p.2 "Heretofore, the forwarding on those rivers (the Ottawa and Rideau,) and their canals, has been a monopoly - the lock at St. Anne's rapids being now in the hands of a private company - but before the opening of the navigation in the spring, another lock will be completed, at the public expense, and the forwarding business will be thus thrown open to public enterprise." Extract from Lord Sydenham's Despatch on Emigration.
The monopoly on the Ottawa and Rideau alluded to by his Lordship, has been a shameful one, increasing upward and downward freight, to and from Montreal, seventy-five per cent, which the Governor General and others anticipate will be abolished in future, by the construction of a public lock at St. Anne's rapids; but such, we believe, will not prove to be the case, although competition in the forwarding business upon those rivers and canals, may produce some modification in the exorbitant rates heretofore demanded; still, as far as the people are concerned, it will continue to be a "monopoly" nevertheless - the reason is obvious. The Rideau Canal being constructed without a towing path, there are no facilities of which the commercial public can avail itself, for passing vessels through it. If there were, all "monopoly" would be destroyed at once, as it ought to be; but as vessels cannot pass through the rivers and canals above mentioned, without being towed by steamers, the consequence will be, that unless these are provided by Government, for the exclusive benefit of the public, the forwarding companies - be there one or ten - will continue to monopolize all the transportation of merchandize and produce through these inland waters. For instance, if our millers in St. Catharines wished to ship flour in their own vessels direct to Montreal, with a return cargo of merchandize, how are they to pass through the Rideau and Ottawa rivers? They must either submit to the charges imposed upon them, by the forwarding companies, for towing their vessels, which would be equal, no doubt, to the cost of transhipment at Kingston, or forego the benefits and advantages which they might otherwise derive from unobstructed navigation, similar to the Welland Canal. [St. Catherines Journal]
A fine new barge, recently launched, and which is to be furnished with the Ericson propeller, is now lying at the Canal Basin. She is intended for the Rideau, and will be employed by Messrs. Murray & Sanderson on that route. Whatever doubts may be entertained as to the utility of this invention for sea navigation, there is, we believe, among practical men, no question as to its admirable adaptation for canals. [Montreal Gazette May 15th]
The Majestic Ottawa is teeming with life and animation. Her broad and glassy surface is dotted with Rafts of timber for the Quebec Market. The steamboats are busy in their vocation. Our old friend the Shannon under the management of Captain Lighthall has resumed her trips. A pretty little boat, the Albion owned by the new Company came to L'Orignal on Thursday, and is intended to make regular trips between Bytown and Grenville. She was welcomed by a large and respectable turn out of our villagers, who gave her three air rending shouts of congratulation. The company were then politely invited on board by the Captain, and a hearty welcome given them given to them below. On her return up in the evening we paid her a visit, and were extremely pleased with her appearance. She floated like a duck on the water, and on leaving the wharf the little water goddess briskly tripped it o'er the waves, with a celerity unexpected from her miniature dimensions. We prophesy she will become a favorite.
We expect the Dragon will soon make her appearance. Like the Albion she is intended for passengers only. [Springs Mercury May 7th]