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CANADA]

CANALS

AND

INLAND

years to run. It is not free to grant the necessary rights to the United States, except upon condition that an agreement be reached with the New Panama Canal Company. The Commission believes that such agreement is impracticable. So far as can be ascertained, the company is not willing to sell its franchise, but will allow the United States to become the owner of part of its stock. The Commission considers such an arrangement inadnussible. The Governments of Nicaragua and Costa Kica, on the other hand, are untrammelled by concessions, and are free to grant to the United States such privileges as may be mutually agreed upon. In view of all the facts, and particularly in view of all the difficulties of obtaining the necessary rights, privileges, and franchises on the Panama route, and assuming that Nicaragua and Costa Rica recognize the value of the canal to themselves, and are prepared to grant concessions on terms which are reasonable and acceptable to the United States, the Commission is 11of the opinion that the most practicable and feasible route for an isthmian canal, to be under the control, management, and ownership of the United States, is that known as the Nicaragua route. Other American Canals.—The most important ship canal now in operation in America is the short canal which flanks the rapids in the Sault Ste Marie River, connecting Lake Superior with Lake Huron. The clear dimensions of the principal lock are: length 800 feet, width 100 feet, and depth over mitre sill 21 feet, with a lift of 20 feet. The canal is owned and operated by the United States Government free of tolls. It is closed to navigation by ice four or five months of each year. Its trade during the navigation season of 1899, a period of 231 days, comprised 25,255,810 tons of freight, valued at $281,364,750, or more than double the traffic of the Suez Canal. A scheme has been projected for providing a deep waterway from Lake Superior to the Atlantic Ocean, for which surveys and estimates have been made by a Board of Engineers under the direction of Congress. Under this project the channel ways now connecting Lake Huron with Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Lake Erie, are to be enlarged, and ship canals are to be constructed from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, and from Lake Ontario to the Hudson River. The former canal leaves the Niagara River at La Salle above the Niagara Falls, and joins it again at Lewiston below the Falls, its length being 9 miles. For 6 miles the entire excavation is through solid rock. At Lewiston the canal ends with a descent of nearly 320 feet by means of eight double locks, of which six have a lift of 40 feet each, and two of 3 9‘4 feet each. The canal from Lake Ontario to the Hudson River leaves the lake at Oswego, passes up the Oswego River to Lake Oneida, uses that lake as a summit-level, cuts through the watershed at Rome, descends the valley of the Mohawk River to Schenectady, and then cuts across country to the Hudson River at Normans Kill near Albany. The length of canal to be constructed is 102 miles, and of river to be canalized 96 miles. The lock chambers are to be 694 feet long and 80 feet wide in the clear. The bottom width of the canal is to be 250 feet. Estimates were made for a depth of 21 feet and also for 30 feet. The former was $206,358,103, and the latter $317,284,348. (o. H. e.) Canadian Waterways. Canada has the finest system of inland navigations in the world, notwithstanding their liability to being closed by ice in the winter. Previous to confederation the canals were owned by the provincial governments, but after the umon of the provinces in 1867 they became the property oi the Dominion Government. In 1870 a Commission was appointed to report on a ^thorough and comprehensive improvement of the canal system,” and after a careful inquiry they reported in favour of large locks and the w ^ater over the St route, the W elland Canal, andkole the ofSault SteLawrence Marie Canal.

NAVIGATION

551

These canals, 70% miles in length, now form links uniting the great lakes, giving an unbroken water communication from Duluth on Lake Superior, 2260 miles in the interior, Chicago on Lake Michigan, and Detroit, Buffalo, loronto on Lakes Huron, Erie, and Ontario, bringing the great wheat-growing districts which border upon the lakes into connexion with the seaboard. The distance from Montreal to Liverpool is 315 miles less than that from New York to the same port. The locks on the improved St Lawrence and Welland Canals are 270 feet long and 45 feet wide, whereas the locks on the Erie Canal, the waterway from the lakes to New York, are much smaller, and have only a depth of water of from 7 to 9 feet, in place of 14 feet on the canals leading to Montreal. Steamers of moderate size are now able to bring cargo direct from Chicago to Europe via Montreal; unless the proposed enlargement of the Erie Canal is carried out, a considerable proportion of the grain trade will be diverted from the route to New York to Montreal. The construction of another waterway from Georgian Bay by way of the Ottawa River to Ottawa City, and thence to Montreal, has been sanctioned by the Legislative Council at Ottawa. The St Clair and Lake Erie Canal, in course of construction across the Canadian peninsula between the two lakes, will be 13 miles in length, with a dredged channel in Lake St Clair 19 miles long. This will give a total length of 32 miles, as against 111 miles through the Detroit River. The lake traffic is very large. In 1890 the tonnage registered at American ports passing through the Detroit River both ways was 21,684,000 tons, and in 1899 it was 30,000,000 tons. Montreal is well equipped for ocean traffic, the depth of water to Quebec being 27| feet, while the harbour and the channel are being improved to 30 feet, with new docks at the east end of the harbour; large grain elevators and warehouses are also provided. With the view of enabling large steamers to partake of the lake traffic, the Sault Ste Marie Canal has been provided with locks 900 feet long, 60 feet wide, and 20^- feet depth of water, and the American St Mary’s Falls Canal has now locks 800 feet long, 100 feet wide, and 21 feet depth of water, enabling large steamers or a number of smaller craft to pass at one lockage. The navigation of the river St Lawrence has been made easy by the construction of lateral canals with locks, to avoid rocky rapids. The principal ones are the Lachine Canal, 8£ miles with 5 locks, cut through a wide bend in the river near Montreal; the Beauharnois Canal, 11^ miles long with nine locks, connecting the Lakes St Louis and St Francis; and four other canals, with a total length of 23£ miles with 12 locks. The Welland Canal connects the waters of the Lakes Erie and Ontario across the Niagara peninsula. It was commenced in 1824 and completed in 1833. In 1842 the Canadian Government bought the canal and at once began improvements. The canal is 27miles long, with a total rise of 326| feet and 26 locks. In 1870 important works were put in hand to enlarge the canal throughout; from Port Dalhousie on Lake Ontario a new channel was cut, Ilf miles long, to Allanburgh, and from thence to Port Colborne the old canal was enlarged. The improvement of the waterways of Canada has promoted efficiency and reduced the cost of transit. While railways remain at their original gauge they find they can compete better with the American and Canadian canals by increasing the size of their freight cars, which are now being built to carry 30 to 40 tons, against 8 to 10 tons (the ordinary standard size). Shipowners find that the cost of transport is diminished by an increase in the size of their steamers, and the returns of the Board of Trade