|The first and one of the few large steamboats to ply the original Tay Canal was the Perth-built Enterprise, which made the maiden voyage for it and the canal in the spring of 1834. Unfortunately, the canal's shallow draught, and winding route, did not allow larger boats of the Rideau system to continue up to Perth. The Enterprise did work the Rideau system until its end in 1835, stopping often at the Tay Canal entrance.
Small canal boats, pulling barges, provided Perth's canal access, until the demise of this original Tay Canal in the 1860s. The inauguration of the second, deeper Tay Canal in the late 1880s, brought new steamboat traffic and an exciting era of recreation boating. In the interim, the Rideau Canal system hosted many large steamboats - 'puffers' - such as Rideau Queen, Arrah Wanna, Olive, John Haggart, and, later, the Wanakewan. Some of those, and their smaller row and paddle boat cousins, are displayed in this gallery.
For more information and pictures, you might wish to visit the following sites (and also see the History of the Tay Canal on this site):
Rideau Waterway (book by Robert Legget - snippet view on Google Books)
Copyright Notice: Please contact us for permission to use any of these photos.