The Locks, Cornwall Canal, Cornwall, Ontario

Mike Oxley

Cornwall Ontario, Canada

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  • Artwork Comments 4


Artist's Description

The west end of what’s left of the Cornwall Canal. The reason for its demise is the power dam in the background. As kids, we used to dive off the locks into the canal – probably a very unsafe thing to do and our mothers would have had kittens if they knew.

A little background from the “Lost Villages” website:

During Ontario’s early days, the St. Lawrence River was the earliest navigable route or “highway” into the Great Lakes, its smooth flow broken only by the mighty Long Sault Rapids just west of Cornwall. Once into the Great Lakes system, ships could travel onward into the interior of Canada or southward into the United States. Navigators had been wrestling with the Long Sault for hundreds of years. Fierce and formidable, they dropped thirty feet over a span of three miles. At the end of the drop, the water poured into small channels that encircled a group of islands, shooting up a plume of spray a hundred feet into the air. Only a highly skilled mariner would dare to challenge the mighty Long Sault.
Although the rapids couldn’t be tamed, they could be circumvented. The first series of canals to bypass the rapids began to open in 1783. In 1834, construction began on the Cornwall Canal. When it was finally completed in 1842, the canal extended inland from Cornwall to Dickinson’s Landing and could handle vessels up to 186 feet long. Between 1876 and 1904, the canal was enlarged even further.

Artwork Comments

  • Larry Trupp
  • Mike Oxley
  • hjaynefoster
  • Mike Oxley
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