Lake And Canal Navigation - Western Trade - The opening of lake navigation to Buffalo, this year, took place about the 10th inst.. The harbor at the mouth of the Grand River, (the upper entrance to the Welland Canal) was clear of ice more than a month ago - so that there would have been no impediment whatever to prevent vessels passing that length of line sooner, by this route, the present season, if the enlargement of the feeder and the entrance lock at Broad Creek, had been finished; and we take this early opportunity of apprizing, "by authority", all merchants, forwarders, and others interested in the trade between lakes Erie and Ontario, that the Welland Canal will be in complete readiness for the opening of navigation, next season, on the 1st day of April - by which means all vessels engaged in that trade, will have ample opportunity of making one entire trip, and enjoying all its advantages, before the ordinary spring business commences; and while the harbor of Buffalo, and other ports below, are fast locked in icy chains.
We are informed that there is very little produce in Buffalo, at this time; but that strenuous exertions are making to turn the current of trade through that channel, from the "great West". Besides the legislative bounty of 8 cents per barrel, on salt, transported to the state boundary line, in any direction, the Buffalo forwarders have taken contracts for conveying flour from thence to Albany, at the exceeding low rate of 56 cents per barrel; and to New York, for 60 to 65 cents - while our public spirited forwarders, below, have all combined and raised the price of transportation, between Montreal and Kingston, from 1s 3d to 1s 6d (at which it was carried, last year) to 2s 3d per barrel of flour, down; and 3s 3d to 4s 6d per cwt. on merchandize, up. this with the exchange on New York, of 4 to 5 per cent against Canada, inflicted by our monetary system, gives for us rather a gloomy prospect of benefit from the opening trade.
If present prices are maintained, in New York, the bulk of the produce of the West, under these circumstances, will probably take that direction, if the home consumption of the Eastern States should require it. But we do not believe such will be the case - in which event, the price must come down to what can be realized for it in the markets of Britain, which will not, probably, exceed 50 to 55 cents per bushel, for wheat, at any point on the shores of Lake Erie.