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The History of the Canadian Hydrographic Service

The history of the Canadian Hydrographic Service is divided in two parts - a General Section which follows this introduction and a history of the Headquarters and Regions which can be accessed by clicking on the following links.



Note:  While the name Canadian Hydrographic Service is used in this heading, it should be noted that there have been three other name attached to the organization.  To avoid any confusion the following information has been taken from The Chartmakers, p. 68 (footnote).

"From the time of Boulton's Georgian Bay Survey in 1883 there has been, in fact, a Canadian hydrographic service.  The 1904 Order-in-Council broadened the service's responsibilities, but not its basic function, and changed its name to Hydrographic Survey of Canada.  Unofficially the new name was generally corrupted to "Canadian Hydrographic Survey" and it was not until 1928 that the present name, Canadian Hydrographic Service, was officially adopted.  Despite the name changes the purpose and function of the organization has remained constant."

From inception, the Canadian Hydrographic Service has resided in the following Departments:

1883 - 1910  Department Marine and Fisheries
1910 - 1922  branch of Naval Services
1922 - 1930  Department Marine and Fisheries
1930 - 1936  Department of Marine
1936          five months Department of Transport
1936 - 1949  Department of Mines and Resources
1949 - 1966  Department of Mines and Technical Surveys
1966 - 1971  Department of Energy Mines and Resources - Marine Sciences Branch
1971 - 1976  Department of the Environment - Fisheries and Marine Service
1976 - 1979  Department of Fisheries and the Environment - Fisheries and Marine Service
1979 -            Department of Fisheries and Oceans

A brief chronology of the evolution of the Canadian Hydrographic Service (1966)

1867    BNA Act of 1867 vested in the Minister of Marine and Fisheries all matters of national interest pertaining to navigation and shipping.

1883    The Georgian Bay Survey was formed under the Department of Marine and Fisheries to re-chart the Great Lakes.

1892    All the work of Tidal observations and Hydrographic surveys of the coasts of Canada was assigned to the Department of Marine and Fisheries.

1904    The Hydrographic Survey Units in the Department of Public Works, and the Department of Railways and Canals were amalgamated with the Georgian Bay Survey to become the Hydrographic Survey of Canada in the Department of  Marine and Fisheries.

1910    The Hydrographic Survey of Canada was transferred to the Department of Naval Service.

1922    The Hydrographic Survey of Canada was transferred back to the Department of Marine and Fisheries.

1927    The title was changed to the Canadian Hydrographic Service.

1930    The Canadian Hydrographic Service remained in the Department of Marine when Marine and Fisheries became  two separate portfolios.

1935    The Canadian Hydrographic Service served under the Department of Transport.

1936    The Canadian Hydrographic Service served under the Department of Interior before being transferred to the  Department of Mines and Resources.

1948    The first Dominion Hydrographer was appointed.

1949    The Department of Mines and Resources became the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys.

1962    The Canadian Hydrographic Service became a division of the new Marine Sciences Branch. 


Following the Canada-American War (1812-1814) wooden-hulled, paddle-wheel steamers began appearing on the Great Lakes, and with it a gradual transition from sail to steam navigation. In the ensuing years as these lakes developed so did the numbers, sizes, and models of these early steamers. About 1838 some of them were propeller-driven, and by the early 1870's to cope with the heavy lake traffic larger, deeper-draft, iron-hulled carriers were in service on the Upper Lakes, including Georgian Bay - at that time the hub of Canadian Great Lakes Shipping.

Unlike early sailing ships, these steamers were capable of closer inshore navigation. However, for the want of more detailed coast charts many of them over the years became marine casualties, often with the loss of lives. By 1841, the United States Government had become cognizant of this exigency, and authorized its Lakes Survey to begin the resurveying of its coastal waters, west from Buffalo, New York - at that time the Gateway to the Atlantic Ocean via the Erie Canal. When this survey ended in 1882 some 76 general coast and harbour charts of American Waters had been compiled to the 3-fathom (18 feet) contour line, sufficient to accommodate ships drawing 12 feet of water. In addition to this, canals had been built at Sault Ste. Marie: one in 1855, with 12 feet on its sills; the other (WEITZEL) in 1881, with 15 feet of water on its sills. Through these two Gateways passed many Canadian colonists enroute to the Western Prairie Provinces. Others preferring to remain in Lake Superior, found employment with the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the rapidly developing agriculture, mining, lumbering and fishing industries.

During these years Sailing Masters navigating Canadian Waters from Georgian Bay to Lake Superior were still dependent on two outmoded editions of 'Bayfield charts', published in the late 1820s, and with few corrections added to them since. These charts although surveyed in the early days of steam navigation by Lieutenant Bayfield, lacked many essential coastal details for safe inshore navigation. This was expressly so for the east and north coasts of Georgian Bay, the North Channel, and Lake Superior. Consequently, as the size and numbers of steamers increased so did the annual toll of marine casualties. One particular instance was the loss of the ore-carrier S.S. CUMBERLAND in Lake Superior during September 1877. Despite this and previous requests for better navigation charts for Canadian Waters, no positive action was taken until the freight and passenger S.S. ASIA foundered in Georgian Bay during a heavy gale on September 14th, 1882 with only two survivors. This marine catastrophe, the greatest on the Great Lakes to this time, not only created a public agitation in the press but also increased political pressure on the Dominion government for new surveys. Following official investigations and enquiries, it was finally decided to heed these applications and by this decision the present Canadian Hydrographic Service had its commencement.

Unable to secure the services of a qualified hydrographic surveyor in Canada, the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Honourable Mr. A.W. McLelan) on December 16th 1882 wrote the Canadian High Commissioner in London (Sir A.T. Galt), asking him to confer with the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty in this regard. Subsequent to correspondence between Ottawa, the Canadian High Commissioner, the Admiralty and Colonial Offices in London, in February 1883 the Hydrographer of the Navy (Sir F. Evans) instructed Staff Commander W.F. Maxwell, R.N. of the Newfoundland Survey, to proceed from Charlottetown to Ottawa and there confer with the Minister of Marine and Fisheries about the conduct of the survey to be undertaken in Lakes Superior and Huron. This duty Staff Commander Maxwell completed by May 6th and in this connection the first Hydrographic expenditure was incurred and paid out of the $5,000 voted by Parliament for 'Surveys of Lakes Superior and Huron' ... "W.F. Maxwell, ... Travelling expenses, inspection ... $77.81" [M&F Report, 1883]. When his report and recommendations were forwarded to the Hydrographer, Staff Commander Maxwell then left his winter base at Charlottetown in H.M. Surveying Ship GULNARE for Newfoundland.

