March 10, 1911

WELLAND CANAL.


Main line from Port Dalhousie, Lake Ontario, to Port Colborne, Lake Erie. Enlarged Old Line. or New Line. Length of canal 27J miles. 26| miles. Pairs of guard-gates (formerly 3) 2 Prs. guard-gates (lift).. 26 25'Number of locks (guard) 1 1 Dimensions- 1 look 200 x 45 1 look 200 x 45 I 1 (tidal) 230 x 45 [ [DOT] [DOT] . 24 locks 150 x 45 J Total rise or lockage.... Depth of water on sills.. Construction commenced, Construction completed.. Enlargement commenced, Enlargement completed.. Welland River Enlarged Old Line. or New Line. .. .. 270 feet x 45 326| feet. 326) feet. 10) feet. 14 feet. 10 ft. 3 in. 1824 1833 14 ft 1872 1887 Branches. Length of canal- Port Robinson cut to river, Welland, 2,622 feet. From the canal at Welland to the river, via lock at aqueduct, 300 feet. Chippewa cut to River Niagara, 1,020 feet. Number of locks-one at aqueduct and one at Port Robinson, 2. ' Dimensions of locks, 150 by 26) feet. Total lockage from the canal at Welland down to River Welland, 10 feet. Depth of water or sills, 9 feet 10 inches. Grand River Feeder. Length of canal, 21 miles. Number of locks, 2. Dimensions of locks, 1 of 150 by 26) feet, 1 of 200 by 45 feet. Total rise or lockage, 7 to 8 feet. Depth of water on sills, 9 feet. Port Welland Branch. been going on in connection with the Welland canal but more activity has been shown during the last two or three years; we have had special parties surveying in order to, if possible, find a route for a better and bigger canal, if it is deemed better to build a new canal than to deepen the old one. * Now, at this point, I cannot define the policy of the government as to what is to be done on the Welland canal; or, rather, I am not in a position at the moment to indicate the time at which it will be done. That it must be done sooner or later, I think everybody in the Dominion of Canada will admit and it is of greater interest to no other people than to the people of western Canada that the Welland canal should be deepened so as to allow large vessels to go at least to the foot of Lake Ontario without breaking bulk. Three routes have been surveyed, and difficulties have been found in each one. I think that, especially for the benefit of members from that portion of Ontario, the House will bear with me, while I read briefly from the report made by Mr. Sullivan, one of the engineers in charge, who, by the way, is a son of our old friend, Senator Sullivan: Length of canal, XI miles. [DOT] Number of locks, t. Dimension of lock, 185 feet by 45 feet. Total rise or lockage, 7) feet. Depth of water on sills, 11 feet. The Welland canal has two entrances from Lake Ontario, at Port Dalhousie, one for the old, the other for the new canal. From Port Dalhousie to Allanburg, Ilf miles, there are two distinct lines of canal in oi eration, the old line and the enlarged or new line. From Allanburg to Port Colborne, a distance of 15 miles, there is only one channel, the old canal having been enlarged. From the head of the Welland canal there is a deep water navigation through Lake Erie, the Detroit river. Lake St. Clair, the Sr. Clair river, Lake Huron and River St. Mary to the Sault canal, a distance of about 589 miles. From the Sault the distance through Lake Superior to Port Arthur is 266 miles, and to Duluth, 400 miles. Amount spent in construction, $7,693,824.03-enlargement, $20,644,791.99; total, $28,338,616.02! My reason for pointing out the difference in distance from the Sault to Fort William, Port Arthur and Duluth is that grain carrying vessels in the busy season desire to make all the trips they can and while a few miles by rail-haul can be overcome in a very brief space of time it is not so with ship carriage, and Port Arthur and Fort William have the advantage in allowing vessels to carry grain to and from these ports and make a greater number of trips during the season than they could make if they go all the way to Duiuth. It may be of interest to point out to the House that for some years surveys have On Route No. 1. Following the present canal from Port Colborne to about three miles below Welland, thence towards Fonthill and via the Twelve and Fifteen Mile creeks to Lake Ontario, extensive surveys had been made, and a good location accompanied by some not insurmountable difficulties obtained, when borings taken at the sites of two dams located on the Twelve Mile creek developed a heavy bed of quicksand underlying both foundations. Since Mr. Weller's report of October 8, 1910, a readjustment of the location of some of the locks was considered, with the object of utilizing a very probable site for a darn, which would have a less head acting oil it and which was located further down the creek. Borings taken at this point developed quicksand quite as extensive as at the original site. As the feasibility of this route depends very much upon the construction of these dams further borings are to be made in an effort of finding or exhausting the means of building them. These borings I expect to have started in a week or ten days. Route No. 2 follows the present canal to Allanburg, thence along the level country west of Thorold to the escarpment, the descent of which would require locks in flight, thence to the old canal at St. Catharines and via it to Port Dalhousie. Some borings have been made at probable lock sites on this route with the result that in some cases rock was found at too great a depth to he used for a foundation, and at other points quicksand was developed. A personal examination of the conformation of the escarpment indicates difficulties in locating the flight of locks. However, it is intended later on to have a line run over this route which, with the information obtained from the borings, will demonstrate whether it is at all feasible.


LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TRANSPORTATION IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   WELLAND CANAL.
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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAGGART (Lanark).

Can the minister say how far from Port Colborne is the entrance to this third route?

Topic:   SUPPLY-TRANSPORTATION IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   WELLAND CANAL.
Permalink
LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

Several miles, I think.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TRANSPORTATION IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   WELLAND CANAL.
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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAGGART (Lanark).

