Canada’s first railway
It was only 16 miles long, but the country’s first railway became part of an important route between Montreal and New York.
The Montreal Bank provided key financing for the building of the long-awaited Lachine Canal project, demonstrating the importance of public and private partnership in bringing about large projects of its kind.
The canal as originally built was 8.5 miles long, 28 feet wide at the bottom and 48 feet at the surface. It had seven locks of cut stone, each 100 feet long, 20 feet wide, and with a 5-foot depth of water. The Lachine Canal was opened in August 1824 and received its first vessels in 1825.
Canals provided important transportation routes, particularly for merchants moving their goods to market. Roads were a somewhat less appealing option.
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