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Dozens of maps were consulted dating back to 1781. Only those that provided useful information regarding the 1816 roads are included below. On-line resources such as Google Earth and Ontario's Make a Topographic Map were also used. Comments regarding the usefulness of the maps are appended to each listing.

Canadian Hydrographic Service, Chart 1513, Smiths Falls to Kingston, 2007. (Used to help determine original 1816 shorelines).

Dickson, W.R., "Sketch of the Rideau Settlement, with the new townships and others in its vicinity. Copied W.R.D. 1818", 1818, Library and Archives Canada, Manuscript Division, Q(series), 152 Pt. 1, P.27, Microfiche Nos. 2839 & 2840. (First map on which "Old Landing" appears. Roads are also shown. The scaling is off as are the exact road locations, but very useful in that it does show their general direction and clearly separates "Lindsays" and "Old Landing").

Jebb, Lt. Joshua, R.E., “Plan of the Water Communication from Kingston to the Grand River”, July 8, 1816, National Archives of Canada, NMC 21941 (3 sheets). (A beautifully drawn map with lots of detail. The scaling is off and there appears to be several errors with the roads. The map is a result of a survey of potential navigation routes between (now) Ottawa and Kingston so the mapping of roads was of secondary importance (and some, such as the road to Lindsay's, appears to more representational than accurate and some roads are missing entirely).

Moody, Lt. Hampden C.B., R.E., "Plan of the Country between the Rivers St. Lawrence & Ottawa and the Rideau Canal reconnoitred by order of His Excellency the Commander of the Forces & under the direction of Col. Oldfield K.H. Commg. Royl. Engr. in Canada 1841", 1841, NMC 17853 (10 sect). (This provides the second good look (the first being Walpole 1828) of the road systems in the area. Accurate for the period (although not survey accurate). It is the second map to clearly show the original road to Old Landing. But it also shows 25 years of post-1816 road development and so is only of partial help in identifying 1816 routes). Natural Resources Canada, National Topographic Maps (NTS) 31 B/12 (Brockville), 31 C/9 (Westport) and 31 C/16 (Perth), Natural Resources Canada, 2000 (highly accurate and contains all the current official place names of both man-made (villages) and natural (creeks) features).

Sherwood, William, "Map of the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Compiled by Wm. Sherwood", 1852, Library and Archives Canada, Microfiche #78546 (more of interest than use, it shows some of the main roads in 1852. Of interest is that it does separate planked and macadamized roads from other roads).

Smith, W. M. & McPherson, Malcolm, "Sketch of the Proposed Line of Road from the Rideau to the Boncher [Bonnèchere] showing the old Road and the alterations made by Malcolm McPherson, D.P.S. April 1846. N. Elmsley township north to Bagot and McNab townships.", 1846, Canada. Board of Works, Library and Archives Canada, Microfiche 14281. (This map has the first semi-accurate view of the road from Rideau Ferry to Perth. However, parts of the road are clearly shifted 1 lot east (i.e. at Oliver's Ferry), but other sections appear accurate, so it is difficult to determine the overall accuracy. This map illustrates one of the problems with early maps, particularly those based on township surveys. Lots are assumed to be perfectly aligned (which they aren't) and the road was likely plotted by a draughtsman using the surveyor's field notes. So in some cases he got the lots mixed up, but in other sections he may have plotted it correctly. This type of error has been seen in other survey maps of the period. The most extreme example is the 1791 survey of Oxford Township where today's Kemptville Creek was plotted several lots off - it had the right shape, but was plotted in the wrong location with an incorrect orientation).

Unknown, “No. 37 Trent & Rideau Communications,” c.1815, Library and Archives Canada, NMC 44765. (an early map with little specific detail other than showing mills in the region. The only roads it shows are some in the vicinity of Upper Beverley Lake).

Unknown [Sundries], "Correspondence, March 16 [1816], Quebec. Sir S. [Sidney] Beckwith to [Lt. Gov. Francis] Gore. Transmits two plans of the new settlements and roads in the Rideau River district. pp. 12283-12286A, Enclosed: Plans. pp.12287-12288." Library and Archives Canada, Upper Canada Sundries, RG 5, A1 vol. 27, p.12288. (although two maps are indicated, only one map is of the Rideau region. The map was drawn prior to March 16, 1816 and shows the roads. The scaling is off but it does appear to show most of the roads from Ottawa to Kingston. They are more sketched than accurately positioned. It's the map closest to the time period of the first settlers).

Victor, Captain J., R.E., "Plan of part of the Rideau Lake and River from Olivers Ferry to the first Rapids and of the River Tay from Perth", March 23, 1831, National Archives of Canada, NMC 21969 (this is the most accurate pre-Tay Canal map of the Tay River. It is generally accurate except for an error near where the Beveridge Dam on the Tay is today where the southern part of their map is shifted north by about 500 metres and the scale somewhat compressed. But otherwise, very accurate and it shows all the rapids on the Tay at that time.)

