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The following is the Abstract and Table of Contents from Overland Transport in the Rideau Region, 1800-1930, Manuscript Report 424 by Edward Forbes Bush, Parks Canada, 1979. Republished by Friends of the Rideau as digital book DB-MR424, 2011:


This study traces the history of land transportation within the Rideau region.

The first chapter covers road development from early pioneer wagon-tracks to the inception of the provincial highway system in the mid-1890s. The second takes up the narrative from the coming of the railways in the 1850s. Three regional railways, two diagonal trunk lines, along with a half-dozen abortive projects are dealt with. With the absorption of the three regional lines and their subsequent relegation to branch line status by two of the nation-wide systems, the third section of the study follows, being the account of the building of the provincial highway network with particular reference to the Rideau region.

Thus is depicted in microcosm the story of land transportation throughout Canada. Insofar as a paucity of concurrent statistics allows, comparison is made between the passenger and freight traffic of the three regional railways and the Rideau Canal.




     Early Settlement in the Rideau Region
     Pioneer Road-building: Corduroy to Macadam, 1793-1848
     Early Survey Systems
     Pioneer Road-building and English Precedent
     Pioneers and Wagon-tracks 1783-1848
     Critics and Expedients 1830-40
     The Toll-road
     Old Roads and a New Board of Works 1841-48
     The Richmond Road: Richmond Landing to Perth,1817-24
     Perth Road: Perth to Kingston 1824
     The Brockville-Perth Road 1815-51
     Market Access Roads
     The Economy of the Region
     Pioneer Roads
     Road Development at Mid-century
     Market Towns and Entrepôts
     Lumbering and Mining
     Roads - Farm Market Access, Lumber, Mining

Toll-road Companies
     The Baldwin Act and the Joint Stock Companies Act 1849
     The Bytown & Nepean Road Company 1851-1922
     The Ottawa & Gloucester Road Company
     The Kingston & Perth Road Company 1850
     The Bedford & Loughborough Road 1865-92

Horse-drawn Vehicles
     Rideau Region Stage Lines


     Steam Railways and Enabling Legislation

     Railroads in the Rideau Region

     The Bytown & Prescott Railway 1850-84
     Financing and Construction
     Opening of the Bytown & Prescott Railway
     The Ottawa & Prescott Railway in Receivership
     The St. Lawrence & Ottawa Railway 1867-84
     CPR Amalgamation
     The St. Lawrence & Ottawa Railway in Retrospect
     The Brockville & Ottawa Railway 1853-78
     A Time of Troubles
     The Brockville Tunnel 1854-61
     "A breath of air has passed over the dry bones..."
     Opening of the Line
     Not Out of the Bush Yet 1859-74
     Brockville & Ottawa's Operations: The Final Years 1865-77
     The Canada Central Railway: Amalgamation 1861-78
     Acquisition by the CPR: The Brockville Branch
     The Brockville, Westport and North-western 1873-1912
     The Brockville, Westport and Sault Ste. Marie Railway 1884-1903
     An Old Story: Bankruptcy and Receivership
     The Brockville, Westport and North-western Railway 1903-06
     New York Syndicate Confirmed 1903
     Launching of the BW & NW., 1903-05
     Old Railway: New Company 1903-06
     The Extension that Never Was 1903-07
     Last Days of the Brockville & Westport 1906-14
     Mackenzie & Mann Take-over 1910-14
     The Brockville & Westport: An Appreciation
     The Ontario & Quebec Railway 1872-84 et seq.
     The Canadian Northern Ontario Railway 1906-14

     'Paper' Railways
     Kingston, Smith's Falls & Ottawa Railway 1887-1902
     The Morrisburg & Ottawa Electric 1908-19
     The Ottawa and St. Lawrence Electric Railway 1909-15
     The Ottawa, Rideau Valley & Brockville Railway 1910-13
     The Ottawa, Rideau Lakes & Kingston Railway 1911-14
     Sundry 'Paper Railways'


     Steam-carriages and the Internal Combustion Engine
     The Passing of the Privately-owned Toll-road 1889-1914
     Towards a Provincial Highway System 1896-1937
     The Provincial Instructor in Road-making et seq.
     The King's Highway 1914-37
     The King's Highway in the Rideau Region 1915-28
     Highway Transport

Appendix A. Revenues and Expenditures for the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Railway, Together with Classified Freight Tonnages.

Appendix B. Revenues and Expenditures for the Brockville and Ottawa Railway, Together with Classified Freight Tonnages.

Appendix C. Revenues, Operating Expenses and Classified Freight Tonnages for the Brockville, Westport and Sault Ste. Marie, later the Brockville, Westport and North-western Railway.

Appendix D. Population Returns Rideau Towns, Derived from the Published Census.

Appendix E. The Classification of Steam Locomotives.

Appendix F. Report of Major Eliot, 68th Regiment of Foot, on the Road from Richmond Landing to Kingston, July 1824.


      1 The passenger trade: St. Lawrence and Ottawa and the Brockville and Ottawa railways.
      2 Freight Tonnage: St. Lawrence and Ottawa and Brockville and Ottawa railways
        and Rideau Canal.
      3 Passenger Trade: Brockville and Westport Railway and the Rideau Canal.
      4 Freight Tonnage: Brockville and Westport Railway and the Rideau Canal.



Sources Cited


      Map 1 Early trunk roads in the Rideau Region
      Map 2 Railways in the Rideau Region


      1 Section of 1895 map of Ontario, showing counties, townships and railways
        in the Rideau Region.
      2 The travails of pioneer transportation.
      3 Combination wagon-sleigh.
      4 Stage-coach.
      5 Four-horse stage, 1899.
      6 Hotel bus, Carleton Place, circa 1910.
      7 Farm buggy, near Almonte.
      8 Etching of a street scene in Brockville.
      9 Sketch of Perth hotel, with stage-coach in foreground.
      10 Sketch of Queens Hotel, Prescott.
      11 Brophy House, Gananoque.
      12 Kingston market scene, circa 1900.
      13 Smiths Falls street scene, n.d.
      14 The Ottawa, Bytown and Prescott Railway, 1862.
      15 Advertisement for Ottawa and Prescott Railway 1864-65.
      16 St. Lawrence and Ottawa Railway station, MacTaggart Street, Ottawa.
      17 Sketch of a Brockville and Westport passenger train, n.d.
      18 $1,000 Bond Brockville, Westport and North-Western Railway Co., due 1st Dec. 1923.
      19 Broad Street CPR Station, Ottawa, circa 1890.
      20 Entrance to CPR Broad Street Station, Ottawa, n.d.
      21 Arrival of the first Canadian Northern Train, Ottawa, 5 Dec. 1909.
      22 Ottawa Union Station, n.d.
      23 Rideau Canal and Ottawa Union Station, n.d.
      24 The Ottawa-Metcalfe bus. 1916.
      25 Overland Transport in the 1870s.
      26 Railway passing Hurdman residence near Ottawa, 1879.
      27 St. Lawrence and Ottawa's Little Portland engine, Circa 1873.
      28 St. Lawrence and Ottawa Railway Engine Lady Lisgar, 1879.

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