A BRIEF History of the ottawa river canal system
Although they would never serve as such, the first proper canals on the Ottawa River were built for military purposes. British colonial authorities designed them to transport troops and military supplies between Montreal and Kingston via the Rideau Canal system in case of an American blockade of the St. Lawrence, as threatened during the War of 1812 (Lafrenière 4). Built between 1819 and 1834, the canals bypassed rapids at Carillon, Chute‐à‐Blondeau and Grenville, following already‐existing portage routes (Legget 1975: 139). The system also included a canal to pass the Lachine rapids in Montreal. As soon as they began operating, the canals served mostly for commercial traffic, since the events of 1812 did not repeat themselves.
MAP OF CANAL RUINS ALONG THE OTTAWA RIVER