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Date > 1800

Subject > Weapons, Equipment and Fortifications > Equipment, Materials and Infrastructure

Entrance to the Rideau Canal at Ottawa, circa 1838

Type: Image

The Sleigh Bay entrance to the Rideau Canal is a spectacular sequence of eight locks climbing 25.3 metres from the river to the plateau above. This watercolour of circa 1838 shows the entrance from the Quebec side of the Ottawa River. Construction work on the canal began here in 1827. Alongside the locks can be seen two stone buildings - the Commissariat on the west side (here, to the right) and the Ordnance (or Royal Engineers) Building on the east side. The former survives today as the Bytown Museum. Barracks Hill, just to the west of the locks, is now the site of the Canadian Parliament Buildings, built starting in 1859. (Library and Archives Canada, C-011864)

Site: National Defence

American Withdrawal Leaves Towns Burning

Type: Document

When the British regained control of Lake Ontario in December 1813, the Americans had to move men to hold their shipyards at Sackets Harbor. Unable to hold Fort George, they burnt both it and the surrounding towns in mid-winter. A unit of Canadian traitors helped them in this cruelty.

Site: National Defence

Interior of soldiers' barracks at St. Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick, 1854

Type: Image

Painted by a British officer of the 76th Regiment of Foot, this watercolour of the 1850s confirms that open fireplaces still heated some barracks, despite wood stoves being introduced in the 1840s. The man at centre wears a grey military greatcoat, while others wear the red regimental coat. At right can be seen several soldier's beds, each with storage above for a knapsack, clothing and accoutrements. (Library and Archives Canada, C-008404)

Site: National Defence

St. Andrews Blockhouse National Historic Site of Canada: The War of 1812

Type: Document

It is June of 1812, and war has been declared between the United States and Great Britain! Tension has been simmering between these two nations for many years and for many reasons.

Site: Parks Canada

The Battle for the Northwest

Type: Document

American plans called for the recapture of Fort Mackinac in 1814. An attack was defeated by a British ambush in August. The Americans were able to destroy the famous British ship Nancy shortly thereafter, but lost two ships of their own on Lake Huron in September.

Site: National Defence

Artillery Developments in Canada

Type: Document

The role and importance of artillery to the Canadian Army evolved as artillery technology improved. Canadian gunners began to use artillery in 1871 with 9-pound muzzle loaders and, by 1918, had adopted 18-pound field guns and 60-pound howitzers.

Site: National Defence

Canadian Timber Now Vital to Britain

Type: Document

In 1806, developments in Europe made access to Canada crucial to Britain's survival. Emperor Napoleon's France blocked access to the Baltic, the traditional source of timber used in building ships for the Royal Navy. Canada was the only alternative source in British control.

Site: National Defence

Canadian Reinforcements Raised

Type: Document

During the year 1813, Britain's attention was focused on its fight against Napoleon's troops in Spain. There were limited reinforcements available for North America. To help strengthen the colonies' defences, many units were raised from Canadian volunteers and conscripts.

Site: National Defence

Kit inspection, April 1861

Type: Image

Soldier's kit laid out for inspection, April 1861. (Library and Archives Canada, C-011482)

Site: National Defence

St. Andrews Blockhouse National Historic Site of Canada: Military Services

Type: Document

After the war ended in 1814, St. Andrews Blockhouse continued to be used as a barracks by the Royal Artillery.

Site: Parks Canada