The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), April 5, 1872

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A petition, which we believe was forwarded to the Department of Public Works at Ottawa yesterday, has been extensively signed by the ship owners of Ontario, setting forth the drawbacks connected with the St. Lawrence Canals, and praying for proper remedies. The first inconvenience complained of by the petition is the want of depth of water. Last fall, vessels drawing more than 8 ft. 6 in. could not pass up or down with safety, while propellers able to pass through the Welland drawing 10 ft. of water, had to lighten from 2,000 to 4,000 bushels, at a cost of 4 cents per bushel, before proceeding to Montreal. The ship owners make special complaint of the inefficiency of the Lachine Canal. Owing to its rapid current, navigation is extremely dangerous and collisions almost inevitable. Between the first lighthouse and the canal piers is a rock on which the propeller Scotia sank last October, and which prevents the passage of vessels with a greater depth than 8 ft. 6 in. At the eastern entrance to the Beauharnois Canal is another dangerous obstruction which causes great inconvenience. The deepening of the channel at the western entrance of the Beauharnois Canal from the piers as far up as the Government docks is an urgent necessity. At this point the buoys by night are clearly visible and the system of hanging small lanterns on the buoys, as adopted at many lake ports in the United States, is recommended as being of great assistance to pilots on night trips. Serious difficulties also exist in the Fenawer ? Point, Morrisburgh and Edwardsburgh canals, which frequently lead to the detention of vessels. The petitioners say: "We would take this opportunity to impress upon the Government the absolute necessity of giving to the St. Lawrence river and its canals above Montreal its earnest and most serious attention, believing it for the interest of the Province that this portion of our navigation system should have the first attention, and that recommendations contained in the report of the Canal Commission, viz., to secure a uniform depth of from 12 to 13 feet, be adopted. The work of deepening the canals should commence on the St. Lawrence as well as the Welland, and be prosecuted as fast as possible, so as to give uniform depth of water from the Great West to the seaboard. Other difficult and dangerous points requiring the attention of the department in connection with the river and canal navigation might be enumerated; but we feel fully assured that if the department examine into the matter it will be seen that the object is of the highest importance, and will at once demand urgent means to be adopted, to meet the growing trade of the Province, and have every facility afforded for the same. We have no doubt the Government will take the most thorough action in regard to this matter, which vitally affects the trade of the entire country. [Mail]

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April 5, 1872
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Daily News (Kingston, ON), April 5, 1872