On July 28th, Admiralty Surveyor Staff Commander John George Boulton, R.N. was advised of his appointment by the Canadian High Commissioner's Office, and on August 2nd he sailed from England for Canada - on loan from the Admiralty to undertake these surveys, and to instruct his assistants on the Canadian Surveying ship BAYFIELD in the standard practice and techniques of Admiralty surveying. Here are Staff Commander Boulton's own account of some of the major events that led to the commencement of the 'Georgian Bay Survey’, quote: "Owing to the number of vessels lost every autumn in Georgian Bay, culminating with the loss of the 'Asia' with some 150 lives, coupled with the prospect of a rapidly increase trade from the south-east parts of Georgian Bay to the westward in connection with the railway systems, it was decided by the Dominion government to have the waters of Georgian Bay and the North Channel of Lake Huron, as far as Sault Ste. Marie surveyed, and a request was made to the British Government for a suitable officer to undertake the work. I had the honour of being selected by the Admiralty for this survey and arrived at Ottawa on the 13th and Georgian Bay two days later." [M&F Report, 1889].

In its formative years, under the command of Staff Commander Boulton, the Hydrographic Service was known as the 'Georgian Bay Survey', and during this period its activities were reported by Commander Boulton directly to the Minister of Marine and Fisheries. By an Act of Parliament in April 1892, all technical work in the Marine and Fisheries Department was placed under the Chief Engineer, Mr. Wm. P. Anderson, who reported the activities of this branch direct to the Deputy Minister, Mr. Wm. Smith. Included in this work were Tidal Observations on the Coasts and Hydrographic Surveys.

His work in Canada now ended, in April 1893 Staff Commander Boulton relinquished the command of the Georgian Bay Survey to his First Assistant since 1894, Mr. Wm.J. Stewart and returned to the Admiralty Office in London. From then until 1904, all hydrographic work in the Marine and Fisheries Department, including his own special surveys [were] under the direct supervision of Mr. Wm. Anderson.

When the survey of Georgian Bay and the North Channel ended in 1894, the Dominion Government decided to complete the recharting of the remaining Canadian Waters in the Great Lakes. From then until 1904, this surveying was more familiarly known as the 'Great Lakes Survey'.

In March 1904, hydrographic units in the Department of Public Works and Railways and Canals, were transferred to the Department of Marine and Fisheries, and then the amalgamated with its 'Great Lakes Survey' to become the Hydrographic Survey of Canada, or the Canadian Hydrographic Survey. This was the nucleus of the present Canadian Hydrographic Service, and the present regional Hydrographic offices in the Marine Sciences Branch. In June 1904, the British Admiralty, by circular letter, requested all the self-governing colonies to assume responsibility for their own coast surveys. To head the recently established Hydrographic Survey, and in compliance with the Admiralty's request, early in August 1904 Mr. Wm. J. Stewart, in charge of the 'Georgian Bay ' and 'Great Lakes' Surveys since 1893, was appointed Canada's first Chief Hydrographic Surveyor, or as he preferred to be called, 'Chief Hydrographer'. The actual growth, development and expansion of the Hydrographic Survey to its present proportions date from the year 1904 onwards.

In 1912, the Hydrographic Survey assumed responsibility for all automatic water-gauges of the Public Works on the Great Lakes and the River St. Lawrence, and this unit became known as the Automatic Gauges Section. In 1924, the Tidal and Current Survey Division in the Department of Marine and Fisheries was duly transferred to the Hydrographic Survey. Following a reorganization in Marine and Fisheries in the fiscal year 1927-28 the Canadian Hydrographic Survey was renamed the 'Canadian Hydrographic Service'; and its Automatic Gauges Section, the Precise Water Levels Division. At that time no change was made to the title of the Tidal and Current Survey Division. This was not to come until 1956 when both these Divisions were amalgamated and renamed Tides, Currents and Water Levels.

Since its inception in 1883, the Hydrographic Service has passed through four periods of national and international stress that did much to retard its early growth and development. These periods were the years of the South African War (1899-1902), when Canada sent its first troops overseas; the First World War (1914-18); the economic depression of the 1930s; and the Second World War (1939-45). Over the years, the Service has served in numerous Departments of the Government, two of which were in the same one on different occasions (Marine and Fisheries). It has also had to date ?? heads or chiefs to supervise its various field and office functions. To better serve the public prior to 1961, two regional offices were established on the seacoasts: the first at Victoria, B.C. on the Pacific Coast in 1907, and the second at Halifax, N.S. on the Atlantic Coast in 1959. A few months prior to the opening of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in October 1962, the Halifax office was moved to this Institute in Dartmouth where it is now permanently located. On April 1st, 1962, the Hydrographic Service became a Division of the newly created Marine Sciences Branch in the Department of Mines and Resources, under the direction of Dr. W.M. Cameron. When Mines and Technical Surveys became the present Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, in October 1966, the Hydrographic Service had reached its ninth milestone in its history of Government Service.

As already stated, the first Canadian hydrographic survey was for the inland waters of the Great Lakes in 1883. The first 'salt-water' survey on the sea-coasts was in Burrard Inlet, B.C. in 1891. Since then other regions of Canadian Waters to undergo their first charting by Canadian hydrographers have been as follows: Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1901; the River St. Lawrence above Quebec, 1904; the River St. Lawrence below Quebec, 1905; the maritime Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, 1908; Hudson Bay and Strait including adjacent islands of the District of Franklin, N.W.T., 1910; Prince Edward Island, 1910, 1920; James Bay including adjacent islands of the District of Keewatin, N.W.T., 1912; Coast of Labrador, 1921; Great Slave Lake, District of MacKenzie, N.W.T., 1928; MacKenzie River Delta 1930, 1933; Newfoundland 1939; Yukon River, Yukon Territory, N.W.T. 1950; Parry Channel and Jones Sound, N.W.T. (eastern Arctic) 1951; The Beaufort Sea and Prince of Wales Strait (Western Arctic) 1954; the Arctic Ocean, Queen Elizabeth Islands, N.W.T., 1959.

