The first half of the 19th Century saw development of canal and lock systems all around the Great Lakes with construction on the Erie Canal beginning in 1817 and being completed 1825.
Others include the Rideau Canal, started 1826- opened 1832, Welland canal 1824- completed 1829
and the Trent Severn waterway, construction started 1832 and completed in 1918!
Unfortunately, just about the time the canal systems were perfected, the railways obsoleted the concept. Today many of the systems remain in operation, mostly used for pleasure boating. Friends of our recently wrote about their experiences traversing the Welland Canal.