Steamboating on the Upper Ottawa

The first settlement on the Upper Ottawa River was the 25 horsepower "Lady Colborne," built in 1853 for service between Aylmer and Chats Falls. Gradually, other sections of the river were opened to steam navigation and, in 1854, the "Pontiac" was launched to navigate the 40-mile route between Pembroke and Rapides-des-Joachims. The "Pontiac", the first steamboat to ply in waters above Portage-Du-Fort, was operated by the Union Forwarding Company, which contributed to the rapid development of the Upper Ottawa as a lumbering region and tourist attraction. The steamboat gradually gave way to the railroad and, by 1879, the Company (incorporated as The Union Forwarding and Railroad Company in 1859) had abandoned its passenger and freight traffic on the river.


On the grounds of the School House Museum, Highway 17, 4 km north of Point Alexander, Meillures Bay

Region: Eastern Ontario

County/District: County of Renfrew

Municipality: Township of Laurentian Hills