p.2 Welland Canal - We take much pleasure in communicating to the old and undeviating friends and supporters of this important work, the decision of our provincial Legislature, at its recent session, in regard to the route upon which this splendid public improvement is now permanently established, and to be completed, with the least possible delay, on a grand scale, and in the most substantial manner. It will be seen by the Resolutions adopted in the House of Assembly, on the 2nd instant, (which will be found in this week's Journal, under the proper head,) that the present route of the canal is to remain unchanged and that an Address is voted to her Majesty strongly recommending Port Dalhousie as a suitable point to make a safe and commodious harbour for steam boats and vessels of war, on Lake Ontario, and praying her Majesty to grant a sum of money for that purpose.
The opening of Navigation on Welland Canal, at the earliest moment the state of the ice on the upper lakes will permit, is also announced, by the Secretary of the Company, in our advertising columns, this week - of which we earnestly hope our brethren of the press, on both sides of the line, will give due notice, for the general benefit of their respective patrons - especially those along the southern shores of Lake Erie, and its tributaries; and to assure them, that the faith of its managers is pledged to afford every facility in their power, to insure the safe and expeditious transportation of American property, through this channel, to its destined market, and which, we can assure those interested, may be relied upon with perfect confidence; notwithstanding the recent unnatural and abortive attempts, by a few infatuated individuals, to create a temporary confusion and distrust among our neighbors, and thereby to retard the prosperity, and interrupt the tranquility, of the country. [St. Catharine's Journal]
p.3 The Opening of the Navigation - "The busy note of preparation" now going on at our wharves and among our commercial and business men would indicate an extensive trade during the approaching season. The steamboats are already in motion. The William IV, Capt. Hilliard, left this port on Sunday for the Head of the Lake, touching, as usual, at Oswego, Cobourg, Toronto, etc. The Commodore Barrie, Capt. Patterson, will proceed up- wards today, and the Kingston started for Prescott this morning. The United States left here this morning at six o'clock on her way upwards, and the Oneida at half past 8 on her way downwards. For the following particulars connected with this subject we are indebted to our neighbor of the Whig.
A great alteration in the shipping business will take place this year. The Hon. John Hamilton, who either by charter or purchase, has become master of six steamboats, viz. the Great Britain, Traveller, St. George, Cobourg, Commodore Barrie, and Hamilton, intends that none of his Lake Boats shall descend below Kingston and consequently this town will become the centre of transportation between the Upper Country and the Lower Province. The plan we believe is as follows: - The Great Britain, Cobourg, and St. George will make two weekly trips to the head of the Lake, thus forming a daily line, (Sundays excepted;) and two Bay Boats, probably the Brockville and Kingston will each make three weekly trips to the head of the Long Sault, and in that case, two other Bay Boats, possibly the Sir James Kempt and Hamilton, will perform similar trips to the head of the Bay of Quinte - all the several boats making Kingston the pivot on which they turn. This in connection with the Forwarding establishment of the Ottawa and Rideau Company, under the management of Messrs. McPherson and Crane, will create a commercial bustle on our wharves hitherto unprecedented. Such is the outline of the intended plan of operations. In the meanwhile, the small brick building, near Mr. Counter's Bakery, (late the Custom House) is taken by the Hon. John Hamilton, as a General Steamboat Office to be under the superintendence of his agent, Mr. Manelly.
The Great Britain will be commanded as usual by Capt. Whitney, while his late purser, Mr. Moody, assumes the charge of the St. George, and Mr. Bethune (late of the O.& R. Company) steps into the vacant pursership. Lieut. Harper, R.N., will retain the command of the Cobourg, as will Messrs. Sutherland and J. Herchmer of the Traveller and Commodore Barrie. The latter vessel is ready for sea (the Traveller has left port,) but it will take two or three weeks to complete the outfit of the former.
The Brockville has been chartered by the Marine Railway Company, and will be taken charge of by Capt. Calder. This handsome vessel has undergone a complete repair during the winter, and will be ready to commence her trips in the course of a week or so. The Kingston will be commanded by Capt. Lawless, and is nearly ready. The Sir James Kempt has also undergone extensive repairs during the winter, and is in about the same state of forwardness - Capt. Sheriff takes charge.
The Ottawa & Rideau Company's boats, the Cataraqui, Bytown & Rideau, will be severally commanded by Messrs. Drummond, Hunter, and Morin. They will be ready by the opening of the Canal Navigation. Captain Brush relinquishes the superintendence of the out-door department of this extensive Forwarding Establishment, and is said will be succeeded by Mr. Ferguson, of Montreal.
Touching the other Lake Boats, we see an advertisement in the Oswego papers, stating that the following vessels will run in connection:- The William IV, Capt. Hilliard; United States, Capt. Van Cleve; Sir Robert Peel, Captain A. B. Armstrong; and Telegraph, Capt. Child, - the three former from Prescott to the head of the Lake, and the latter to and from Oswego, Kingston and Rochester. This line may be called the opposition line to that of the Hon. John Hamilton's.
The Wharf Business will be divided this season between Messrs. Counter and Barton Phillips. The wharf of the first named gentleman has undergone a substantial repair, and is in excellent order for the reception and shipment of goods; while the latter enterprising man of business has taken and repaired the large wharf lately in the occupation of Mr. John MacGuire, adjoining and in addition to that extensive platform, known by the name of the Commercial Wharf.
The Marine Railway Company has recently been incorporated, and a statement of its affairs will be found in our advertising columns. The inhabitants of Kingston are much indebted to the enterprise of a few public spirited gentlemen for this great addition to the importance of their town as a maritime depot.
Queen Victoria Steamer - A beautiful new steamboat was lately launched at Niagara, the property of Mr. Lockhart, in presence of an immense concourse of spectators. She is about the size of the Transit, and her model is said to be extremely handsome, reflecting great credit on Mr. Gilkinson, the builder.
Welland Canal now open!
The public is respectfully informed, that the Welland Canal is now free from ice, throughout its whole extent; as also the harbours at each extremity; and that the water, having been kept at full head, and no extensive repairs required, during the winter past, this channel is now in complete readiness for immediate navigation.
Geo. Prescott, Sec'y.
Welland Canal Office, St. Catharines, April 2nd, 1838.