The Murray Canal’s history is one of fierce lobbying, immense pressure and a lucky election victory

Murray Canal

The Murray Canal is a recreational boaters’ route from Presqu’ile Bay to the Bay of Quinte. When it was built in the late 19th century, it was a major commercial waterway that local businesspeople and politicians fought long and hard to create. Photo by Sean Scally.

The show:

The full show with bonus material:

Just outside of Brighton, along County Road 64, is the beautiful Murray Canal. Today, it is a recreational waterway that takes boaters from Presqu’ile Bay to the Bay of Quinte. Most people use it to get to the Trent-Severn Waterway or to Kingston by boat.

However, in the 19th century, businesspeople, residents, and politicians saw it as a vital route for commerce, national security, and safety.

While the Welland and Rideau canals were built in the mid-1800s, the Murray Canal was consistently delayed. Lobbying efforts by local businesspeople and politicians and a fateful re-election campaign won by Sir John A. Macdonald finally moved the project forward.

A new book by local historian Dan Buchanan tells this amazing story. If you are curious about local history, have a listen.

Originally aired: March 8, 2024

Comments are closed.