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Rideau Canal
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 19th century
Date of Inscription: 2007
Location: North America, Canada, Province of Ontario
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Description: The Rideau Canal is a monumental early 19th-century canal that stretches 202 kilometres along the Rideau and Cataraqui rivers (from Ottawa south to Kingston Harbour on Lake Ontario). During a time when Great Britain and the United States of America competed for control of the region, the canal was primarily built for strategic military purposes. The site, among the first canals to be specifically designed for steam-powered vessels, also features a collection of fortifications. In 1826 when the project began, the British opted for the so-called "slackwater" technology to avoid extensive excavation. As an alternative, they built a series of dams-to back up river water to a navigable depth-and created a chain of 47 massive locks. The site is the best preserved example of a slackwater canal in North America, and it demonstrates a large scale example of this European technology. No other example remains from the great North American canal-building era of the early 19th century, and it is currently the only canal that remains operational along its original line and retaining most of its original structures. To protect the canal, six ‘blockhouses' and a fort were constructed. Later several lock stations saw the addition of defensible lockmaster's houses and, between 1846 and 1848, to strengthen the fortifications at Kingston harbour, four Martello towers were constructed. The Rideau Canal holds great historical importance as it witnessed the fight for control of the northern American Continent. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  The Rideau Canal, also known as the Rideau Waterway, connects the city of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on the Ottawa River to the city of Kingston, Ontario on Lake Ontario. The canal was opened in 1832 and is still in use today, "with most of its original structures intact".[1] The canal system uses sections of major rivers, including the Rideau and the Cataraqui, as well as some lakes. It is the oldest continuously operated canal system in North America, and in 2007, it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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