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Memorial Number: 35061-035
Type: Historical bronze plaque
Location: Colonel By Secondary School
Address: 2381 Ogilvie Road K1J 7N4
Ottawa, ON
Surveyor: Richard Turcotte
Photo Credit: Richard Turcotte

This historical plaque is located inside memorial #35061-035 Colonel By Secondary School and is also dedicated to Lieutenant-Colonel John By, Royal Engineers. He is the builder of the Rideau Canal 1826-1832 and founder of Bytown. There are numerous other tributes to Lieutenant-Colonel John By in Ottawa including Memorial #35059-027 "Statue of Lieutenant-colonel By", and #35059-028 "Lieutenant-Colonel By Fountain" and #35061-024 "Colonel By Drive".



Colonel John By (1779 - 1836) was born and educated in
England and first came to Canada in 1802. As a member of the
Royal Engineers, he worked on the first small locks on the St.
Lawrence River as well as the fortifications of Quebec. He
returned to England in 1811 and fought in the peninsular War,
but came back to Canada in 1826 to spend five summers
heading the construction of the Rideau Canal, the 200 km long
waterway which now connects Ottawa and Kingston. This
formidable task included the building of about 50 dams and 47
locks, without the aid of modern equipment. But the amazing
feat was never recognized in Colonel By's own lifetime, and he
died three years after its completion, never imagining that
many thousands o Canadians would greatly admire and value
his achievement in the centuries to come. Colonel By's
attributes of courage, determination, and diligence, inspire us
to emulate him, in the hopes that we too may somehow serve
our country in a way which will benefit future generations.