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 Trent Canal system links Lake Ontario with Lake Huron. This 400-kilometre course includes over 50 kilometres of man-made channels, 44 locks, a marine railway and scores of buildings and dams. Two of the locks, at Peterborough and Kirkfield, are hydraulic-lift locks - unique in North America. The marine railway features a rail car which carries boats over the Big Chute Falls on the Severn River. The Trent-Severn Waterway is still used today for lumbering, steam-boating, power generation, and recreation.