It would not be possible to utilize the entrance there?

Topic:   SUPPLY-TRANSPORTATION IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   WELLAND CANAL.
Permalink
LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

No, that would be one objection, to my mind, to this route. Of course, I am not speaking officially, but personally and without having gone into it in detail on the ground. But the advantages of this route would have to be very great, to my mind, to justify us in giving up the work done at Port Colborne.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TRANSPORTATION IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   WELLAND CANAL.
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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAGGART (Lanark).

I think it is the best route, and the one on which the canal ought to have been built at first.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TRANSPORTATION IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   WELLAND CANAL.
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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAGGART (Lanark).

It would mean the abandonment of an expenditure of nearly $5,000,000.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TRANSPORTATION IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   WELLAND CANAL.
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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR.

Has any investigation been made of the Port Maitland route?

Topic:   SUPPLY-TRANSPORTATION IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   WELLAND CANAL.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

Is that covered by this route No. 3, which commences on Lake Erie, east of Morgan's Point? My hon. friend knows the locality better than I do, and can inform me as to that.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TRANSPORTATION IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   WELLAND CANAL.
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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR.

That is a little west of Port Colborne.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TRANSPORTATION IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   WELLAND CANAL.
Permalink
LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

Yes, a few miles west.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TRANSPORTATION IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   WELLAND CANAL.
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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR.

I may be prejudiced, and so may other people in. my district, but Senator McCallum, who was one of the best authorities on navigation and shipping, always maintained that the Port Maitland route, was the best. I hope the minister will take that into consideration, as he promised he would.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TRANSPORTATION IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   WELLAND CANAL.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

I made a note of it at the time, and called the attention of my engineers to it. Before finality is reached in regard to this matter, we must gather all the best opinions we can. In a former construction of the canal, the matter was regarded as of such importance, I believe, that the government of that day appointed a commission to make investigation.

Now, the objection has been raised that, even if the Welland canal were enlarged, wheat would go through that canal and go to Oswego and he there transferred for New York. Personally, I cannot agree with that opinion. The new Erie canal from Buffalo to New York is to be only 12 feet draught. We now have a canal of 14 feet draught. It is true that a considerable portion of our grain goes through Buffalo, to New York-not so much as it did a few years ago. But, it takes the Buffalo and New York route, not because that is a better water route, for it is not. To my mind, the fact is, that up to the last few years, we have not had the terminal facilities at Montreal and elsewhere to handle the grain coming from the west. And I believe that this parliament is justified in dealing liberally with the harbour commissioners of Montreal, to provide all possible facilities for handling the grain traffic which comes from the great west. With that done, there is no danger, to my mind, that a longer, slower and dearer route can ever compete with the Canadian waterways route.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TRANSPORTATION IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   WELLAND CANAL.
Permalink
LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

There may be advantages sufficiently great in this route to justify us in going to another point than Port Colborne.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TRANSPORTATION IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   WELLAND CANAL.
Permalink
CON

Glenlyon Campbell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAMPBELL.

May I ask, has there ever been, within the knowledge of the minister, any congestion of the wheat traffic at Montreal?

5060"

Topic:   SUPPLY-TRANSPORTATION IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   WELLAND CANAL.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

I am informed that congestion is one of the greatest difficulties. And while, there is a very marked improvement, and while a lot of money is being spent there, yet, that being the outlet for traffic coming through from all Canada west of Montreal, it is in our own interest that we make it as perfect as possible. My hon. friend will agree with me that what did yesterday in the west will not do at all to-day. Conditions are changing. It is a marked fact that in Montreal, which is the gateway to Canada from the east during the season of navigation, the value of property has gone up as rapidly as it has in the city of Winnipeg, or in any western city, and largely due, to my mind, to the enormous growth of western Canada, as well as to the development of other parts of Canada. But what I was trying to point out was that we must not neglect that part of our transportation facilities, and while we are bringing traffic to them, we must be liberal in our expenditure in our own interest, and see that every facility is afforded in order to ship these goods as quickly and as cheaply as possible through the Canadian gateway to the great European market.

Now let me go back to the Welland canal proposition. I have had some correspondence-I am not at liberty to give the names of the gentlemen with whom I am corresponding-but I say to the House that they are in touch absolutely with the grain carrying trade of Canada and of the United States. They know the Oswego situation, perhaps better than any man in the House. I have obtained some information from these gentlemen as to their idea concerning the expressed fear that if we deepened the Welland canal, traffic would go down through that canal and then to New York via Oswego. Personally I have not the faintest fear of that. All these past years it could have gone down in a small canal as opposed to our greater one. But as I am pointing out, by having waterways and a clear open lake and river channel down to within a short distance of Montreal, even if the St. Lawrence canal were never deepened, grain can be carried from Oswego to Montreal as cheaply and more quickly than it can be carried to New York, even by their enlarged canal. So there is no fear on that score. As I have pointed out, if we look after our business properly, the transportation facilities will be to our advantage, because grain can be handled more cheaply in Montreal than it can be in New York city. Now let me tell you something of what I have learned. That canal is limited to a depth of 12 feet, ours is 14 feet now. If ours were enlarged, there is no doubt that we would take the traffic through the Welland canal any way to some point down on the lake at the foot of lake navigation.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TRANSPORTATION IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   WELLAND CANAL.
Permalink
CON
CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR.

Are you speaking now of the new Erie canal?

Topic:   SUPPLY-TRANSPORTATION IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   WELLAND CANAL.
Permalink

March 10, 1911