p.2 Navigation - The last four or five days of warm spring weather have opened a wide channel between this city and the opposite islands, and the intermediate ice is so rotten it is thought there will be no difficulty in cutting through it with a steamboat. It is the intention of Mr. Kinghorn to make an attempt today with the Pierrepont.
On Lakes Erie and Michigan steamers and schooners are already in motion. the steamer Forest Queen left Detroit for Saginaw on her first trip for the season on Friday morning.
On Lake Ontario the favorite steamer Zimmerman, Capt. Milloy, is nearly ready to commence her trips on the Toronto and Niagara route.
The Spectator of Saturday says a good east wind would in an hour or two entirely clear Hamilton bay of ice and leave navigation free.
The Grand Trunk & The Steamboats
We mentioned some time ago that the Grand Trunk Railway Company had leased the Royal Mail Steamers plying between this city and Montreal. It is understood that their arrangements for the season are now perfected. The boats will be confined to the St. Lawrence, between Prescott and Montreal. Freight sent up from the latter city for the west will be transhipped at Prescott, and forwarded by the Grand Trunk. Passengers may either take that route or transfer themselves to the New York and the Northerner of the American Express Line, with whose owners the company have also made an arrangement. Crossing from Ogdensburg these boats will call at Prescott, and other places on the north shore for passengers. Canadian freight they will not be able to touch, the navigation laws preventing them. From Toronto they will go to Lewiston, in order to take what they can of the Zimmerman's traffic. By this arrangement the Grand Trunk will undoubtedly have a monopoly of the passenger trade between this and the eastern cities, if no rival line is started. They will find their freight receipts, however, increased but little. Montreal men will not use their boats, if the merchandize is to be transhipped at Prescott; they will prefer sending it on by freight steamers, which will carry it through. How long the Grand Trunk will be able to monopolize the passenger traffic it is not for us to predict.
The above is from the Globe of last Thursday, and presuming it is well informed, we cannot but regard the arrangements alluded to as another hard blow at the prosperity of Kingston, where the line of boats referred to is owned. Doubtless the owners consulted their own pecuniary interests in handing over the boats to the Railway Company. But we trust there are men among us having sufficient pluck to take efficient steps to thwart the aggrandising schemes of the Grand Trunk Company and its abettors. We hope the capitalists of Hamilton, Toronto and Kingston, will forthwith unite in chartering (or building) steamers of sufficient capacity to compete successfully with the monopolists between Montreal and Hamilton. The Bowmanville, we believe, is the only steamer capable of traversing the lake that is left out of the grasp of the Grand Trunk influence, and two such other boats would be all that would be required to form a daily line between the lake ports and Montreal, with the assistance of the river boats St. Lawrence and St. Helen. Here we have lying at one of our wharves the fine steamer Highlander, and at Portsmouth the equally fine steamer Mayflower, which with slight overhauling could be speedily put in running condition. We do not know who has the control of these vessels, but believe they are in hands of one of the banks. No doubt if an effort was made they could be chartered at reasonable rates, as they are becoming deteriorated by "lying up in ordinary" from year to year. The furniture of these boats is of the best description, and has been well taken care of. Now nothing remains to get up a "smart" line in full time to commence business by the middle or end of April, but the men and money. Who will take the initiative step?
Dunkirk, March 19th - props Oswego and New York arrived, Ocean left.