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Smiths Falls, Ontario — Central Canada
 

Crossroads of the Rideau / À la croisée des chemins

 
 
Crossroads <i>of the Rideau</i> / À la croisée <i>des chemins</i> Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 7, 2018
1. Crossroads of the Rideau / À la croisée des chemins Marker
Inscription.  

Canal, rail and highway converge at Smiths Falls, the crossroads of the Rideau corridor. Each means of transport, built in turn, changed the face of the town, the Rideau River, and this lockstation. Canal construction first transformed the landscape, damming the river's main channel near the present-day location of the Smiths Falls water tower and creating the basin above the locks.

After the canal was built, the rapids in the waste channel were harnessed to drive grist mills and sawmills. A small village grew up around the site and by 1846 Smiths Falls had a population of 700 people along with an increasing number of mills, factories, and businesses. The canal was central to this early development, with the shipment of local flour and potash to Montreal and the influx of finished products brought by steamers and barges.

In 1884 Smiths Falls became an important railway divisional point on the CPR's Ontario route. The railway, a year-round mode of transportation, replaced the canal as the town's most important link to the rest of the country.

The age of the automobile further transformed Smiths Falls and this lockstation. The bridge

Crossroads <i>of the Rideau</i> / À la croisée <i>des chemins</i> Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 7, 2018
2. Crossroads of the Rideau / À la croisée des chemins Marker
over the locks was rebuilt several times to accommodate increasing traffic. A new automated lock was required when the present low-level concrete bridge was constructed. This altered the character of the lockstation, placing side by side the old and the new.

[Photo captions, clockwise from top right, read]
• The Frost & Wood Agricultural Implements Factory, situated next to the canal, was the dominant business in Smiths Falls, shipping farm equipment across North America.

• Abel Ward's grist mill is typical of the 19th-century mills that took advantage of the Rideau's water power.

• The basin shoreline has changed significantly over the years. At the turn of the century, portions of the basin were filled in to create parkland.

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C'est à Smiths Falls que le canal, la route et le chemin de fer convergent. Chacune de ces voies de passage, construites à des périodes différentes, a modifié le visage de la ville, la rivière Rideau et le poste d'éclusage. Le paysage a été transformé par la construction du canal, d'abord par l'aménagement d'un barrage sur le chenal principal de la rivière près de l'emplacement actuel de la tour d'eau de Smiths Falls pour créer le bassin en amont des écluses.

Après

Non-operational Rideau Canal Lock image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
3. Non-operational Rideau Canal Lock
Permanent concrete Beckwith Street bridge in upper right made the lock no longer functional
la construction du canal, les eaux des rapides qui déferlaient par le déversoir furent utilisées pour fair fonctionner les minoteries et les scieries. Un petit village surgit autour et en 1846, Smiths Falls comptait 700 habitants et un nombre grandissant de moulins et d'usines, de fabriques et de commerces. Le canal fut au coeur de ce développement en permettant le transport, par vapeurs et chalands, de la farine et de la potasse à Montréal et des produits finis à Smiths Falls.

En 1884, Smiths Falls devint une importante localité divisionnaire sur l'itinéraire ontarien du CP.

Le chemin de fer, un moyen de transport utilisé à l'année, remplaça le canal comme lien le plus important entre le village et le reste du pays.

L'arrivée de l'automobile fit de Smiths Falls une ville moderne et changea le visage de ce poste d'éclusage. Le pont enjambant les écluses fut amélioré et refait plusieurs fois afin de pouvoir supporter un trafic croissant. La construction de l'actuel pont de béton rendit nécessaire l'installation d'une nouvelle écluse automatique. L'aspect du poste d'éclusage en fut modifié, l'ancien et le moderne se côtoyant.

[Légendes photo, en haut à droite, dans le sens des aiguilles d'une montre, lisez]
• La rive du bassin a beaucoup changé au fil du temps - au tournant du siècle, des sections furent remplies pour créer une forêt-parc.

• L'usine de machinerie agricole Frost & Wood, située près du canal, était le plus important commerce de Smiths Falls, expédiant des pièces partout en Amérique du Nord.

• La moulin à grains d'Abel Ward est caractéristique aux moulins du XIXe siècle, qui profitaient de l'énergie hydraulique de la rivière Rideau.
 
Erected by Parks/Parcs Canada.
 
Location. 44° 53.816′ N, 76° 1.272′ W. Marker is in Smiths Falls, Ontario. Marker is on Canal Street just west of Beckwith Street South (Provincial Highway 15), on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker kiosk is just west of Smith Falls Combined Lockstation Lock 29a. Marker is at or near this postal address: 34 Beckwith Street South, Smiths Falls, Ontario K7A 2A8, Canada.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Welcome to Combined Locks (here, next to this marker); HMCS Smiths Falls (within shouting distance of this marker); Smiths Falls (within shouting distance of this marker); War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Automated Lock / Une écluse automatique (within shouting distance of this marker); Rotary Club Swimming Pool Stone / La pierre de la piscine du club Rotary (within shouting distance of this marker); Parc Victoria Park (within shouting distance of this marker); The underwater view / La vue sous l'eau (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Smiths Falls.
 
Also see . . .
1. Smiths Falls Official Website. (Submitted on November 5, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Rideau Canal National Historic Site. (Submitted on November 5, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Man-Made FeaturesParks & Recreational AreasWaterways & Vessels

 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 5, 2018. This page originally submitted on November 5, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 25 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 5, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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