmillan Company of Canada, reprinted in 1980, ISBN 0-7705-0343-8 paper, 440 pages.
Empire of the St. Lawrence Book Cover

Here is some more Economic Theory about Steamboat Transportation in Canada. It is the Epilogue from Robert W. Passfield's book Building the Rideau Canal: A Pictorial History, ISBN 0-88902-706-4, Published by Fitzhenry and Whiteside and Parks Canada, 1982, pages 177, 178, and 179 . (more to come): Page 177:
Epilogue by Passfield
Page 178:
Epilogue by Passfield2
Page 179: September 14, 2021:
September 14, 2021:

Epilogue by Passfield3
Page 180:
New September 15, 2021:
September 15, 2021:

Epilogue by Passfield4

Cities, Towns and Villages along the Rideau Canal Added an 1827 picture of Barrack Hill on Parliament Hill in downtown Bytown (Ottawa). Lieutenant Colonel John By - Added a portrait from before he came to Bytown / Ottawa Merrickville Smiths Falls Kingston Chaudiere Falls and Mill Site - Added a picture by John Burrows from c. 1830 Added a text block explaining the background story to the Vaudreuil and Ste. Annes Locks. Parliament Buildings Under Construction, 1862 (photograph from the headlocks) A long quotation regarding malaria on the Rideau Canal in 1829 by John McTaggart May 17, 2021: Appearance of the Dam at Hog's Back After the Breach Took Place on April 3, 1829 May 18, 2021: Appearance of the Dam at Hog's Back After the Breach has been repaired, October 18, 1832 May 19, 2021: Added a photo of the Culbute Canal at Allumette Island in 1873 on the Ottawa River. May 20, 2021: The Rideau Canal, Ottawa to Kingston, Ontario, Canada, History and Genealogy -- A UNESCO World Heritage Site May 23, 2021: By 1834, the Carillon Canal was showing signs of deterioration. May 25, 2021: Added a schematic blueprint drawing of the Tug Boat Loretta built in 1907. May 26, 2021: St. Catharines Ontario and then Welland Canal History May 27, 2021: Added our main web page on First Nations History in the Ottawa area May 28, 2021: Added a photograph of the steam tug Agnes P along with a barge under date of May 28 to our "Steamer Page". (search for May 28) May 29, 2021: Added a new web page for Robert Drummond, a major contractor on the Rideau Canal, beginning in the 1820's. May 30, 2021: Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada -- Early History and Pioneers - also Rideau Ferry (was Oliver's Ferry)and Poonamalie May 31, 2021: Voyageurs stop at Ste. Annes Lock before their long trips to the pays d'en haut. June 1, 2021: A Picture of Rideau Falls in New Edinburgh in 1864 (from Library and Archives Canada) June 2, 2021: The Long Dock at Grosse Isle, Quebec June 3, 2021: Added a new Birds-eye view of Bytown before 1855 to our main web page. June 4, 2021:

Updated our steamer.htm web page today. June 5, 2021: Added a story about a trip by the local Masons from Perth to the Tay Canal in 1904. June 6, 2021: Added a historical introduction to North American steamboats to our web page at June 7, 2021: Fishing in Eastern Ontario and western Quebec -- in the good old days June 9, 2021: The Tug Boat Ranger built in Kingston in 1888 (Ontario Archives) June 10, 2021: This is Italian History Week in Ottawa, Canada. Here is our Italian History web page from my main web site. June 15, 2021: Dutch Robot Boats to be used on Canals June 16, 2021: Long Island Locks, Chapman's Mills, Dawson's Chapel and Black Rapids, all within the City of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada June 17, 2021: Traditional Birch Bark Canoe Builders in Canada - The Barriere Nation Cree Band at Rapid Lake, Quebec and the Algonquin Nation Band at Maniwaki, Quebec and also at Golden Lake (Pikwakanagan), Ontario June 21, 2021: The Steamer Mayflower Sinks on Lake Kamaniskeg (near Algonquin Park, Ontario) in 1912 with loss of 9 lives

