The Tay Canal, from Perth, Ontario, Canada
to the Big Rideau Lake

(originally called Haggart's Ditch)


New June 5, 2021:

Text Block Source: Page 29 in Steamboating on the Rideau Canal by Mike Nelles, The Historical Society of Ottawa, Pamphlet Number 70. Keywords: Mel Kennedy and Lloyd Graham
Tug Boat Agnes-P in the Tay Basin

March 11, 2021:

Picture Source: The Rideau: A Pictorial History of the Waterway, Edited by Adrian G. Ten Cate, Besancourt Publishers, ISBN 0-920032-04-4, 1981, page 191. Keywords: Tug Boat Tay, Jones Falls
Tug Boat Tay

February 18, 2021: Here is another painting by Thomas Burrowes, this one from August, 1828 at the Tay River in Perth, later the Tay Canal. Picture Source: The Rideau: A Pictorial History of the Waterway, Edited by Adrian G. Ten Cate, Besancourt Publishers, ISBN 0-920032-04-4, 1981, page 36. Keywords: Dalhousie District
Perth by Burrowes from Tay River, August 1828

December 19, 2020: Here is a photograph showing the Tow Path alongside the Tay Canal. The first Tay Canal was too shallow and weedy for the average steamboats which travelled along the Rideau Canal. The second Tay Canal was constructed in 1887. Photo Source: page 47 in Perth: Tradition and Style in Eastern Ontario by Larry Turner, ISBN 0-920474-75-6, 1992.
This photograph on the left shows a "horse with a buggy behind"
(thanks to my late uncle from Perth for the bad pun!) Tay Canal Tow Path
John Haggart, Mover and Shaker in Perth, Ontario (1836-1913) Picture of John Haggart from Perth, Ontario

December 17, 2020:
This photo shows the Steamboat St. Louis, a very large boat for the Tay Canal. Source: Perth: Tradition and Style in Eastern Ontario, by Larry Turner, page 112. Keywords: Rusty White Steamboat St. Louis on the Tay Canal

July 10, 2020:
Tay Navigation Company Source: Ottawa Past and Present, by A.H.D. Ross, 1927, Musson Book Company, 1927, reprinted by Global Heritage Press in 2007, ISBN 978-1-897446-00-3, page 67. Keywords: Tay Navigation Company, William Morris of Perth
November 18, 2015: Thanks to Jane Yorath who took the following photograph at the Tay Canal Basin in Perth, Ontario. The originator of the plan to construct the Tay Canal was Alexander Morris. His son, Edmund Morris, was the well-known artist among the First Nations people. The Tay Canal was under construction and improvement for many decades. It flows from the center of the town of Perth, Ontario and joins up with the main Rideau Canal near Murphy's Point Provincial Park on the Big Rideau Lake. Pioneer families were able to make their way from Kingston on Lake Ontario, up the main Rideau Canal and then were able to take the Tay Canal to Perth and to the hinterland townships.
Tay Canal in Perth, Ontario
In 1846 and 1847, at the time of the Great Irish famine, some residents of Perth, Ontario wrote to the emigrant agent at Montreal informing him that up to six hundred labourers could be employed in the Perth area. The emigrant agent tried to send the Irish emigrants of Black '47 to places in Upper Canada which had ongoing construction work, but 600 newcomers would have been overwhelming to the contemporary settlement at Perth. August 17, 2010:
Photo taken from Lock 33, Beveridges, (see map below) Tay
Map Source: Rideau Waterway Small-Craft Chart Environment Canada, 1974 Uploaded August 17, 2010 Tay Canal / Haggart's Ditch

August 18, 2010:

Hi Al; Loved the bit on the Tay Canal. It ties in slightly with my grandmother's grandfather, who was a Captain for the Tay Canal Company. I've put what I know about him below. I still don't know how he died (I suspect an accident on the canal?). All the newspapers around that date seem to be missing. ... Sue Bernard McSherry Little is known of this ancestor. He was born in county Leitrim in Ireland and appears to have arrived in Canada sometime in the late 1830's. He was Captain of the little craft "The Jolly Brewer" which once made a voyage to Montreal and back in the incredibly short time of 22 days. He was an employee of the Tay Canal Company. He married Ann Doran in Perth, Lanark county, Ontario in January of 1844 and was to die just 10 months later (at the young age of 28 years) and just 2 days after the birth of his only child, daughter Catherine McSherry (see baptism below), who was to eventually wed William Tierney, grandson of the immigrant Denis Tierney of Nepean / Fallowfield). From his will, we know that he had siblings still in Leitrim in Ireland, but it remains unknown if any of them ever emigrated to Canada or who his parents were. Bernard McSherry is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery (Old Craig Cemetery) in Perth, Ontario. His father-in-law, Judge John Doran of Perth, paid for the handsome tombstone which marks Bernard's grave. Here is the baptism record of Mary Eliza Tierney at St. Patrick's Church in Fallowfield, Nepean Township: 17 Jan 1864: Mary Eliza TIERNEY, born 27 Dec 1863, to William Tierney and Catharine McSherry (Source)

... Sue

September 25, 2011:

The next photo is of the Steamboat John Haggart, a very ambitious-sized boat for the Tay Canal Source: Perth: Tradition and Style in Eastern Ontario, by Larry Turner, page 69 Surname: Hicks family. Steamboat John Haggart
October 4, 2013:
Dredging Boat on the Tay Canal, Ontario, Canada Dredging Boat on the Tay Canal, Ontario, Canada

June 20, 2020:
Thanks to Mr. John Neville for sending along this photograph of the "Archie Stewart" from c. 1902. His Great Grandfather was a boat builder and a Captain on both the Ottawa and Rideau Rivers. Steam Boat Union on the Grand River (Ottawa River), c. 1902 This photograph was taken at the bottom of the six entrance locks on the Rideau Canal in downtown Ottawa. Source: Library and Archives Canada, PA 197035.

November 19, 2020:
The Tug Boat Agnes-P in the Tay Basin
Photo Source: Invisible Army: Hard Times, Heartbreak and Heritage, by Ed Bebee, ISBN 978-0-9696052-4-9, page 208
Tug Boat Agnes-P in the Tay Basin

November 22, 2020:
The Dredge Rideau on the Tay Canal
Photo Source: Invisible Army: Hard Times, Heartbreak and Heritage, by Ed Bebee, ISBN 978-0-9696052-4-9, page 205
The Dredge Rideau on the Tay Canal Keywords: Mrs. Sarah Yelland


E-mail Sue, John Neville and Al Lewis



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