The first Canadian publication from Canadian resurveys was Chapter One of the 'Georgian Bay and North Channel Pilot' written by Commander Boulton, and issued to the public by the Department of Marine and Fisheries before navigation opened on the Great Lakes in 1885. The first chart from Canadian resurveys was for the Entrance of Georgian Bay, and published by the Admiralty in the spring of 1886. In 1892, the first Canadian volume of Sailing Directions were written for Georgian Bay and the North Channel, and placed in the hands of chart agents. Eleven years later, in February 1902, the first Canadian chart from Canadian Surveys was printed by the Department of Marine and Fisheries for the southern portion of Lake Winnipeg, from Red River to Berens River. Since then the Hydrographic Service has published from Canadian surveys approximately 1000 standard navigation charts, 14 volumes of sailing directions and pilots, together with miscellany of water-level bulletins, tidal and current tables and reports, etc. - all primary aids to navigation, and scientific research for Canadian Waters.

These are a few of the many significant highlights in the history of the Canadian Hydrographic Service that made it an interesting nautical story, and did much to assist Canada becoming the fifth largest trading nation of the world in 1966. To tell this story in a more detailed form to the end of the Second World War, it has been documented chronologically under five major periods in its charting history.

 I         The 'Georgian Bay' and 'Great Lakes' Survey, 1883-1903.

 II        The Hydrographic Survey of Canada from its Formation to the First World War, 1904-1914.

 III        The Hydrographic Survey of Canada to the Commencement of the Canadian Hydrographic      Service,1915-1927.

IV         1928 to the commencement of the Second World War, 1939.

 V        The Second World War to the Appointment of R.J.Fraser as Dominion Hydrographer, 1940-1947.


The story begins with a brief biographical sketch of Staff Commander J.G. Boulton, R.N., and continues with his arrival in Collingwood, Ontario August 15th, 1883 to commence the first Canadian charting survey.


CANADA'S FIRST HYDROGRAPHIC SURVEYOR - JOHN GEORGE BOULTON  was in his 41st year, and had served in the Royal Navy some 26 years before coming to Canada in 1883 to commence the resurvey of Georgian Bay. Born in England November 29th, 1842, he was in the Royal Navy before his fifteenth birthday. In December 1857, he was a 'Master Assistant' to Capt. H.C. Otter, R.N., HMS PORCUPINE, Survey of the West Coast of Scotland; and in 1858 Capt. Otter was sent to Newfoundland where he took part in survey operations in connection with the laying of the first Atlantic cable in Bull's Arm, Trinity Bay.

When the Australian Colonial Survey was formed in 1860, it was placed under Commander H.L. Cox, R.N., HM Steam Frigate CURACOA, with headquarters at Victoria. Master Assistant Boulton was then posted to this station where he remained until 1867. On December 6th, 1863 he was successful in "Passing in Seamanship' and was then reappointed 'Second Master' HMS ECLIPSE on this station. Before the month of December ended, he held this rank in HMS CURACOA, with this proviso, "additional for Surveying Duties". During the Maori War in the Pacific Ocean, Second Master Boulton was detached from the Australian Survey for special work in New England. When the Admiralty oceanographic vessel HMS CHALLENGER was in Australia during her world cruise Second Master Boulton had the honour of being enlisted as one of her officers, from October 1st, 1866 to June 1867, and as usual "additional for Surveying Duties".

Just prior to Canada's Confederation, on June 3rd, 1867 Second Master Boulton was posted to the South African Station at the Cape of Good Hope, and was re-appointed 'Navigating Sub-Lieutenant', HMS SERINGAPATAM (Receiving Ship at this station). Note: In 1867 the ranks of Master and Second Master were abolished, and renamed Navigating Lieutenant and Navigating Sub-Lieutenant. His appointment to SERINGAPATAM was labelled 'for Surveying Service', and he was paid as a Second Class Assistant from December 9th, 1867. On January 1st, 1870, Navigating Sub-Lieutenant Boulton was advanced to the grade of Assistant Surveyor First Class. Then on account of illness contracted on the South African Survey, he sought permission to return to England, and this was approved by the Admiralty July 12, 1871.

The next tour of duty by this Admiralty Surveyor was in what was now known as Canadian Waters. On April 10th, 1872, his name appears among the list of officers of HMS ROYAL ALFRED, the Flagship of North American and West Indies Squadron, and as usual 'additional for Surveying Service'. He was then posted to HMS Newfoundland Survey, at that time in charge of Navigating Lieutenant Wm. F. Maxwell, R.N., in the hired steamer GULNARE, and with headquarters at 'Charlotte Town', P.E.I. Here Boulton was to remain until 1881. In the ensuing years besides charting the seacoasts of Newfoundland and Labrador, he assisted with the recharting of Port Hood Harbour, N.S. in 1873; and Beaujeu Bank and Channel, in the River St. Lawrence below Quebec, in 1874. In 1875, Navigating Lieutenant Maxwell was promoted to the rank of Staff Commander, R.N. (Staff Captain 1893). It was not, however, until June 7th, 1879 that Lieutenant Boulton attained this rank, and still attached to HMS Newfoundland Survey under Staff Commander Maxwell.

In March 1880, the Newfoundland Government requested the Admiralty's assistance for the fisheries investigation along the coast of Labrador, and Staff Commander Boulton was detached from the Newfoundland Survey and sent north to report "on the feasibility of surveying the coast from Nain to Chidley." As instructed, he embarked from Rigolet in Hamilton Inlet early in August on the Hudson's Bay northern supply steam-vessel, and made a return voyage to Fort Chimo in Ungava Bay. Davis Inlet was visited twice, and Nachvak Bay once. Many prominent headlands and uncharted islands along this coast, including Cape 'Chudleigh' (Chidley), were positioned. Plans for several small harbours and fishing anchorages were made, and the coast pilots amended. In a letter to Staff Commander Maxwell dated April 26th, 1881, the Hydrographer stated, "the labours of Staff Commander Boulton on the coast of Labrador in 1880 are being embodied in charts and a hydrographic notice, and I hope these will be ready before the fishery season on that coast next season". Upon receipt of instructions from the Hydrographer, Staff Commander Boulton and his family returned to England July 28th, 1881, so that he might take his examination in pilotage for first class ships.

Following this examination and a brief period of leave, Staff Commander Boulton was posted to the Survey of the West Coast of England in the hired vessel KNIGHT ERRANT. Not too happy with this assignment, he petitioned the Admiralty on October 24th, 1881 to be returned to North America and sent to Hudson Bay the following year in the Hudson's Bay steamer. To this request he was informed, "nothing can be said decisively, but your wishes for employment in this direction will certainly be kept in view". Again, on June 7th, 1882 Boulton requested he be appointed a 'naval assistant' to the Hydrographer, but not having passed his pilotage examination sooner, the Hydrographer wrote him as follows on October 3rd, 1882, "without therefore intending to imply the slightest disparagement to your long service as an Assistant Surveyor - I am constrained to appoint an officer who has this service in having had charge of a Ship of War on active foreign service".