June 24, 2021: Steam Boat Tenders called by the British Government in 1849 for three steam tugs to be used between Lake St. Louis and Prescott. June 25, 2021: Kingston Mills Work on Dam - Features steamer Pumper in a painting by Thomas Burrowes. June 26, 2021: Downtown Merrickville on the Rideau Canal, watercolour by J. P. Cockburn June 27, 2021: An Introduction to the St. Lawrence Canal System July 2, 2021: This large map is from page 420 of The Commercial Empire of the St. Lawrence,1760-1860, Published in Toronto b y the Macmillan Company, reprinted in 1980, ISBN 0-7705-0345-8, paper, 440 pages July 4, 2021: The Welland Canal July 5, 2021: Visit of the Prince of Wales in 1860 to the Lumberman's Regatta

July 11, 2021: The Welland Canal Added more pictures to the Welland Canal web page. July 13, 2021: Here is a link to a very good 26 minute film by PBS called Steamboats on the Red. July 15, 2021: Robert Drummond: Contractor on the Rideau Canal in 1833. July 16, 2021: Ottawa Canada area Steamboats - Chronology, Physical Characteristics and Entrepreneurs, 1807-1910 July 18, 2021: Ottawa Canada area Steamboats - Added a new Text Book Chronology, Physical Characteristics and Entrepreneurs, 1807-1910 July 25, 2021: Historical Commercial and Industrial Development in and around the City of Ottawa, Canada, 1800's
August 1, 2021: The Historical (WWI) African Queen with Humphrey Bogart and Kathryn Hepburn
August 6, 2021:

April 12, 2021:
Picture Source: Bartlett's Canada - A pre-Confederation journey, Introduction by Henry C. Campbell, Chief Librarian, Toronto Public Library, McLelland and Stewart, 1968, no ISBN, page 118. Note: This painting of Entrance Bay, is the original, in colour, painted by William Henry Bartlett, c. 1838. Keywords: Parliament Hill, Major's Hill Park, steamboat the Shannon, Sterling Brewery, Historical Society of Ottawa Building, Sir John Franklin
Painting, colour, by W. H. Bartlett Entrance Bay

The following map was prepared by the men of the Royal Engineers in about 1827 when they were stationed at the construction of the Grenville Canal on the Ottawa River, in Quebec, across the River from Hawkesbury, Upper Canada. It was presented to Colonel John By. Canal Map, 1826, by the Royal Engineers from Text Book

The Island Queen
Island Queen from Kingston Whig Standard, December 7, 1972 Names for the search engine: Bertram Engine Works, Young's Point, Kawartha Lakes, the Stoney Lake, the Stoney Lake Navigation Company, Patrick Young, Lake Simcoe, Trent River, Peterborough Lift Lock, Thousand Island Steamship Line, Captain Ross W. Carnegie and Assosciates, Kingston, Island Queen, Thousand Island Route until 1948, Photo Courtesy of Captain and Mrs. Ross W. Carnegie of Kingston.
Here are a couple of web pages with steamships in the Ottawa area, beginning about 1820 (mainly pictures) and a page giving some steamer background material from Frank Mackey's book.
Upper Ottawa Valley Map from the Text Book

April 5, 2021:

Here is one of the best maps of the Upper Ottawa Valley. From the inside back cover of the book by Clyde C. Kennedy called The Upper Ottawa Valley, A Glimpse of History, published by the Renfrew County Council, 1970, ISBN none. This is one of the few books which documents a lot of the steamships on the Ottawa River west of the city.
Upper Ottawa Valley Map from the Text Book

April 6, 2021:

Text from Clyde C. Kennedy's book, page 130, The Upper Ottawa Valley - a glimpse of history
Georgian Bay Ship Canal from the Text Book

Back to Bytown or Bust Home Page - History and Genealogy in the Ottawa, Canada, area