Hail Brave Hearts
The memories of summer holidays filled with fun and sun, swimming and boating and our great escape to the Canadian wild. This is the life! So full of warm summer waters and warm summer sun. A life of frolicking on beaches, camping and cottages. The great Canadian summer holiday. A life style to fulfill. There’s no life like it.
Grab your canoes and head to the water. The footsteps of travellers in the past, mark routes of undeniable beauty. Maps and compasses, campgrounds and hotels. The small town oasis of civilization along a path of well travelled waterway. The iconic Canadian water transportation routes of waterway highway. A path of rivers and lakes joining one part of Canada to another. The rivers, waterfalls, rapids and portages. Pack you bags, fill your canoes, join in the adventure of Canadian travel that has marked our history with holidays from coast to coast.
The Historic Trent/Severn Canal System. Glorious!
Grateful are we to have this grand opportunity to visit this historic waterway, in historic voyageur canoes. A fun and fabulous holiday in the middle of the summer. A canoe brigade. The fortunate few who participated in this endeavour, which leads from Georgian Bay to Lake Ontario. following rivers, locks, canals and lakes. A historic waterway of magnificent scenery, birds and wildlife, lily pads and rushes. And the locks.
Up and down, up and down, it’s the easiest paddling ever! And the locks are a marvel of engineering. Different styles of lifts picking us up the rapids and waterfalls to a new level of water. Spectacular!
The Severn River to Lake Couchiching, to Simcoe, the Trent Canal to Balsam, Cameron and Kawartha Lakes, Otonabee River, the Trent River and on to Lake Ontario. It’s an historic route for an historic paddling group, or for anyone with a boat and a licence to pursue this holiday adventure.
This 386 km of historic waterway was first started in 1833 and completed in 1922 with 45 locks connecting Georgian Bay to Lake Ontario. This ambitious idea was appointed by Sir John Colborne of the the inland Water Commision who constructed the first lock at Bobcaygeon. Now a National Historic Site, this waterway is a path of boating delight. In it’s early history, the canal was hoped to be a passage for steamships plying these waters with trade, but the canal had several setbacks, which delayed it’s progress. By the time it was finished, the steamboats were too large for the locks. Now this historic canal is used by thousands of tourists in pleasure craft from May to October each year.
The iconic canoe, a favourite of many family outings and wilderness adventure, is part of Canada’s historic lifeline to survival. The canoe has been with us for centuries, as a transportation vessel and a pleasure craft. From it’s aboriginal routes to the fur trade, to modern day vehicle, the canoe has been a valuable and necessary part of Canada’s wilderness history With this in the past and so much enjoyment today, the canoe is a classic pleasure craft.
written by Dr Louise Hayes
October 21, 2023