The Rideau Canal, a monumental early 19th-century construction covering 202 km of the Rideau and Cataraqui rivers from Ottawa south to Kingston Harbour on Lake Ontario, was built primarily for strategic military purposes at a time when Great Britain and the United States vied for control of the region.
The site, one of the first canals to be designed specifically for steam-powered vessels, also features an ensemble of fortifications.
It is the best-preserved example of a slackwater canal in North America, demonstrating the use of this European technology on a large scale.
It is the only canal dating from the great North American canal-building era of the early 19th century to remain operational along its original line with most of its structures intact.
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