Water Channels and Plumes

10 -- Bronson Channel
11 -- O.H.E.C Channel
12 -- Buchanan Channel

From Hurling Down the Pine: "The great mass of the river tumbling over the main casade seemed untameable, at least by private enterprise. The government of the province of Canada stepped in. A diversion dam and flumes were built, to carry some of the water from the falls down past newly laid-out mill sites on 21 year leases. The works were completed by 1853 and the Americans were waiting, ready to start building on the "hydraulic lots". Captain Levi Young, a New Englander, had arrived in 1851. The next year came Captain J.J. Harris amd H.F. Bronson from Painted Post, New York. W.G. Perley and C.B. Pattee arrived soon afterwards." The site was referred to as the New Columbia Falls.

The Bronson Channel (10) feeds the Ottawa Hydro Power Plant #2, (32) which is at its far end, and was also the entrance for the Victoria Island crib slide (27). When the channel is occasionally emptied for repairs in the summer and at the bottom one can see what looks like a wood planked covered corridor dug into the bottom of the channel and leading to the hydro plant. This covered corridor is likely an engineering artifact which improves the water head to the hydro turbines. There is a flat stone covered ramp leading to the slide entrance. After the building of the ring dam, the water level rose up there was a kind of lock built to allow the slide to operate but I can not find any trace of that.

The OHEC Channel (11) feeds the The Ottawa Hydro Power House #4 (33) via a flume covered by a concrete roof. The flume and its cover is visible from the sidewalk. In the middle of this channel, just beside the E.B. Engineering offices, was a quaintly named Coffin Island. The Buchanan Channel (12) used to feed the waterworks of the Booth Groundwood Pulp Mill #1 (03), the brick building just across the street, as well as some earlier mill set up by there by Buchanan maybe decades before the fire.

03 -- Booth Groundwood Pulp Mill #1/Usine de pâte Booth #1 (1900-1904)

The passerby should notice the fancy brickwork on this building above the windows and doors and along the roof only on the side facing Chaudière Street. It was built excessively close to the sidewalk - actually outside of the property limits that Booth leased. It was very much his style to push and tresspass over the limits of his leaseholds where ever it was expedient for him and so it is doubtful that he asked permission to do this.

The most interesting part of this brick building is the de-watered channel beside it on the south. This channel, now obstructed by trees and bushes, used to be filled with water from the Buchanan channel across the road which ran the water wheels which worked the mill. Behind the pulp mill from top of the bulkhead at the end of the channel one can see the various deflectors and chutes with which the water was controlled. A nice view of O.H. Power House #4 is also available from behind it.

30 -- Ottawa Electric Railway Company Hydro Ruins/Ruines hydro (1891)

These interesting and impressive ruins point to a long abandoned concrete, brick and steel structure. The concrete structures are quite monumental in their own way. A large tree grows out through the middle of the ruins seemly emphasizing the transitory essence of human endevours. A once great operational hydro plant is now "abandoned and in complete ruins, overgrown with vegetation; seepage in the retaining walls; ground covered with debris." (Olga Budimiromic - 1982) In front of you is the raised O.H.E.C company covered flume going to O.H. power plant #4.