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History of Kawartha Navigation, Victoria County, Ontario Canada

Extending across Central Southern Ontario from the Bay of Quinte to Georgian Bay is a chain of lakes and rivers by which the Indian aborigines had from time immemorial trans-navigated the province. Where this great canoe route crosses Victoria County, its waters are known as the Kawartha lake system.

The history of navigation on this system is as old as human occupation. While the Indians, however, were able to portage their craft over watersheds and around falls and rapids, the heavier draught boats gradually developed by white men made necessary a system of locks and canals. The record of navigation on the Kawartha lakes is, therefore, bound up intimately with the canalization of the water route. The canal system, known today as the Trent Valley Canal, has been under construction for 88 years, and is not yet finished.

The first suggestion that such work be undertaken was made in 1827, when a petition, signed by a Mr. Stewart and others, was presented to the Legislature of Upper Canada. A committee was appointed by the Lower House to consider the proposal and reported that it was "exceedingly desirable and important that those waters which constitute the chain of lakes and rivers which run in a south easterly direction from Lake Simcoe and which empty into the Bay of Quinte by the River Trent should be examined and surveyed by competent persons with a view to ascertaining how far they might be rendered navigable and the probable cost attending same." Read more..

Kawartha Navigation

A Season of Surveys

Further Construction in the Thirties

Progress Under Board of Works

Development of Lumbering

Revival of Canal Project

Steamboats of Victoria County

Future of Trent Valley Canal


Victoria County, Ontario Canada Centennial History, Watson Kirkconnell M.A., 1921

Victoria County

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