Byward Market - Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario — Central Canada
Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada
Lieu historique national du Canada du Canal-Rideau
The Rideau Canal, a great military engineering achievement of the 19th century, opened central Canada to settlement and trade. The canal construction also brought thousands of people to the area, helping to shape the community of Bytown, known today as Ottawa, Canada’s Capital.
The entrance locks mark the beginning of a 202-kilometre route linking the Ottawa River and Lake Ontario through a system of lakes and rivers, connected and made navigable by the channels, locks and dams that the workers constructed. Designed for military purposes, and completed in 1832, the canal was never used for defence. Today, it is an artery for recreational boating and a national historic site operated by Parks Canada.
In command was Lieutenant Colonel John By. It was his mission to drive a waterway through great distances of almost impenetrable rock and swamp. Faced with extremes of climate, escalating costs and rampant disease, By drew on his qualities of leadership, determination and extraordinary technical ingenuity to complete the Rideau Canal in only six short years.
Engineers used explosives to blast a channel through the rocks to the Canadian Sheild, but it was men with picks, shovels, chisels and mallet who did the hard physical work. More than 2.000 workers were needed to dig the channel, break up the rock and cart away the debris. Hundreds sacrificed themselves to accident, disease and cold to build the great canal.
Le Canal Rideau, une grand réalisation du génie militaire du XIXᵉ siècle, a ouvert le centre du Canada à la colonisation et au commerce. La construction du canal a aussi amène des milliers de personnes à s’installer dans la région, ce qui a contribué à l’établissement de Bytown (aujourd’hui Ottawa) et de la capitale du Canada.
Les écluses d’entrée du canal Rideau marquent le début d’une voie de 202 kilometres reliant la rivière des Outaouais au lac Ontario par un réseau de rivières et de lacs rattachés entre eux et rendus navigables grâce à des chenaux, des écluses et des barrages construits par les travailleurs. Conçu à des fins militaires et achevé en 1832, le canal Rideau n’a jamais servi à la defense. C’est aujourd’hui une voie de navigation de plaisance et un lieu historique national exploité par Pacs Canada qui en est aussi propriétaire.
Le lieutenant-colonel John By, qui assurait le commandement, avait pour mission d’aménager
Un travail ardu
Les ingénieurs ont tracé en chenal à travers de roc du Bouclier canadien à l’aide d’explosifs, mais ce sont des hommes, armés de pics, de pelles, de ciseaux et de maillets, qui ont exécute le dur labeur physique. Plus de 2 000 travailleurs on creusé le chenal, brisé la roc et transporté les débris. Des centaines d’entre eux sont morts d’accident, de maladie ou de froid durant les travaux.
Erected by The National Capital Commission / La Commission de la capitale nationale.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1832.
Location. 45° 25.489′ N, 75° 41.713′ W. Marker is in Byward Market - Parliament Hill, Ontario, in Ottawa. Marker is on Rideau Street close to Elgin Street when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1 Rideau St, Byward Market - Parliament Hill, Ontario K1N 8S7, Canada. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Commissariat (within shouting distance of this marker); Château Laurier / Le Château Laurier (within shouting distance of this marker); Laura Secord, UE (within shouting distance of this marker); Lieutenant Colonel Charles-Michel d’Irumberry de Salaberry, CB (within shouting distance of this marker); Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant) (within shouting distance of this marker); Sappers’ Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); The Rideau Canal (within shouting distance of this marker); The Rideau Waterway (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Byward Market - Parliament Hill.
More about this marker. This marker is located at the intersection of Rideau, Wellington and Elgin Streets on the Plaza Bridge overlooking the Rideau Canal.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Confederation Boulevard / Boulevard de la Confédération
Also see . . . Rideau Canal - Wikipedia. The canal was opened in 1832 as a precaution in case of war with the United States. It remains in use today primarily for pleasure boating, with most of its original structures intact, operated by Parks Canada. The locks on the system open for navigation in mid-May and close in mid-October. It is the oldest continuously operated canal system in North America, and in 2007 it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Submitted on May 19, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.)
Credits. This page was last revised on January 24, 2022. It was originally submitted on May 19, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 296 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on May 19, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.