Probably aware of the Dominion Government's request of the Admiralty for a surveyor to undertake the recharting of Georgian Bay, Staff Commander [Boulton] offered his service if such a Canadian survey should be undertaken. Then on July 11th, 1883 he was recommended by the Admiralty to the Dominion Government to commence the Georgian Bay Survey, with full pay and allowances as in the Royal Navy. He then left England early in August and arrived in Ottawa the 13th, where he reported to the Deputy Minister of Marine and Fisheries, Mr. Wm. Smith. Then having discussed with Departmental officials the conduct of this resurvey, he left the Capital and arrived at Collingwood August 15th. On April 12th, 1893 Staff Commander Boulton severed his connections with the Department of Marine and Fisheries, but to April 24th, his name was still being carried on Flagships of the North American and West Indies Squadron, and as usual 'for additional surveying service'. The names of these Flagships while he was in Canada were HMS NORTHAMPTON August 2nd, 1883 to March 1st, 1886; HMS BELLEROPHON March 2nd, 1886 to March 23rd, 1892; and HMS BLAKE March 24th, 1892 to April 24th, 1893.

Upon his return to the Admiralty Hydrographical Office, Staff Commander Boulton served as a 'Naval Assistant to the Hydrographer' from April 25th, 1893 to February 11th, 1898. On December 28th, 1896, he was promoted to the rank of Staff Captain, and at his own request he retired from active duty February 12th, 1898. He continued, however, with his work for an additional six months, and on August 8th, 1989 left the Royal Navy with the rank of Captain, R.N. (Retired).

Following his retirement, Captain Boulton returned to Canada and took up residence in Quebec City. Here he resided until January 1909 when at the request of his former First Assistant (Mr. Wm.J. Stewart, now Chief Hydrographer), he returned to Ottawa to write the first Canadian volume of sailing directions for the River St. Lawrence from Quebec to Kingston. This work was written from surveys by the Public Works Department 1896-1904, and the Hydrographic Survey 1904-1906. In January 1914 he again returned to Ottawa to rewrite a new volume of his original sailing directions for Georgian Bay and the North Channel, together with description for the Canadian Shores of Lake Huron. This was to be Captain Boulton's last official connection with the Canadian Hydrographic Survey (Hydrographic Service 1928), and on May 24th 1929 he died at Quebec City in his 87th year.

In 1884 when in charge of the Georgian Bay Survey, the Dominion Government decided to send its first expedition to Hudson Bay. A committee of the House of Commons sought his advice and recommendations on this matter, and it was to his credit that most of his proposals were adopted by the Government in detail. His suggestion that "there should be six or seven small parties taken out in the vessel, to be landed in the Straits, left all winter and picked up in the spring..." was a major adoption. In later years, Dominion Hydrographer Mr. R.J. Fraser wrote "it is notable that the Canadian Hydrographic Service's expeditions and exploratory surveys, 1910 to 1914, and others after the war along the lines of Boulton's recommendations, and Gordon's 'Neptune' expedition."

A writer of numerous technical and historical articles, Staff Commander Boulton also prepared two papers in the early 1890s which he read before the Annual Meeting of the Dominion Land Surveyors Association (see Canadian Surveyor): one of which was on the 'British Government Surveys', and the other 'Water Levels in the Great Lakes'. But of all his writings none was of more personal concern to him than the paper he read before the Historical Society of Quebec Sessions 1909-1910 on the 'Life of Admiral Henry Wolsey Bayfield, R.N., F.R.S.". When with Staff Commander Maxwell on the Newfoundland survey, he was stationed during the winter months at Charlottetown, P.E.I., and whilst here he got to know 'the Admiral' quite well before his death in 1885. In their frequent conversations, Captain Boulton probably learned from Admiral Bayfield many first-hand accounts of hydrography about the waters of the Great Lakes - years prior to his own appointment as Canada's first hydrographic surveyor for these inland waters.

Preliminary Investigations and Surveys in Georgian Bay, 1883

When in Ottawa Commander Boulton was instructed to adopt Admiral Bayfield's shorelines in his charts, and to confine his surveys to the main steamer routes between Owen Sound in Georgian Bay, and Sault Ste. Marie in the North Channels. After serious consideration of using Bayfield's shorelines Commander Boulton strongly urged the Dominion Government to undertake new surveys of the coasts, to which it reluctantly 'acceded to'. Upon his arrival at Collingwood August 15th, a week or so was spent in making numerous enquiries of sailing masters, pilots, and shipping authorities concerning unreported shoals, rocks and reefs, and the amount of lake traffic in these waters. This Commander Boulton later wrote, "to guide myself in selecting the area to commence the Georgian Bay Survey, taking in all factors from the viewpoints of general navigation, shelter from autumnal westerly winds, and the United States Geodetic Survey position of Cove Island Lighthouse in the entrance of the Bay. It was therefore decided, to commence the survey on that portion of the bay which includes the entrance from Lake Huron and the North Channel".

With a few hired hands, he then left Collingwood for Killarney, Ontario (in the southern entrance of the North Channel), and whilst here awaiting the arrival of Departmental vessel a baseline was laid for a triangulation network - the first actual survey in the Hydrographic Service. Then with the aid of a few daily hired fishing-tugs, this network was extended some distance southwestwards towards Cove Island Lighthouse. This central baseline at Killarney also served as a control for extending the Georgian Bay survey into the North Channels a few years later.

With no Department steamer in sight by the end of August, and the season well advanced, Commander Boulton took it upon himself to charter from Noble Brothers of Killarney, for a period of 45 days at $30 per day rental, the recently built fishing tug ANN LONG - the first vessel to be used by the Service for hydrographic work. The ANN LONG  was not a large vessel being only 45 tons gross (30 tons net) with dimensions of 72 feet in length, 16 feet in width, and drew about 6 feet of water. Her Registry Number in the Shipping Register was 78026, and she is listed as being a motor-screw vessel, built in Collingwood, Ontario in 1882. Of this vessel Commander Boulton later wrote, "with sacrifice to his comfort, he was able to do as much work as with a larger and a more expensive vessel".

