Historical Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec history
(including the Cities of Ottawa and Gatineau)

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

This painting, which shows the head of the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Canada
was painted by Ruth McMillan (Ruth Hall-McMillan) in 1976.
It shows the locks as they were in the year 1893
"The Commissariat and Rideau Locks 1893".

The building on the right, above, is the Bytown Museum, the oldest building in Ottawa.

Up the hill behind it are the Canadian Parliament Buildings.

There are large changes to Bytown or Bust. See

New What's New ? New


March 29, 2022: Added this book by Julia E. Julia E. Johnsen to our bibliography page.

The St. Lawrence Ship Canal The Reference Shelf, Published by the H. W. Wilson Company, New York City,
         book written by Julia E. Johnsen, no ISBN

April 3, 2022:
The Welland Canal between Lake Erie, New York and Lake Ontario. Added a 715 foot long ship passing through the Welland Canal .

Made some improvements to our web page for the Erie Canal.

April 4, 2022:

and improvements to our Lachine Canal web page.

April 5, 2022:
Sault Ste. Marie Canal
Between Lake Superior and Lake Huron
Added two pictures of soldiers heading west in the 1890's

April 6, 2022:
The Trent Canal and the Murray Canal in Ontario, Canada

March 17, 2022: Added another steamship (the "Ploughboy") on the page for the Sault Ste. Marie Canal, between Lake Huron and Lake Superior.

March 13, 2022:
Added a painting of a First Nations camp on Georgian Bay in Lake Huron.

March 12, 2022: Updated two maps showing the Trent Canal and the Murray Canal in Ontario, Canada.

March 10, 2022:
Added two new books to our bibliography web page.

March 8, 2022: The Ship Chief Justice Robinson on Lake Ontario, 1852-53, unloading passengers

. March 4, 2022:
Updated our web page on the St. Lawrence Canals System including a new photograph of a large steamboat (the Algerian) running the Long Sault Rapids.
January 30, 2022: In 1842, the steamship Shamrock exploded with great loss of life. We have names of some of the persons who died.
January 29, 2002: Here is our Bibliography
January 28, 2022: Sorel, Quebec - An example of early industrialism (ship building) in Quebec
January 25, 2022: Added three new pages for the Erie Canal, Port Arthur, Ontario and the Lachine Canal.
frontpage1.jpg Painting by Ruth McMillan in 1976 Shows the Head of the Rideau Locks in Ottawa ____________________________________________

Map Source: Canals of Canada, 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 photographs from 1930 at the Davie Ship Building Company See photographs on our steamer web page under date of November 18, 2021.
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 who came to Bytown (now Ottawa) in 1827.
More at http://www.bytown.net/dowslake.htm
September 27, 2021: A New Book for our web site research!!!
Book cover Canalsofcanada
, by Robert F. Leggett, 1976, ISBN 0-88914-045-6, Douglas, David and Charles, Vancouver 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 (ag.lewis@sympatico.ca)
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

--> July 13, 2021: Here is a link to a very good 26 minute film by PBS called Steamboats on the Red (River). https://www.pbs.org/video/steamboats-on-the-red-h3hhah/ 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
Keywords: David Thompson, Georgian Bay Ship Canal Georgian Bay Ship Canal from the Text Book

E-mail Allan Lewis

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