Steam has now been raised on all the steamers in the harbor.
The steamers Bannockburn and Rosemount are ready to sail.
p. Corrigan will ship on the steamship Algonquin this spring.
The steamer D.D. Calvin will enter the drydock next week for repairs.
D. Corrigan and A. O'Reilly will sail on the schooner Winnipeg this season.
If fine weather continues the Welland canal may be opened on April 18th.
The tug Maggie May is the first boat to pass through Cataraqui swing bridge this year.
The Calvin company will send a steamer to Charlotte for coal as soon as there is passage out to the lake.
The cargoes of the steamers Ralph and consort, at Port Colborne, will be sent to Buffalo instead of Prescott.
R. Chestnut and J.R. Molther, United States steamboat inspectors, are in the city to inspect certain steamers.
The tug Jessie Hall towed the tug Bronson from the foundry wharf to the M.T. company's wharf this morning.
The new tug Glide is receiving her first coat of paint. She will be black to match the other steamers of the M.T. company's fleet.
The steamer Chieftain, of the Calvin fleet, came over from Garden Island today for a load of rope which had arrived at the G.T.R. freight sheds.
The government dredge and tug were floated from the government graving dock yesterday, and the two scows will be let out in a few days.
The wind today drove the loose ice on this shore in compact body, and the steamer Pierrepont had some difficulty in working her way through.
The schooner S.H. Dunn has been handsomely painted, and will begin the season looking prettier than ever in her black coat with red and yellow trimmings. Capt. Dix has shown excellent judgement in his selection of paints.
It is the opinion of mariners that the new pier, built on the eastern edge of Snake Island shoal this winter, should be marked by a light at night time.
The tug Fearless is engaged to bring sand from Rudd's quarry to the city, and leaves for her first cargo as soon as the ice leaves the harbor. Her engines were tested yesterday.
There is considerable grumbling heard from vessel owners along the harbor front, whose craft are ready for sailing but have not yet been inspected owing to the office of government inspector being vacant. An appeal will likely be made by the vessel men that an inspector from another district be sent in to do the work if the local ? is not to be filled. Later - Alexander Horn has received his papers as inspector and will begin duty at once.
p.3 The tug Maggie May had her engines tested yesterday and left this morning for Kingston Mills to bring up the government dredge Rideau.
THE WELLAND CANAL.
The Welland canal for some years has been attracting the attention of vessel owners and captains, not, however, by its perfections, but rather the reverse. Lake competition in freight traffic is now in such a condition to demand improvements. The purpose of the original canal was served at its time, but enlarged boats, and a desired increased speed relegates it from the modern up-to-date waterway. Canadian mariners have frequently pointed out the deficiencies in the system and corporation councils in the vicinity have considered the question of improvements. The matter is of interest to Kingston vessel owners, and probably they represent the most energetic in pressing for amends in that canal. In a recent letter to the St. Catharines Evening Star, Capt. Archibald McMaugh, formerly with the M.T. company, offers a few practical suggestions touching needed improvements. He points out that the piers of the bridges should be taken out of the canal and the bridges should swing from the side. They are a source of danger and anxiety to mariners as they stand, interfering greatly with safe navigation. There are thirteen of such bridges in the canal, and their openings being nearly two feet narrower than the locks necessitates the passage of boats smaller than the canal has actual capacity for. The number of bridges is one more than half of the number of locks in the canal, but as an obstruction they more than double the chances and risks of damage, either to the bridges and approaches or to vessels going through them, than the same number of locks. These chances of damage help to make the route an undesirable one, and it should be the aim of the government to reduce chance to a minimum.
Another matter referred to was the mitre sill of lock No. 2 of the new canal, which was placed so high at the time of construction that the pond between lock No. 1, new canal, and lock No. 2, old canal, would have to be raised two feet to get fourteen feet on the sill. As this was impossible the canals were separated by placing a stone wall on stilts, and it is an open secret, if anything should happen to lock No. 1, new canal, that this would probably collapse. The bottom being too soft for a foundation would likely break through, and the long level would empty itself through the broken lock. What the results would be it is hard to determine, but it would mean the closing of the canal for a long time. Something should be done to form a dam between the two canals sufficiently strong to resist any pressure that might be brought against it by the breaking of lock No. 1 in either canal, and to be able to sustain a full head of water on either side with safety.
Ottawa, April 14th - Messrs. Carter, McGillivaray, R. Matthews, Port Colborne, and others waited on the premier, Sir Richard Cartwright and Messrs. Fielding and Blair in the premier's office this forenoon. They were accompanied by Messrs. Charlton, Bertram and Holmes, members of Parliament. They asked that the harbor at Port Colborne be deepened so as to permit of large steamers entering, and also that a breakwater be constructed. This would enable a share of traffic which now went to Buffalo finding its way to the St. Lawrence route. Incidentally the premier remarked that the government was considering the question of canal tolls with a view to revision. Sir Wilfred also said that the contents of the memorial presented him would be carefully considered.