When the navigation season of 1883 ended the following dangers had been accurately positioned in Georgian Bay: Dawson, Bernard, and Pulkey Rocks, and Bear's Rump. Harbours investigated were Tobermory (Collin's), Club Island, Squaw Island, Rattlesnake and Killarney. Shoreline examined included Wall Island. Wekemikong Bay, and Cape Smith to Little Current on Manitoulin Island in the North Channel.

On October 31st, Commander Boulton returned to Ottawa where he took up his first winter-quarters in the offices of the Marine and Fisheries on Parliament Hill (West Block). Here he began the writing of the first chapter of 'The Georgian Bay and North Channel Pilot'; prepared field sheets and layouts for future surveys; submitted specifications to the government for a Department survey steamer, and recommended the appointment of an assistant surveyor. To commence the 'Surveys of Lakes Superior and Huron' the munificent sum of $5,000 was requested in the House of Commons (Debates, May 7th, 1883), but to the end of the fiscal year June 30th, 1884 this expenditure was increased to $6,000, with a large portion of it being spent on the purchase of new survey instruments.

Charting Georgian Bay 1884 - The Commencement of Actual Hydrographic Surveying

Early in the spring of 1884, the Dominion Government purchased for the sum of $15,000 its first hydrographic steamer, from Wm.J. Murray of St. Catharine's, Ontario - the former American built tug EDSALL. An amount of $4,000 was then spent on remodelling and refitting the EDSALL for survey work, and when this was finished, by Order-in-Council dated May 17th, 1884 her name was changed to BAYFIELD - in commemoration of the Admiral by this name who contributed so much to Canada's early hydrography in the Great Lakes and River St. Lawrence from 1815 to 1856. On March 22nd, Mr. William James Stewart, Lieutenant Canadian Militia, a First Graduate and Gold Medallist of the Royal Military College in Kingston, was appointed First Assistant to Commander Boulton, with a salary of $550 per annum. First ship officers appointed to the BAYFIELD were Captain Alexander M. McGregor, Sailing Master and Pilot; and Mr. Charles Linter, Chief Engineer. Captain McGregor was an experienced Sailing Master on the Lakes, and was one of the first to sight wreckage of the ill-fated steamer ASIA off the Limestone Islands in Georgian Bay. He is also believed to have lost a son in this tragic disaster, and spent considerable time in searching Georgian Bay for survivors. Such an experienced Captain was a most valuable asset to Commander Boulton this season. The BAYFIELD's ship company comprised 'thirteen working hands', and when survey and ship officers were added the total complement was about 17 personnel. At the end of his first full season, Commander Boulton was able to write, "in the whole five months not the slightest suspicion of insobriety or disobedience occurred." - and this in the days of the lumber shanties, and demon rum.

Surveys. On April 25th, Commander Boulton left Ottawa with his new acquired survey instruments from England, and first stopped at St. Catharine's in Lake Ontario to supervise the necessary alterations of the BAYFIELD. He later wrote, "in order to get on my ground at as early a date as possible (the spring being now well advanced), exceptional means had to be adopted in the fitting out of H.M. Dominion Surveying steamer "Bayfield"." En route to Georgian Bay, posts were established at Port Dalhousie, to enable masters of vessels to adjust their ship compasses - the earliest account of hydrographic work in Lake Ontario.

On May 26th, the BAYFIELD reached the entrance of Georgian Bay from Lake Huron, where with the aid of a "boat's crew" actual survey work was conducted in close detail to a scale of one nautical mile to the inch. The general limits of the first area charted was "bounded in the west by and including the southeast coast of Manitoulin Island, and on the east by the meridian running through Cabot's Head, as far north as the parallel of Cape Smith." Several channels between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay were well-surveyed, and plans made on a larger scale for Tobermory and Club Harbours. In his first annual report on the season's activities in Georgian Bay, Commander Boulton wrote, "the peculiarly irregular character of the bottom necessitated very close sounding, the number of miles being 4,120, and square mile 790. The number of miles of coastline charted was 150". On October 28th, the BAYFIELD reached Owen Sound for her first wintering for hydrographic ships in the Great Lakes, because in the early years of the Survey it was "the nearest harbour containing a dry-dock and other facilities for docking". In his annual report for 1884, Commander Boulton remarked "in these waters a steam launch would be of service", but no such mode of conveyance was used in the Hydrographic Service until about the year 1907 when the survey of the River St. Lawrence above Montreal was fast coming to a close.

OCEANOGRAPHY 1884. During the course of his survey duties Commander Boulton frequently found time to make oceanographical observations by the Hydrographic Service in Georgian Bay (M&F, 1886) and reported "specimens of the bottom were brought up in 1884, containing some very interesting diatoms of siliceous casts of minute plants". These specimens and other observed data such as air and sea temperatures were sent to the Acting Director of the Geological Survey for study and analysis.

In the winter 1884-85, the time of Commander Boulton and his First Assistant Mr. Stewart was fully occupied in preparing for the engraver in London (under the auspices of the Hydrographer of the Admiralty) the first coast chart from resurveys to this time. For the fiscal year ending June 30th, 1885, the munificent sum of $27,000 had been voted for the Georgian Bay Survey, and this amount $26,745.54 was spent of the first full season of actual hydrographic charting, including the purchase of the steamer BAYFIELD.

First Publication from Canadian Resurveys, and Charting the North Channel 1885

Before the 1885 season of navigation opened on the Great Lakes, Chapter One of 'The Georgian Bay and North Channel Pilot' was written by Commander Boulton, and published by the Department of Marine and Fisheries in Ottawa. This was the first official publication from Canadian resurveys, and it was issued to sailing masters on the Lakes, free of charge. On May 1st before leaving Owen Sound a Second Assistant was appointed to Commander Boulton's field staff - Mr. D.C. Campbell, also a graduate from Royal Military College in Kingston. (Note: Three hydrographic officers were to be regular field staff of the Hydrographic Service until 1904). With a second assistant, Commander Boulton could now detach Mr. Stewart and his 'boat's crew' for inshore surveying and sounding - the first shore-party in the Hydrographic Service.

Field work in 1885 was centred in the northwest area of Georgian Bay, to complete the unfinished work in that region. When this was completed, the survey was then extended westwards into the North Channel as far as Clapperton Island - the first actual recharting in the North Channel by the Hydrographic Service. As to this work Commander Boulton wrote "the principle I have adopted is to confine myself to the present trade route, not feeling justified in putting the country to the expense of surveying water which, at present, a vessel has no inducement to pass. Should minerals be discovered, or other industries spring up, it will be an easy matter to extend the survey over the particular locality, and with the contingency in view, the centres of the main triangulation stations have been marked by broad arrows into the rocks or iron bars driven into the soil". This was the first reference to survey markers by Commander Boulton in any of his annual reports to this time.

