Report of John B. Jarvis, Esquire, Civil Engineer.
Table of Contents

Title Page
Table of Contents
Maps Accompanying this Report
Copy of a Report of a Committee of the Honorable the Executive Council, dated 18th October, 1854, approved by His Excellency the Governor General, in Council, on the same day.
Instructions for J. B. Jarvis, Esquire, Civil Engineer, on the subject of a Canal between the River St. Lawrence and Lake Champlain.
STATEMENT shewing the Cost of a Survey for a Canal to connect the River St. Lawrence with Lake Champlain.
Report of Edward H. Tracy, Esquire, Civil Engineer.
Report of John B. Jarvis, Esquire, Civil Engineer.
First.-The Western Trade.
Second.-The competition the Canada Improvement must experience for the Western Trade.
Third. I now proceed to consider the 3rd Section of this Report, namely The Dimensions of Canal and Locks best adapted to the Navigation.
Fourth.-The Lumber and other Canadian Trade.
Fifth.-The question of Tonnage and Revenue.
Sixth.-Description of the several routes for the proposed Canal from the St. Lawrence to Lake Champlain, with Estimates of Cost.
Collecting our data.
Seventh.-The advantage of the several routes proposed, for the trade that is to be accommodated.
Report of Messrs. Maillefert and Raaslof, Civil Engineers, upon the Examination and Survey of the River St. Lawrence, from Prescott to the head of the Lachine Canal, and certain experimental blasting operations made during the summer of 1854.
Table A.

Collecting our data.

The several routes from the St. Lawrence to St. Johns, in length and locks, are as follow:

Length in Miles No. of Locks.
First or Sorel River 46 Canal 12 58.00 9.1Ga.
Second or Longueuil 28.28 6.1Ga.
Third or Caughnawaga, Champlain level 34.4 2.1Ga.
Do Do direct line 25.57 8.
Fourth or Beauharnois 37.44 3.
The length of Canal and River navigation on the several routes from a common starting point at the junction on the Beauharnois route with the Beauharnois Canal, will be as follows, (including the St. Lawrence Canals,) counting Guard Lock at St. Johns as one Lock.

River Navigation in Miles. St. Lawrence Canals in Miles. St. Lawrence and Champlain Canal in Miles. Totals.
Miles of Canal No. of Locks
First or Sorel 110 10.50 12.00 22.50 21
Second or Longueuil 17 10.50 28.28 38.78 18
Third or Caughnawaga, Champlain level 14 2.50 34.46 36.96 9
Do Do direct line 14 2.50 25.57 28.07 14
Fourth or Beauharnois 37.36 37.66 3
One lock is considered rather more than an equivalent to one mile of canal, in the expense or time of navigation. The difference would be greater, if considered in regard to the expense of repairs and maintenance. Taking as a rule that they would be equal, and reducing the length of canals and locks on this basis, the comparison would stand as follows, comparing from the same point on the Beauharnois Canal as above.

River Navigation in Miles. Total Canal in Miles. Total River and Canal in Miles. Total No. of Locks Equivalent in Locks and Canal, in Miles of Canal.
First or Sorel 110 22.50 132.50 21 43.50
Second or Longueuil 17 38.78 55.78 18 56.78
Third or Caughnawaga, Champlain level 14 36.96 50.96 9 45.98
Third or direct line 14 28.07 42.07 14 42.07
Fourth or Beauharnois 37.60 37.66 3 40.66

The last column, it will be observed, is only a comparison of the artificial works, and does not consider the river navigation. It remains to make comparison of the cost of navigation, including river and canal. In the comparisons that have been instituted to show the relative cost between canal and river or lake transportation, one mile of the former has been considered equal to near three miles of the latter, but that included tolls. If tolls be left off it will be something less than two of river to one of canal; assuming for this comparison the ratio of two to one, the cost of navigation would be shown by including river, canal and locks, (exclusive of tolls,) and will be as follows

Total length of River and Canal in Miles. Total equivalent to Miles of Canals.
First or Sorel 132.50 98.50
Second, Longueuil 55.73 68.25
Third, Caughnawaga, Champlain level 50.96 52.96
Do. do. direct line 42.07 49.07
Fourth, Beauharnois 37.66 40.66

If tolls be added on the portion of canal on each route at 5 mills, or half a cent., per ton per mile, it may be represented by adding to the last column in Table 4, 5. of the actual length of canal, which is the proportion of the cost of canal transportation allowed for toll ; the comparison by miles of canal will be as follows:

Toll on Canals in Cents, per Ton. Toll will increase.
Length of Canal in Miles.
Total Canal, representing the last column in the above table and including Tolls.
First, Sorel 11.25 14.05 112.55
Second, Longueuil 19.39 24.20 92.45
Third, Caughnawaga, Champlain level 18.48 23.10 76.06
Third, Caughnawaga, direct line 14.04 17.55 66.62
Fourth, Beauharnois 18.83 23.55 64.21

It appears from Table No. 4 that the cost of transportation, without regard to tolls, will be the cheapest on the Beauharnois Route by nearly one-fifth. And from No. 5, including tolls, it will be near four per cent. cheaper than the most favourable of the other routes, or than the Caughnawaga direct route for the Western trade.

It will have been perceived that the above includes a portion of the canals on the St. Lawrence, that are now in operation, and can form no part in comparisons for cost of construction. I now proceed to state of estimated cost of construction for the projected St. Lawrence and Champlain Canal on the several routes.

Estimated Cost of Construction.
Routes. Dollars. Cts.
First, Sorel 2,016,080
Second, Longueuil 3 473 360
Third, Caughnawaga, Champlain level 3,706,231
Do do direct line 3,287,240
Do do Feeder made navigable 4 207 890
Fourth, Beauharnois 3,369,400

For details of the preceding estimates, I beg leave to refer to the accompanying report of E. H. Tracy, Esquire, who has conducted the surveys. The estimates have been made under my advice, and with much more care than usual in such examinations. They show larger cost of work than has heretofore been estimated. It is known that hasty preliminary estimates for such works are usually insufficient to meet the cost of construction, and as this examination has been more full, ascertaining more completely the items of cost and the value of work to be done, it should be expected to be more accurate, and consequently more reliable. The aggregates have appeared to me large, but after review it has not appeared proper to reduce them. The canal is larger, and it is designed to be well executed, with side walls the whole length, and in every respect suitable for the best accommodation of the navigation. The canal, you will see, is larger and the locks longer than provided for in former estimates. The plan of construction has aimed at stability and permanence, and furnish a work that will require comparatively small annual repairs. I feel confident they will be found a good approximation to the actual cost of constructing the work.

I feel great pleasure in saying that Mr. Tracy has conducted the surveys with energy and skill, which is neither more nor less than I expected; and that the assistants placed under his charge by your Honorable Board have cordially co-operated, discharging their respective duties with a highly commendable assiduity and intelligence.


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This volume was digitized from the collections of the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston