Ontario's Historical Plaques 

Discover Ontario's history as told through its plaques

2004 - Now in our 15th Year - 2019

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The Rideau Waterway

The Rideau Waterway

Photo by Alan L Brown - Posted June, 2004

Plaque Location

The County of Lanark
The Town of Smiths Falls
In Victoria Park, on the north side of
Lombard Street (Highway 15)
across from Aberdeen Street, 2 blocks west of Beckwith Street

Coordinates: N 44 53.755 W 76 01.384


Plaque Text

Constructed 1826-32 by the British government for military purposes, but used principally for commerce, the Rideau waterway, together with the lower Ottawa River, was the first canalized route from Montreal to the Great Lakes. Although eastbound traffic continued to use the St. Lawrence, westbound traffic, including many thousands of immigrants, utilized the new route to avoid the hazards and delays of upstream navigation on that river. With the completion, in 1846, of the St. Lawrence canals, use of the Rideau as a commercial thoroughfare declined sharply. However, it remained vitally important to the region by providing its agriculture and industry with economic access to markets. In time the Rideau became one of Ontario's major recreational waterways.

Related Ontario plaques
The Rideau Canal
Rideau Canal 1826-1832
Lieutenant-Colonel John By, R.E.
The Royal Sappers and Miners



Smiths Falls Plaques

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