On October 31st, the BAYFIELD returned to Owen Sound. Much of the season's success was attributed by Commander Boulton to the Chief Engineer, Mr. Charles Linter, who "has paid the same unremitting attention to his engines, and deserved great credit for the comparatively small consumption of coal (200 tons), considering that there was scarcely a day on which the steamer was not under weigh". (Note: In March 1886 Mr. Linter died suddenly, and he was replaced by Mr. John Nisbet, who remained Chief Engineer of the BAYFIELD, and her replacement, until the resurvey of the Great Lakes ended in 1920).

This fall the BAYFIELD was visited by the Deputy Minister of Marine, Mr. Wm. Smith, and during his visit Commander Boulton took the opportunity to point out to him certain essential repairs that were necessary if the recharting of the exposed north coasts of Georgian Bay were to be undertaken. Also alterations were needed to give a cabin to the Second Assistant, and to make the ship generally more comfortable.

First Chart from Canadian Resurveys, and Remodelling the steamer BAYFIELD 1886

Early in the spring of 1886, the BAYFIELD was 'housed-in'   to give her more free board and additional accommodation. A portion of her hull was also removed, and when remodelled the outlay amounted to $5,117.36. She could now accommodate two 'boat's crews', and total ship complement of about 23 personnel.

Before the opening of navigation Chapter Two of 'The Georgian Bay and North Channel Pilot' was in the hands of chart agents on the Great Lakes  . What was more significant, sailing masters also had their first coast chart of the Lakes from Canadian resurveys No. 906 CABOT HEAD TO CAPE SMITH AND ENTRANCE TO GEORGIAN BAY, published at the Admiralty February 15th, 1886 under the Superintendence of Captain W.J.L. Wharton, R.N., Hydrographer. This was an engraved chart drawn on a scale of 1 1/4 nautical miles to the inch approximately, with insets on a larger scale for Tobermory, Rattlesnake and Club Harbours . Concerning this chart Commander Boulton commented, "the Admiralty published these charts at their own expense, the price was fixed at two shillings, which is very reasonable, if bought in London, but when purchased in Western Ontario the price rises to $1.25, causing considerable dissatisfaction to purchasers, especially when accustomed to free distribution of the United States charts of American Waters. I mention this fact to the principal if not the only importer in Toronto, and he informed me that it would not be worth his while to handle them did he sell them at a lower figure, mentioning the fact that he had to pay a duty of twenty percent".

In the summer of 1886, the BAYFIELD began recharting the exposed north shore of Georgian Bay from Collins Inlet to Byng Inlet (off which the steamer ASIA foundered September 14th, 1882). This season the BAYFIELD encountered her first 'grounding', and of this sector of the coast Commander Boulton wrote, "this shore possesses all the characteristics unfavourable to the hydrographical surveyor. In the first place, the coast has by some might agency been broken into countless low islets and rocks. The back country is thickly wooded and perfectly flat, a combination which rendered a regular triangulation over some portions impracticable. Harbours, to serve as bases of operation, were few in number and difficult to approach. The shore being likewise studded with sunken rocks rising from the bottom very abruptly, made navigation in the vessel while attending on the boats very precarious, but by steaming slowly, keeping a good lookout and continual use of the lead, the vessel only struck one and without any serious result. The broken up character of the shore renders it impossible to measure the number of miles of coastline surveyed". A special plan was made of French River this season on a scale 3 inches to the mile, and about it Commander Boulton remarked, "the survey of this portion of the northeast shore of Georgian Bay will principally benefit vessels trading to Collins Inlet, French River, and Byng Inlet for lumber and logs".

When the weather in the Bay became too inclement in the fall, the BAYFIELD proceeded to the more sheltered waters of the North Channel. This year Commander Boulton was instrumental in having the Public Works Department install a monumental block or stone near Little Current on Manitoulin Island, for the resurvey of this channel. Concerning this first record of a benchmark Commander Boulton wrote, "the leveled top of this being 6 feet 9 inches above mean summer surface level of the water. These figures have been engraved up on the top of the stone to serve as a permanent bench mark for future references and comparison".


Before continuing with this story, it might be well to outline some of the methods and practices of surveying introduced to the Hydrographic Service by Commander Boulton in its formative years. These practices pertain particularly to land or coast surveying, inshore and offshore sounding, the graduation of the finished chart, and difference between the Admiralty and united States methods of hydrographic surveying (Boulton, Canadian Surveyor, 1890).

"Having determined upon the scale, the next thing is to find a place suitable for measuring a small base, and a good opportunity is afforded for this while traversing the coast in connection with the main triangulation. Having measured our small base, we proceed to throw as good a triangulation over the projected season's work as the natural features of the coast will permit. During the season, the latitudes and longitudes of two extreme points are obtained, and by means of these the chart is measured in the winter in the office. The astronomical distance calculated between these two extreme points determines the scale, and should agree closely with the assumed scale from the small base."

"While the triangulation is being carried out, principally by the chief, his assistants are sketching in the coastline in the boats. This consists in pulling from point to point with a patent log astern, the index being on the rail of the boat, and offsetting by estimation when they do not exceed a distance of 100 yards. Over that amount a patent log distance is run from the original line."

"The boats are run about 200 yards apart and at right angles to the general trend of the coast, unless the shore runs nearly east and west, north and south, when the lines are run in these directions for appearance sake. The boat soundings are run out to a depth of seven fathoms, or if the shore is very steep, to a distance of 400 yards. This gives the ship safe room to turn in changing her lines. He also takes sextant, station-pointer, protractor, tracing paper, dividers and pencils."

"For the sectional soundings of a large shallow bank a long way offshore, we make use of two or three flag buoys. In Georgian Bay, where there is very little current, with the error of the compass ascertained, a tolerably calm day and good helmsman, keeping on line is not a difficult matter. Where the depth does not exceed 24 fathoms the ship steams steadily on, at about 5 1/2 nautical miles per hour. The sounding machine with a lead from 25 to 40 lbs. attached to it, is hauled out by a traveller, on a wire rope, to the bow of the vessel. It is detached from the traveller by a tripping line when a cast is wanted. The line travels through the hand of a man aft and at a depth of over twenty fathoms, the lead would be fifty or sixty feet astern of the vessel before striking the bottom. An experienced and attentive sounder easily notices the slacking up of the line, which is then brought up to the steam winch and hove up. The bottom of the lead being armed with clean tallow before the cast, the sounder's opinion of the lead being down is corroborated by the nature of the bottom brought up. The interval between the sounding is regulated by an ordinary time-piece, with a second hand. With a level bottom of twenty fathoms, an interval of three minutes gives a distance of about a quarter of a mile. The soundings are carried offshore as far as the landmarks are visible."

