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Old 02-09-2015, 09:49   #1
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Georgian Bay Ship Canal

To all canal navigators
Has anybody ever seen the 1909 proposal for the Georgian Bay ship Canal that started from Montreal, up the Ottawa River to Mattawa, then Mattawa River to Trout Lake, across to Lake Nipissing, then down the French River and Pickerel River down to Georgian Bay? I heard of this proposal when I went for a short cruise on the Chief Commanda II a few years ago. I also seem to remember reading in my research of this canal that it came back up for discussion in North Bay somewhere in the 1960's. It would be interesting to know why it did not go thru.

Even though I am now just a "virtual sailor" doing all the canal systems on Microsoft Flight Simulator, I found this particular canal interesting as I spent a good portion of my childhood summers going to my fathers camp on Wolseley Bay (1960 to 1987). I have traveled most parts of that section from Chaudičre rapids to Cedar Rapids and canoed up the Wolseley river up to Bear Lake and a bit beyond. We were trying to get to Trout Lake (the one near Burwash off hwy 69, south of Sudbury, not the one in North Bay). I also made one canoe trip from Wolseley Bay to Alban down the north side of 18 mile island.

According to the survey done in 1909, there was not sufficient watershed feeding Trout Lake (high point) to supply both sides of the system. But this was using conventional locks and was sizes for the big ship. Researching the Trent Severn waterway, I found 2 system that could now be used between Nipissing nad Trout Lake that would take care of this problem. The marine railway near Port Severn and the elevator system used I believe near Peterborough.

I would be interested to know how many sailors out there would like to see this canal to be reconsidered for the pleasure craft community some day.
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Old 02-09-2015, 09:55   #2
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Re: Georgian Bay Ship Canal

He he he, your joking right? Marine infrastructure under the Harper government? Last I checked TC and CCG, were trying to divest themselves of Real Estate.

It would be cool though.

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Old 02-09-2015, 10:09   #3
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Re: Georgian Bay Ship Canal

Yes, I know I am dreaming. This endeavor would certainly not be done by the government. But what about if some "rich" organization, individual or groups would get together to do this? Do you think the government would stop them? Yes I know, I am still dreaming. But then that is the cool thing about the virtual world. I can always build it in my virtual world. I still have a lot of things to learn about scenery design, and it may take me 5 to 10 years but lets face it, I can probably get it done and then put the completed idea out there for people to see the possibility.


PS Montreal to Ottawa is already done
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Old 02-09-2015, 10:42   #4
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Re: Georgian Bay Ship Canal

Yes I know, I live in Ottawa. There is a height restriction of 48 feet though so my mast is too tall to get up the river.

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Old 03-09-2015, 08:20   #5
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Re: Georgian Bay Ship Canal

Sounds like a good project for Justin T since the budget for it would just balance itself.
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Old 05-09-2015, 07:13   #6
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Re: Georgian Bay Ship Canal

“... The proposed Georgian Bay Ship Canal was promoted as a project with the magnitude of a Panama Canal ...”
"...the probable cost of a deep waterway can be established for $100 million (1908 $) ... the work taking 10 years to complete..."
The Ontario That Almost Was—The French River and the Georgian Bay Ship Canal - Northern Ontario Travel
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Old 05-09-2015, 09:19   #7
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Re: Georgian Bay Ship Canal

Gord
Thanks for the links
I have had a link to the report ever since I went on the Chief Commanda.
The other article was also very interesting.
I wander how much towns like North Bay, Mattawa and a few others along the Ottawa River would prosper in tourisms if a smaller version of the canal, comparable in size to the Rideau and the Trent Severn, would come to be?
Another interesting fact that I have come to realize looking at this Canal. It has nothing really to do with boating, but do you realize that the only solid link of land between Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario is North Bay?
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Old 05-09-2015, 21:23   #8
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Re: Georgian Bay Ship Canal

There's another interesting canal project, a partially finished and abandoned canal going from, I think, the St Lawrence/Ottawa river system up through Quebec to a river system going into Hudson Bay. I've been on it many years ago north of Noranda. Wouldn't it be nice to cruise up a canal through the wilderness of northern Quebec and into Hudson Bay?
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Old 06-09-2015, 06:58   #9
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Re: Georgian Bay Ship Canal

Seymore
You have peaked my curiosity. I agree with you. It would be nice to go north also. The main problem on these more northern routes is the length of the sailable season.
Would you remember a few more details on the one you are talking about? Do they already have any lock system on it.
A quick look at Google earth, I have found 2 river systems that I can follow right into James bay. One starts at Lac Abitibi near Iroquois Falls Ontario, and the other from Lac Malartic near Val Dor.
I seem to remember reading about somebody providing a service for boaters wanting to go up the Ottawa river. They would pick up and tow boats around a couple of the dams located on the north end of the Ottawa river. After reading this I remember looking at Google Earth to see how far north boaters could go after Lac Timiskaming, The only problem with Google earth is that a lot of the areal views change from summer to winter. It makes it harder to view the details of the river system
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Old 07-09-2015, 19:46   #10
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Re: Georgian Bay Ship Canal

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Originally Posted by Michel Paquette View Post
Seymore
You have peaked my curiosity. I agree with you. It would be nice to go north also. The main problem on these more northern routes is the length of the sailable season.
Would you remember a few more details on the one you are talking about? Do they already have any lock system on it.
Yesterday evening I looked for a certain short length of straight cut In the river systems north of Noranda on a road map of Quebec, and couldn't find it.

In 1963 I spent a couple of university work terms at the Noranda copper mill in Noranda-Rouyn. A supervisor asked me if I'd like to go moose hunting with him one weekend. He wanted to go, needed someone else along, and his buddies couldn't go. I said sure!

I went and bought a Cooey 12 ga bolt action shotgun from Eaton's mail order for $56, and got a box of slugs for it, this being the cheapest moose gun I could get.

On Friday after work we set out. He drove about 20(?) miles north(?), we got into an aluminum boat with an outboard and set off across a lake. By this time it was pitch black night. On the other side of the lake was solid black tree lined shore. He headed the boat into the black line of trees, a creek opened up and we went through into the next lake. Same deal. We went across the lake, aimed into the solid black line of trees on the other side and a creek opened up that dumped us into the next lake. We went through about 4(?) lakes this way.

We went through a cut. A straight man made cut had been made through the granite, with 7(?) foot high straight walls marked with drill holes for explosives, I dunno, about 20(?) feet wide and 5(??) miles long. My friend said the government had started a project to build a canal system from basically the St. Lawrence river system to James Bay through Quebec, and had abandoned the project. The cut was of that.

We got to his camp site soon after that.

We almost got a moose. My friend called and called. There was one around, but it was late in the mating season so it was wary.

I vaguely remember seeing that short stretch of straight canal on a Quebec road map once.

That's what I know. I think that if you're seriously interested the best bet would be to get in touch with a Canadian or Quebec government department that would know about such things. Or else buy a round in a Noranda-Rouyn tavern during moose season when they're talking about great moose they have known.
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Old 08-09-2015, 04:15   #11
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Re: Georgian Bay Ship Canal

I've seen similar cuts on Lake Temagami that were the result of local mining operations, actually not on the Lake itself but in the vicinity of Lake Temagami. They are definitely cool places to explore in a tin boat.

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Old 08-09-2015, 07:01   #12
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Re: Georgian Bay Ship Canal

Seymore
Check out :Ottawa River Waterway - By-pass
This is what I had found a while back about trailering service to go up the Ottawa River.
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Old 10-09-2015, 22:40   #13
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Re: Georgian Bay Ship Canal

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Can't go there. My boat's too big for those.
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