01 March 2012

St Lawrence History in Ontario & surrounding area

Time line of St. Lawrence Seaway

Canada, History, Canada History, St.Lawrence seaway History, Canals, History, Ontario, St Lawrence Seaway, Welland, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario


A canal to bypass the Lachine Rapids  around Montreal & Lak St Louis was tried.  This project was spear headed by Dollier de Casson. He was the Superior of the Sulpician Seminary in Montreal.  This was not successful

A great feat was made when a canal was begun to be made to have passage between Lak St Francis & Lak St. Louis.  It was the Royal Army Engineers to commence and finish this undertaking.  The Canals depth is at 0.76m.  There are 5 locks.  This project was completed by 1783. 
A canal with 7 locks was completed.  At first it was known as the Casson Canal.  However the name has been changed to Lachine Canal
*Side Note taken from The Old Welland Canals Field Guide  http://www.oldwellandcanals.wikidot.com/feeder-canal

The Feeder Canal was originally built in 1829 to bring water from the Grand River to the First Welland Canal. Over the years, however, the canal came to serve a much greater role as a shipping canal, even while the First and Second Welland Canals were taken out of operation.
The best way to understand the feeder canal is to make sense of the long series of events that changed how the canal was used.

  • 1829 - A dam is built on the Grand River at Dunnville. Raising the water level, the feeder canal is dug to bring water from behind the dam to the First Welland Canal in Port Robinson some 40 km away.
  • 1833 - Part of the Feeder Canal is incorporated into the First Welland Canal which is extended to Lake Erie. The Feeder Canal now ends just south of Welland.
  • 1842-1845 - The Second Welland Canal is built. The Feeder Canal is enlarged to allow shipping along its route. The upgrade gives the Second Welland Canal two routes to Lake Erie.
  • 1845-1850 - The Feeder Canal is used as the main channel while the Port Colborne route is deepened. A "Junction Lock" is built where the feeder canal empties into the Welland Canal. The feeder is also extended to Port Maitland where another lock is built to lower boats to the level of Lake Erie.”

A schooner known as Ann and Jane was the first to navigate the almost completed Welland Canal.
Welland Canal is now Completed with a system of 40 locks.  These are still wooden locks.  It is relatively long at 43.5 km.

Canada, History, Canada History, St.Lawrence seaway History, Canals, History, Ontario, St Lawrence Seaway, Welland, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario

These dates for the seaway is significant if your Ancestors had work with the canal systems.  So it could be your ancestors did not come to Western Canada as Loyalist.  Instead they could have been part of these very large projects.  Curious to know if Census records picked up these workers.
With all the migration that follows large construction projects there to can lead answers into family migration patterns.

Please read more about the canals at: 
Information comes from St. Lawrence Seaway  : From the Canadian Geographic Magazine July/August 2009, Inland superhighway: 300 years of history. http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/magazine/ja09/sw_timeline.asp

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