"As far as I know, the boat sounding of a piece of coast by American surveyors would entail the services of three officers, perhaps four, two in the boat and two with theodolites at the shore beacons to fix the boat by intersecting lines at preconcerted signals. With us the one officer steers his boat, fixes his position, records his sounding unassisted. We usually alternate times in the boats keeping abreast of each other as well as we can."

Remarks: The last season when sailing gigs, or whalers, were used for inshore coast charting in the hydrographic Service were as follows: Pacific Coast, 1907; and Atlantic Coast (Gulf of St. Lawrence) about 1935.

First Canadian Chart for the North Channel, 1887

Before leaving Owen Sound to commence the field season of 1887 the BAYFIELD established beacons in the entrance of this harbour to enable masters of vessels to adjust their magnetic ship compasses. She then proceeded to the North Channel with a party of 29 officers and men, and arrived at Spanish River May 12th. The vessel being too small to accommodate the whole party, Mr. Stewart and his 'boat's crew' went ashore and remained under canvas until the end of September surveying the north shore of the Channel from Clapperton Island to Mildrum Point, and 'tied-in' the work in the western part of the Channel with the "accurately determined position of Point Detour Lighthouse by the United States Government".

This year the Admiralty published the first chart for the North Channel, a companion chart to No. 906 for the Entrance of Georgian Bay - No. 907 GEORGIAN BAY TO CLAPPERTON ISLAND, with insets for LITTLE CURRENT and KILLARNEY HARBOURS, dated May 20th, 1887. This edition was also an engraved coast chart drawn to the same approximate scale, 1 1/4 nautical miles to the inch.


The field season of 1888 was spent on the southwest shore of Georgian Bay between Cabot's Head and Point Rich, and included surveys of McGregor, Lion's Head and Owen Sound Harbours. Before taking up this work, the BAYFIELD left Owen Sound May 7th to complete a few weeks of unfinished work in the North Channel. En route, Mr. Stewart and his boat's crew disembarked at McGregor Harbour. On passage to Killarney, Ontario to pick up a few workmen the BAYFIELD was continually "beset with ice for 96 miles of our passage to Gore Bay, some of which I estimated to have been 20 feet thick caused by one floe being hoved [heaved] on top of another by the sea, and welded together". Killarney was reached May 10th and here two men "walked off the ship on the ice, an usual phenomenon at that date".

Commander Boulton further reported "on my way to Cape Croker, Bruce County, to take up the new work, I took a line of soundings across Georgian Bay, which shows a gradual and regular down-grade in the floor of the bay, until the coast of the Saugeen Peninsula is reached. The bottom is principally composed of a very fine pink or drab coloured ooze ...".


An indication in the growth of shipping on the Upper Great Lakes to 1888 is contained in Commander Boulton's further remarks, "the volume of the grain trade between Chicago and the ports of Collingwood and Owen Sound, in sailing vessels and steam barges, seems to be steadily increasing, and two additional passenger steamers were put on last summer between the last mentioned port and the North Channel of Lake Huron. A shipyard for the building of first class iron steamers has been established at Owen Sound, which together with the impending enlargement of its harbour, and the gradual improvement of the harbour of Collingwood will, I think by and expansion of trade consequent thereon, prove that the survey of this season was not undertaken too soon".

During the season of 1888, 100 miles of shoreline was surveyed; 1360 miles of ship sounding, and 784 miles of sounding by the boats, were completed.

In 1889 the BAYFIELD was back on the northeast coast of Georgian Bay working between Byng Inlet and the Limestone Islands, and that summer Mr. Stewart and his 'boat's crew' reached the western end of the North Channel where they charted certain areas of St. Joseph Channel. This was an exceptional rough year for the BAYFIELD, and about this sector of the Georgian Bay coast Commander Boulton remarked, "several new dangers were discovered, notably a bank with only 9 feet of water over it [presumably Kennedy Bank], lying in the track of ships, and four miles distant from the nearest island, showing the necessity of these waters being sounded without delay". Commander Boulton continued, "work on this portion of Georgian Bay must necessarily be slow, for a more broken-up coast line it is impossible to conceive, and the same up-and-down character of the bottom is extended to sea for two or three miles in the shape of many dangers very hard to find by the ordinary methods of hydrographical surveying ... the only way to navigate a coast of this exceptional character is to adhere exactly to the leading marks given on the charts and sailing directions, and not to make too free with this uneven bottom, though the chart may show more than sufficient water. Sounding in the dark waters of the northeast coast of Georgian Bay where a rock with only 6 feet on it cannot, at time, be seen, is only groping about in the dark at the best, and although our lines are sometimes only 100 yards apart - not a great distance, when the enormous expanse of the lakes yet unexamined is considered it sometimes happens that no indication of a rock is given with the lead. I mention this fact to show that hydrographical work cannot be hurried excepting at the risk of leaving out dangers, entailing the loss of the reputation of the officer in charge, and perhaps of valuable lives."

During this season some 580 nautical miles of sounding were made by the boats, and 520 by the steamer, but "the broken-up character of shore prevents any estimate being formed of the coastline sketched". At the end of the season of 1889, Commander Boulton estimated that it would take three more years to complete the survey of Georgian Bay and the North Channel, and in his annual report wrote "the United States government completed the survey of their shores in 1881, taking 40 years, with a staff three times as large as mine, and spending $2,977,000 over it".


