Colonel By Day

Painting by C.W. Jeffreys depicting Colonel John By on site during construction.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Lieutenant Colonel John By supervised the construction of Ottawa’s Rideau Canal and had a major influence on its design. Canal construction began in 1828 and involved some 6,000 workers at multiple sites along its 202 km route. The full length was navigable by 1832 and today, the Rideau Canal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Colonel By Day takes place on the holiday Monday in August each year, close to the Colonel's birth date of August 7, 1779. Hosted by the Bytown Museum in partnership with Parks Canada, Colonel By Day is an annual celebration of the history of the Rideau Canal and Bytown’s founder, Lieutenant Colonel John By.

The next Colonel By Day takes place on the Civic Holiday Monday, August 6, 2018 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, at the Ottawa Locks located next to the Bytown Museum, rain or shine!

A Memorial Ceremony in honour of the 1,000 or more workers who lost their lives during construction of the Canal will begin at 2:00 pm with a colour party, led by a piper, marching from the Bytown Museum across Lock Number 2 to the Celtic Cross Memorial.

There will be free activities and entertainment throughout the day, as well as free admission to the Bytown Museum until 7:00 pm.

Heritage Ottawa and Friends of the Rideau will be on hand. Drop by and say hello!