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 Chambly Canal was built to improve navigation on the Richelieu River, which flows from Lake Champlain north to the St. Lawrence. Opened in 1843, it enabled ships to bypass rapids on the Richelieu and enter Lake Champlain. Just under 12 miles long, the canal consisted of nine locks. It carried shiploads of newsprint headed to New York, and return cargo of coal, raw materials and package freight. The Chambly Canal closed in 1959.