Like arteries of the human body, Canada's canals have carried the lifeblood of our nation. They were built on and around the inland waterways along which our forefathers travelled - European explorers, fur traders, settlers, immigrants - and along which villages were built and communities were formed. Though used primarily for recreation today, Canada's canals were originally constructed as artificial watercourses for inland navigation - built as improvements to the natural waterways for embanking, straightening, dredging or overcoming levelling differences. This stamp set features six of Canada's canals, a waterway and a lock.
The Canals stamp set is an exquisite collection of scenic-scapes that blends illustrations of historic canals with images of modern recreational use. The series consists of a pane of 10 stamps, with the Rideau Canal and the Trent-Severn Waterway featured twice. On the selvedge, a summary relief map displays the locations of all six canals and the bodies of water they connect.
The St. Ours Canal opened in 1849, six years after the Chambly Canal. A lock and dam were built above the mouth of the Richelieu to retain the waters of the river and maintain a 2.13 metre depth between St. Ours and the lower entrance to the Chambly Canal.