|ARTICLES and POEMS
On this page you will find several articles and poems about various aspects of the Rideau.
James Sutton Elliott (280K PDF) by Ed Bebee, 2013. James Sutton Elliott was one of the most strong-willed and powerful men among the competing forces driving the development of Bytown and the Rideau Canal. His careers in both Canada and England show remarkable parallels with different endings.
The Military Roots of the Rideau Canal by Ken W. Watson, 2012. The Rideau Canal was built as a military canal, the need to build it sparked by the War of 1812. The article looks at the military roots of the canal - why it was built and elements of its military heritage that can still be seen today.
Water Water Everywhere by Ken W. Watson, 2011. Three apparently unrelated events on the Rideau: whale bones near Smiths Falls, paddling a canoe in 1816 between Jones Falls and Upper Brewers and lake bottom sediments near the top of Rock Dunder, have a common link. Read the article to find out what that link is.
Mountain Climbing - By Boat by Ken W. Watson, 2011. There are few places in Canada where it can be said "I boated over a mountain." Well, if you’ve boated the Rideau from Kingston to Smiths Falls, you can boast to all your friends that you did, truly, boat over a mountain. "What mountain?" you ask - read the article to find out.
The Rideau Canals that Never Were by Ken W. Watson, 2011. We're familiar with the current Rideau Canal - but what about other canal/route proposals. These fall into three general categories: seriously studied, passing thoughts and fictional creations. The first two categories are briefly reviewed in this article and then a couple of examples of the latter category (the Dead Lock and the Murphys Bay Route) are examined in more detail.
Death - A Rideau Mythconception by Ken W. Watson, 2010. The building of the Rideau Canal was difficult and it took a human toll. But the number of deaths and how death was treated has been greatly exaggerated. This article examines the facts and how they've been distorted over the years.
Celebrating the Tay Canal by Ken W. Watson, 2009. The Tay Canal, connecting the Rideau Canal with Perth, is celebrating its 175th anniversary in 2009. This article describes the Tay Canal today and the history of the First Tay Canal (1834).
Rideau Canal: Endurance Of Its Military Rationale, 1812-1871 by Robert B. Sneyd, 2008. The Rideau Canal served its intended purpose by acting as a deterrent to American invasion and helping to keep the peace during these decades of most vital Canadian social, economic and political development.
Rideau Boom Years: British Immigration to Upper Canada, 1832-46 by Robert B. Sneyd, 2008. The Rideau played a pivotal role in the 1830s and 40s in safely transporting tens of thousands of loyal British immigrants into Upper Canada.
Rideau Boom Years: Commercial Success by Robert B. Sneyd, 2007. Most people don't know that the Rideau was a commercial success, particularly in its early years.
Rideau Heritage Viewscapes by Ken Watson, 2007. Parks Canada has started to restore some heritage viewscapes on the canal. It's a good start, I hope to see more of this in the future.
The Rideau Route by Ken Watson, 2007. A glimpse into the pre-canal waterway - what it looked like prior to the Rideau Canal being built and information on the first surveys of the route.
Long Term Capital Plan for the Rideau Canal by Bill Pratt, 2007. The Chief Engineer of the Rideau Canal outlines the capital plan for the years 2007 to 2009.
Malaria - A Rideau Mythconception by Ken W. Watson, 2007. During the building of the Rideau Canal, August was known as the "sickly season." That sickness was malaria. A number of myths and misconceptions have developed over the years about malaria on the Rideau - this article sets the record straight.
Solar Cruising On The Historic Rideau Canal by Monte Gisborne, 2006. Monte Gisborne and family cruised the Rideau on the "Loon," a solar powered pontoon boat.
Electric Tug completes Rideau Canal Transit by John Hayes, 2006. John Hayes took his electric Tug, the Greenhorn I, on a quiet trip through the Rideau Canal.
Retirees on the Rideau by Jim Graham, 2005. A group of four retirees from Elliot Lake paddle the Rideau Canal from Kington Mills to Ottawa - this article recounts their adventure.
Along The Rideau by James Swift & Co., 1898. This article appeared in "The Picturesque Rideau Route" an 1898 booklet describing the trip up the Rideau aboard the Palace Steamer James Swift. This is a tourist promotion description of Rideau - a wonderful bit of prose, well worth a read.
Those Who Laboured by Ken Watson, 2003. This article appeared in Rideau Reflections, the newsletter of Friends of the Rideau. It is about those who built the Rideau, the thousands of Irish and French Canadian labourers.
Water, Water Everywhere by Ken Watson, 2002. This article appeared in Rideau Reflections, the newsletter of Friends of the Rideau. It is about water levels along the Rideau and how they are controlled.
The Other Rideau by Ken Watson, 2003. This article appeared in Rideau Reflections, the newsletter of Friends of the Rideau. It is about the Rideau in winter, the Rideau that many don't experience.
All That Swims, Crawls and Hops on the Rideau by Ken Watson, 2001. This article appeared in Rideau Reflections, the newsletter of Friends of the Rideau. It summarizes a talk given by three scientists with the Canadian Museum of Nature about fish (Claude Renaut), amphibians (Francis Cook) and turtles (Mike Rankin) studied as part of the Rideau River Biodiversity Project.
The Rideau - A Journey Through Time by Ben Rayner, 1997. An article written for the Ottawa Sun describing the Rideau from Ottawa to Kingston.
POEMS & STORIES
Jurassic Marsh by Allison Goldstein, 2009. The story of a misty morning encounter on Little Crosby Lake.
Prayer Of The Fisherman's Wife by Allison Goldstein, 2009. A little poem about a fisherman's wife that prefers steak to fish.
The Rideau Canal by John Morrison, 2007. The tale of the Rideau.
The Lady of the Stones by John Morrison, 2005. The tragic tale of the death in 1861 of Ann Crosby.
Rideau Hues by John Morrison, 2004. The ever changing Rideau.
Thanks for the Memories by Allison Goldstein, 2005. A lovely little poem about happy Rideau days.
C.D.H.A.Q. - a poem by David Boyd about the notations in the diary of Lockmaster Peter Sweeney (Catherine Drunk Had A Quarrel)
Ghosts of the Opinicon - a poem by Captain "Ned" Fleming (1868-1953).
If you have an article that you think would be suitable for inclusion on this page, feel free to contact me. Please note that I can only accept articles for which copyright permission has been given for posting to this website.