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John By John By

Plaque: John By

Erection date: 1997


Lieutenant Colonel John By, Royal Engineers, Founder of Ottawa, Capital of Canada.
John By was born near this place and baptised in the church of St. Mary-at-Lambeth, August 10, 1779. After a distinguished career in Canada and in the Peninsular War, he was called out of retirement in 1826 and sent to Canada to build the Rideau Canal waterway. A defence project, the waterway would extend 200 kilometres from the Ottawa River to Lake Ontario. It penetrated uncharted lakes and rivers, virgin forest, rock, and swamp attended by the horrors of introduced malaria. This outstanding engineering feat, which required the construction of 47 stone masonry locks and 23 dams, was opened May 30, 1832. Now a heritage treasure, it remains in use as a recreational waterway.

John By retired to Frant, East Sussex, where he died February 1, 1836.

Erected 1997 by The Historical Society of Ottawa.

2022: The The Historical Society of Ottawa contacted us with "We recently (re)discovered the plaque to Colonel John By featured on your website", and they now feature the plaque on their website.  Glad to help.

Site: John By (1 memorial)

SE1, Albert Embankment

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This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
John By

Information Subjects commemorated

Lieutenant Colonel John By

Founder of Ottawa, the capital of Canada. Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Eng...

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This section lists the subjects who helped to create/erect the memorial on this page:
John By

Information Created by

Historical Society of Ottawa

Formed initially as the Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa, rename...

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