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The Rideau Canal

October 27, 2007 - The Rideau Canal
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Camera: Pentax Spotmatic. Wellington Street Bridge, Ottawa.

One of the gems of Ottawa is the Rideau Canal. In fact, it's the reason that Ottawa exists today. After the War of 1812, the British decided they needed a supply route to Montreal from Kingston that was further from the American border. The 202 km long canal cut through the wilderness of Eastern Ontraio. As it was the northern end of the route, Ottawa (then Bytown) was settled by Irish labourers. The canal opened in 1832, but never fulfilled its role as a military route, since peace broke out between the Americans and British. In 2007, the Rideau Canal was listed in the United Nation's UNESCO directory as a world heritage site. It is also the world's longest outdoor skating rink, at 7.8 km. Shown here is the Chaudiere locks, which take boats down to the Ottawa River. In the distance, one can see the Alexandria Bridge, which used to carry trains from Montreal into Union Station, and the city of Gatineau, Québéc on the other side of the river.