Walling, Henry F., Illustrated Historical Atlas of the Counties of Leeds and Grenville, Canada West., 1861-2", c.1862. Digital maps from McGill University County Atlas Project: (A detailed look at the road system at the time, presumed to be fairly accurate. Water bodies (i.e. Big Rideau Lake), as with all maps in the 1800s, are inaccurate (we don't see accurate waterway maps until the very late 1800s). Roads are a bit difficult at times to differentiate from concession lines which were drawn in the same style as roads (perhaps because they are all road allowances) – so following exact roads is often difficult).

Walling, Henry F., Lanark Supplement in "Illustrated atlas of the Dominion of Canada.", Toronto : H. Belden & Co., 1880. Digital maps from McGill University County Atlas Project: (quite a clear and presumed accurate map of North Elmsley, including the roads. This is our first accurate look at the Rideau Ferry to Perth road)

Walpole, Lt. J., R.E., "Outline of the Country from Kingston to Oliversferry along the route of the Rideau Canal, and from Kingston to Brockville, with the roads leading upon the canal from the St. Lawrence; accompanying a report of a reconnaissance made in pursuance of the orders of the Commissioners of Whom Lt. Gen'l. Sir James Kempt, K.C.B. etc. etc. etc. is President. J. Walpole Lt. Royal Engineers 22 June 1828", 1828, Library and Archives Canada, Microfiche No.11230. (This is the first detailed road map of the region. Scaling is very problematic on this map, roads are more representational than accurate. But it gives a good indication of which were the best roads in 1828 giving us some hints about roads that might have been used in 1816).


Bell, Rev. William, "Hints to Emigrants," Waugh and Innes, Edinburgh, 1824.

Bell, Rev. William, "Diaries and Hints to Emigrants" edited by Paul George Allen, Allen's Upper Canada Sundries, 2012 [Kindle Edition].

Bevers, Cameron,

Code, David, "A History of Otty Lake", 2006

Haydon, Andrew, "Pioneer Sketches in the District of Bathurst", Ryerson Press, Toronto, 1925.

Hefferman, John P., "Through Irish Eyes", United Counties Packet, 1966 (scans of this newspaper article which details the Toledo area provided by William Blight).

Leavitt, Thad. W.H., "History of Leeds and Grenville, Ontario, from 1749 to 1879, with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers", Recorder Press, Brockville, 1879.

Kennedy, James R., "South Elmsley in the Making, 1783-1983", Township of South Elmsley, 1984.

Lockwood, Glenn J, "Kitley, 1795-1975", St. Lawrence Printing Co. Ltd, Prescott, Ontario, 1974.

Lockwood, Glenn J, "The Rear of Leeds and Lansdowne, The Making of Community on the Gananoque River Frontier, 1796-1996", The Corporation of the Township of Rear of Leeds and Lansdowne, 1996.

McGill, Jean S., A "Pioneer History of the County of Lanark", Clay Publishing Company, 1968.

McKenzie, Ruth, "Leeds and Grenville, their first two hundred years", McClelland and Stewart Limited, Toronto, 1967.

Otty Lake Association, Capt'n Otty's Log (newsletter), June 1998.

Shanahan, David, " "Post-War Settlement in North Grenville, 1814-1820" in NGHS Quarterly, the Journal of the North Grenville Historical Society, Vol. 5 No. 1, September 2012.

Shaw, Ron W., First We Were Soldiers, The Long March to Perth, Friesen Press, 2015 [Kindle Edition].

Skelton, Isabel, "A Man Austere, William Bell, Parson and Pioneer", The Ryerson Press, Toronto., 1947.

Smith, Josephine, "Perth-On-The-Tay, A Tale of the Transplanted Highlanders", Merrickville, 1901. Reprint by Mildred R. Livingston, 1987.

Turner, Larry, "Perth, Tradition & Style in Eastern Ontario", Natural Heritage / Natural History Inc., Toronto, 1998.

Turner, Larry, The First Tay Canal in the Rideau Corridor, 1830 - 1850, Parks Canada, 1984, digital edition, Friends of the Rideau, Smiths Falls, Ontario, 2009

Watson, Ken W., The Rideau Route: Exploring the Pre-Canal Waterway, Ken W. Watson, Elgin, Ontario, 2007

Welch, Edwin, Sights and Surveys, Two Diarists on the Rideau, Historical Society of Ottawa, 1979

Fall 1816 - Rideau Ferry to Perth Top 1816 Routes Home Page
Perth, the Capital of the District of Dalhousie; from the N-East bank of the River Tay - painting by Thomas Burrowes, 1828, Archives of Ontario, I0002141

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