The following is the Abstract and Table of Contents from Recreational Boating on the Rideau Canal, Manuscript Report 253 by Larry Turner, Parks Canada, 1986. Republished by Friends of the Rideau as digital book DB-MR253, 2009:
Boats have always been a preoccupation with people using the Rideau Canal. For more than one hundred and fifty years, the Rideau Canal has been passing boats between Kingston on Lake Ontario and Ottawa on the Ottawa River. Conceived as a part of military strategy and used as a linkage in commercial transportation, the Rideau had evolved by the turn of the century into a waterway for recreational boats. It has been the purpose of this historical study to focus on the use and development of recreational boats to better understand the transformation of the Rideau Canal from an earlier commercial orientation to the domination by the pleasure boat today. By concentrating on the recreational vessels which ultimately used the canal, we may better understand the recreational movement that left such a visible and lasting impact on the social and economic fabric of the Rideau Corridor.
Although it could be said that recreational boating has always been an activity on the Rideau Canal, the period of study between 1890 and 1930 was chosen to identify the massive increase of recreational boating at the turn of the century. The report also examines the social and economic roots in the widespread back-to-nature movement which engulfed the Rideau system and the technological changes in boats themselves that made them a pleasure to use. The focus on canoe, skiff, launch and steamer beyond dock, wharf and lock gate allows great insight into the use of the Rideau Waterway by residents, vacationers and tourists.
The report is divided into five parts. The first part looks at the development of recreational boating in Ontario in general and on the Rideau Waterway in particular. Part two identifies the variety of recreational boats on the Rideau and traces their development between 1890 and 1930. Part three explores recreational boaters, their activities, their environment and the places or sites influenced by their pursuit of boating. Part four examines the evolution of the steamer excursion as a popular activity in pleasure boating and the final section is an analysis of the impact of recreational boating on the administration of the Rideau Canal and the system as a whole. While it was not the intention to produce a detailed statistical study, an appendix provides some figures important to the analysis in the text. The reader should also be directed to a large collection of illustrations designed to complement the identification of boats and activities described in the report.
1. PART I: THE DEVELOPMENT OF RECREATIONAL BOATING
1. The Foundation of Recreational Boating in Ontario
13. The Rise of Recreational Boating on the Rideau Canal
24. The Rideau Canal - Attractions and Limitations for Recreational Boating
44. Women and Recreational Boating
54. PART II: DEVELOPMENT OF RECREATIONAL BOATS
56. The Canoe
67. The Skiff
81. House Boats
87. The Steam Yacht
97. The Motor Boat
132. PART III: RECREATIONAL BOATERS
153. Canal Trips
161. Rentals, Guides and Pilots
175. Youth Camps
179. Resort Hotels and Lodges
237. PART IV: EXCURSIONS
239. Rideau Excursions and the Cabin Steamer
257. Rideau Excursions and the Local Dual-Purpose Steamer and Steam Yacht
279. PART V: RECREATIONAL BOATING: RESPONSE AND IMPACT
281. Administrative Response on the Rideau Canal
308. Appendix I: Pleasure Boat Lockage Statements, Rideau Canal, 1910 – 1922
321. Appendix II: "Camping on the Banks of the Rideau Lakes" by David S. Johnston, published in Rod and Gun in Canada, February, 1909, pages 834-836.