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The Shubenacadie Canal Nova Scotia’s inland waterway.

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Presentation on theme: "The Shubenacadie Canal Nova Scotia’s inland waterway."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Shubenacadie Canal Nova Scotia’s inland waterway

2 SiKEPNE’K KATIK Used by the Mi'kmaq for centuries, the Shubenacadie waterway was carved out of bedrock by glaciers during the last ice age.

3 The Mi’kmaq would travel along this natural waterway using birchbark canoes. The wide-bottomed Mi'kmaq canoe was raised at both ends and the sides curved upwards in the middle. This shape allowed the Mi'kmaq to canoe far out to sea as well as in shallow streams and even in rapids. Canoes were 3m to 8m long, made of birchbark over a light wooden frame. A small canoe could take a load of several hundred pounds but was light enough for one person to carry. The Mi'kmaq : Nova Scotia Museum (15/02/05)

4 A Natural Highway and Route to the Interior of Nova Scotia  Early French settlers learned of this interior route through cooperation with the Mi’kmaq.  Cooperation between the Mi’kmaq and new migrants and explorers from Europe was a necessity for survival. Much of the cooperation was the result from attempting to endure the harsh north- eastern North America climate in winter.  This relationship was a good example of the interdependence Europeans and First Nations had with each other at first contact. interdependence

5 Natural Resources Hinterland Heartland At the time of canal construction Nova Scotia was governed by the British.

6 The Industrial Revolution and Canals  During the colonial period (1750-1870) over 70 canals were constructed in North America.  Inland waterways and canals were useful in moving large quantities of goods before the invention of steam-powered railroads.  Early Nova Scotian entrepreneurs such as Samuel Cunard (shipping industry) and Enos Collins (Collin’s Bank) saw potential in constructing a series of locks along the ancient Mi’kmaq route to enable large barges to extract the abundance of natural resources in Nova Scotia (coal/gypsum/granite/timber) for shipment from Halifax to Europe.

7 Work on the canal system began in 1826, ceased in 1831 and resumed in 1854. The canal was completed in 1861. Construction of 9 locks and 2 inclined planes connected a chain of 7 lakes and the Shubenacadie River, enabling boats to travel from Halifax Harbour to the Minas Basin. The only other route to the Bay of Fundy was by way of Cape Sable, a dangerous sail.

8 The Shubenacadie Canal opened in sections and operated between 1856 and 1870. Steam vessels hauled barges laden with goods along the system. Above: Halifax Harbour (Dartmouth Cove) in the 19 th century. (c.1886) Right: Halifax Harbour March 2005

9 By 1870, railways were able to transport goods faster and more cheaply than ships, forcing the closure of the canal.

10 Railways pre 1867

11 Dartmouth Cove

12 Lake Banook & Lake Micmac Locks #2 and #3 Port Wallace

13 Halifax Harbour to Sullivan’s Pond

14 Sullivan’s Pond to Port Wallace Lock #1

15 Lake Banook to Lake Charles Lock #2


17 Lock #3 Port Wallace

18  Lake William  A water powered marine railway would pull boats over land and into the next lake.   Click here to see an INCLINED PLANE Click here The Portobello inclined plane inclined plane

19 Lock #4 Fall River

20 Lock #5 Wellington


22 Lock #6



25 A Stone Point that was located in the area


27 Further Information Nova Scotia Musem Archaelogy in Nova Scotia Shubenacadie Canal Commission Waverley Heritage Museum Department of Education N.S. Canadian History 11 website Photographs taken by Dan Smith August 2004 (Locks 1-6 / Portobello Inclined Plane & Sullivan's Pond) Photographs taken by B. Khan December-March 2004-05 (Halifax Harbour) Presentation created by Barrett Khan 2004-05

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