Tuesday, September 3, 2019

A Colonel And The Rideau Canal

The Civic Holiday in August is called Colonel By Day here in the national capital. John By was the British military engineer tasked with the construction of the Rideau Canal between 1826-32. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, winding between Ottawa and Kingston on Lake Ontario. Here at the Ottawa Locks, things were going on.


The Canal is a popular route during summer for boating traffic. Here at the Ottawa Locks, it comes to an end at the Ottawa River, with the Chateau Laurier looming above. Parliament Hill is on the west side of the Canal.


I stopped in at the Bytown Museum. This local history museum started out as By's commissariat, a storehouse during the Canal building. It has housed the museum for decades, and the museum tells the story of the development of the city since those days. I'll have to stop in sometime over the fall, as I didn't make a full visit of the museum this time out.


On Colonel By Day, a ceremony is held over on the east side of the Canal. It was happening when I was here.


This sign is close to the ceremony.


A Celtic cross is here. Many of the workers who came to build the Canal were Irish. A thousand of them died during those years of the momentous project. Some were accidents. Others were of illnesses. Some of those included family members not directly involved in the project. They are remembered in this ceremony.


A view out over the Ottawa River from the very start of the Canal.


While here's a view looking back up the Ottawa Locks. I have more from here tomorrow.

45 comments:

  1. Canals were an amazing engineering feat but sadly many died during their construction. I wonder if By could ever have realised what an important and picturesque feature the canal would still be today.

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  2. A boat trip travelling down the canal looks as if it would be a good day out.

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  3. I have spent many happy hours along the Rideau Canal.

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  4. Yet another affirmation of the benefits that can come from immigration.

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  5. How wide is the canal? In the last photo, it looks very, very narrow. What kind of boats would have used it?

    Janis
    GDP

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  6. Always love seeing Chateau Laurier William, are the public ever allowed during Open House?

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  7. ...you had a beautiful day for your visit to the canal.

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  8. What a wonderful day you have experienced!

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  9. I always learn so much from your posts. This one is no exception. :-)

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  10. How beautiful and practical canals are...so glad to see this one in use.

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  11. The canal is beautiful as is the building that houses the museum!

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  12. The smoothest ride in the world is on a horse drawn canal boat! Great photos

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  13. This prairie boy loves to watch the canal and locks in operation.

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  14. It is fascinating to watch boats in the canal.

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  15. @Lady Fi: that it is.

    @Fun60: history vindicated By. He died under a cloud of scandal over the costs of the Canal, but he was entirely correct in what he did, and he'd be proud that the Canal still operates, and that it's a world heritage site.

    @Rosemary: many people do so.

    @Iris: I can see that.

    @David: I've spent a great deal of time walking along it.

    @Revrunner: quite so.

    @Francisco: thanks!

    @Janis: these days mostly pleasure boats. A lock is ten metres wide, forty one metres long.

    @Grace: it has participated in Doors Open. There's nothing stopping a member of the public from just walking in and going around the ground floor, which I've done from time to time, and the Chateau has a couple of restaurants inside too.

    @Tom: the weather cooperated.

    @Ella: that it was.

    @DJan: thank you!

    @Barbara: it's well used.

    @RedPat: I agree!

    @Maywyn: thanks!

    @Red: I like it too.

    @Marie: that it is.

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  16. That Chateau Laurier is a gorgeous building.

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  17. Thrilling living history! Nice series, William

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  18. I always enjoy your posts William, not only for the photos but for the history. Thank you!

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  19. beautiful water shots and lovely history ^_^

    Happy Day to You,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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  20. A beautiful canal on a beautiful day. Lovely photos, Wiiliam.

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  21. How interesting! I don't see a lot of canals around here. And what a gorgeous day to visit!

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  22. @Sharon: it is.

    @Cloudia: thanks!

    @Denise: you're welcome.

    @Carol: thank you.

    @Bill: it was a pleasant day.

    @Jeanie: I'm quite used to our canal.

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  23. We went through a lot of locks in Europe on a river cruise. Amazing piece of engineering!

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  24. The Rideau Canal certainly looks different than in winter and nice to see the great weather for boating on it.

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  25. It's such a beautiful piece of work.

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  26. Both Eddie and I love canals, enjoyed your photographs.

    All the best Jan

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  27. It must be so nice to walk along the canal. I'd sure enjoy doing that!!

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  28. I grew up in a canal town and live in one now. Important in their time.

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  29. @Janey: that they are.

    @Beatrice: it changes each season.

    @Jennifer: that it is.

    @Jan: thank you!

    @Happyone: I enjoy doing so.

    @Joanne: that's quite true.

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  30. It looks like a perfect day for an outside ceremony. I assume that the canal will be closed one of these days soon?

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  31. very cool. love the cross. i bet the bag pipes were pretty to listen too. ( ;

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  32. A canal, beautiful lake and outstanding views. You are so lucky
    parsnip

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  33. William - when I first read Colonel By Day, I though it would be followed with Someone Else By Night … shows how little I know! A marvelous engineering feat, and how terrific that they still acknowledge those who gave their lives to the project.

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  34. @Kay: at some point in October the boating season will end and they'll start lowering the water levels for the winter.

    @Magiceye: thank you.

    @Beth: they were indeed.

    @Parsnip: well, the Ottawa River can be as wide as some lakes!

    @Angie: it's a splendid idea.

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  35. Nice shots. The Celtic cross is a meaningful monument.

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  36. I would love to take a cruise on this canal. Beautiful.

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  37. Great photos of the canal and the Ottawa locks:)

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