Planning for a Canal
Unlike aqueduct systems that move water from one place to another, the Rideau Canal was planned as a slack water system. Slack water systems are designed to keep water in one place and eliminate any natural movement or flow. The recommendation given by surveyors to achieve this was by using dams, locks, and flooding of certain areas. However, there were still many questions that remained. Where would the locks be placed? How wide and deep should the locks be made? Where should flooding take place? Where should dams be located? In a matter of months, these critical decisions would begin to be made and the construction of the canal would be underway. As planned, the canal would integrate five major watersheds along a 202-km route between Kingston and the future city of Ottawa.