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Colonel By Hall

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Municipality/Province: Ottawa, ON

Memorial Number: 35061-037

Type: Building

Address: 161 Louis Pasteur Private

Location: University of Ottawa

GPS Coordinates: Lat: 45.4201265   Long: -75.6797899

Contributor: Richard Turcotte

Colonel By Hall, in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Ottawa, was named in honour of Lieutenant-Colonel John By, Royal Engineers, who led the construction of the Rideau Canal from 1826 – 1832.

John By was born in Lambeth (London) England in 1779 and graduated from the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich in 1799. He joined the Royal Engineers on December 20 of the same year and in 1802 was posted to Canada for the first time, where he worked on the fortification of Quebec City and on the construction of a canal at Iles aux Cascades.

During the Napoleonic wars he returned to Europe, where he served in Spain under the Duke of Wellington from 1811 until 1815. In 1826, he returned to Canada to supervise the construction of the Rideau Canal. His first task was the construction of a town to house the men who were to work on the canal. The resulting settlement, called Bytown, would later be named Ottawa.

The 200 km canal was completed in 6 years, and was acclaimed as an engineering triumph. However, Colonel By was recalled to London to face accusations that he had made a number of unauthorized expenditures. The charges were spurious and a parliamentary committee exonerated him. He died in 1836 and is buried in the village of Frant in East Sussex, southeast of England.

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Inscription found on memorial

[building sign/signe du bâtiment]

Pavillon Colonel By Hall

[plaque/plaque]

Pavillon Colonel By. 161, Louis-Pasteur. Domicile de la Faculté de génie, le pavillon Colonel By tient son nom du lieutenant-colonel John By, ingénieur du Roi et maître d’œuvre de la construction du canal Rideau, qui fut achevé en 1832. Le canal Rideau, un ouvrage d’ingénierie remarquable pour l’époque, relia une succession de lacs et de rivières pour assurer une voie d’approvisionnement à partir du lac Ontario jusqu’à Bytown, qui devint la ville d’Ottawa il y a 150 ans.

Septembre 2005

Colonel By Hall. 161 Louis Pasteur. Colonel By Hall, home to the Faculty of Engineering, is named in honour of Lieutenant-Colonel John By of the Royal Engineers, who led the construction of the Rideau Canal. Completed in 1832, the Rideau Canal was a remarkable engineering endeavor at the time, connecting a series of lakes and rivers to provide a secure supply route from Lake Ontario to Bytown, which became the City of Ottawa 150 years ago.

September 2005

Université d’Ottawa – University of Ottawa

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