In the first week of May 1890 the BAYFIELD built a series of beacons along the northeast shore of Georgian Bay to assist navigation of the inside channel from Parry Sound to Pointe au Baril (where the survivors of the ASIA landed September 15th, 1882). This enabled steamers to avoid 15 miles of rough water outside. Buoys were then placed for the first time on Black Hills Rock [Black Bills Rock], and another near the entrance of Byng Inlet. The ship then proceeded to the North Channel where she worked until August 8th, between Mildrum Point and Bruce Mines. Later Commander Boulton reported this season "the finest yet experienced", and in his annual report dated October 20th, 1890 wrote "a vessel can now proceed from Owen Sound to Sault Ste. Marie a distance of 200 miles over recently surveyed waters". (Note: With the completion of the North Channel survey, official instruction given to Commander Boulton six years previously, had now been duly carried out). When the North Channel survey ended the BAYFIELD returned to Georgian Bay and called at Owen Sound to refuel. She then returned to Parry Sound for the remainder of the season where the whole party worked between the Limestone Islands and Moose Point, including channels leading to the town to Parry Sound. Commenting on this coast, Commander Boulton remarked, "the general outside traffic along this coast, the numerous islands and occasional inside channels are inducing tourists to make it a summer resort". (Note: In 1961 and 1962 the Hydrographic Service published Canadian Chart 2203 and 2204 that were specially designed for use by small-boat operators, and covered the inner passage of Georgian Bay, from Parry Sound to Killarney, with insets of harbours and intricate passages at a larger scale.

In 1890, the number of nautical miles charted was 480; lineal miles of sounding by the vessel 1,240, and by boats 850.


In the first week of May 1891, the BAYFIELD returned to the northeast shore of Georgian Bay to resume the survey between the McCoy Islands and Moose Point, including several channels in Parry Sound. This work consisted in sounding the shallow waters in two open boats, while the deeper water was done from the vessel. The number of nautical miles sounded by the two boats was 1,320 and the vessel 860. Commander Boulton later wrote "this section is the most broken-up portion of the whole north-east coast of Georgian Bay, there being upwards of 4,000 islands and dry rocks on the coast surveyed last season. Numerous sunken rocks were found, several lying at a considerable distance off the outer islands, and in the track of general navigation. Many of the dangers of this Laurentian shore, rise abruptly from the bottom, necessitating very close sounding to make sure of not missing them. The light draught mail steamer from Midland and Penetanguishene, uses the passage southeastward of Parry Sound, known as the South Channel".


In June 1890, while outbound for the Orient from Burrard Inlet, B.C. the C.P. Railway steamer 'PARTHIA' 'touched' a shoal without incurring serious damage. This was later reported by the Pilot Authority in September. An investigation of this area was then conducted by Lieut. Barrett, R.N., in the steam cutter H.M.S. AMPHION, and from it a resurvey of this inlet was recommended "in view of the fact that large vessels with heavy draft of water are now entering Burrard Inlet" (M&F Report 1890, p. 75). By an Order-in-Council dated November 4th, 1890, this survey was recommended to Her Majesty's Government by the Dominion Government, and a favourable reply was received March 5th, 1891 "agreeing with the proposal of the Dominion Government". Mr. Wm.J. Stewart, First Assistant of the Georgian Bay Survey under Staff Commander Boulton, was then sent to the Pacific Coast to carry out this resurvey.

As instructed Mr. Stewart left Ottawa April 2nd, for Owen Sound to pick up a few experienced workmen, and then continued his journey to British Columbia arriving at Vancouver the 21st. Here he was loaned a gig or whaleboat (Figure 11) by the Naval Authorities at Esquimalt, and until September 25th, made good use of it in resurveying Burrard Inlet and Vancouver Harbour - the first 'salt-water' survey in the Hydrographic Survey. Later he reported to Commander Boulton that he "traversed principally on foot, 75 nautical miles of shoreline, and sounded 450 miles". Mr. Stewart also installed the first tide-gauge in the Service this season (Note: This was two years prior to the appointment of Mr. Wm. Bell Dawson as Canada's First Tidal Surveyor in the Marine Department). This gauge was placed on the west end of the Canadian Pacific Railway wharf, where from April 21st to July 2nd, continuous day and night observations were made and from which a datum was determined for sounding reduction purposes. This datum was "the same as the Railway Company Engineers have used for their improvements around the wharves". Tidal comparisons were observed at Point Atkinson, Vancouver and Port Moody; and the current was found to be 'very strong all over the inlet, often too much for boat work even in a large bay like English Bay, where its direction was very uncertain". Magnetic observations were also taken for variation of the compass needle at Point Atkinson, English Bay, Port Moody and Seymour Narrows [Second Narrows?].

In later years referring to his work in Burrard Inlet, Mr. Stewart wrote, "I lived in hotels and had five men and a tide-watcher".

The sum voted for the Burrard Inlet Survey was $2,500, but to the end of the fiscal year ending June 30th, 1892 $2,580.45 had been spent on this first coast survey.

Note: In March 1893, the Admiralty published chart number 922 - BURRARD INLET, from a resurvey by Mr. Stewart in 1891. (Figure 12). Since it also embodied hydrography from previous Admiralty surveys, particularly that of Capt. G.E. Richards, R.N. in 1859, it cannot be considered as being the first chart from a complete Canadian resurvey.


In his annual report dated November 10th, 1891 Commander Boulton wrote, "the absence of the usual summer rise of water was an unusual phenomenon, and whatever the cause, was attended with serious consequences to shipping, not merely in the vicinity of my work but in the shallow channels of the lakes generally. I think myself that the low water which has existed for the past four years, culminating in the low dip of the past summer is only temporary. From records kept by the Public Works Department at Little Current, Algoma, and at Milwaukee by United States engineers, it would appear that the water was, between 1881 and 1887, as much above the average level as it is now below it. I think therefore, that during the next few years the water will be up again.

However, as long as we have to rely only upon the fickle memory of then oldest inhabitant there will always be an element of uncertainty as whether the waters of the lakes are subject to temporary fluctuations, or are steadily lowering their level. I would, therefore respectfully suggest that datum Stones be erected, say at Collingwood, Sarnia, Port Colborne and Kingston, similar to that placed at my suggestion in the interest of the survey, by the Department of Public Works, at Little Current, Manitoulin Island. That your agents at the ports mentioned, be instructed to note the height of the water at least once a day during the season of navigation".


With the publication of the first volume of sailing directions in 1892 - The Georgian Bay and North Channel Pilot - the formative years of the Hydrographic Service were just about over. On April 12th, 1892 an Act (55-56 Vict. Chap. 77) respecting technical work in the Department of Marine and Fisheries was assented to, and assigned to this Department all such work as (15) Tidal Observations on the Coasts of Canada, and (20) Hydrographic Surveys. Officially this meant that the Georgian Bay Survey under Commander Boulton, was placed under the immediate direction and supervision of the Chief Engineer, Mr. Wm. P. Anderson, who also was named 'General Superintendent Lighthouses and Hydrographic Service'. Other relevant duties now under the Chief Engineer's Branch were the examination of water-lot applications in the interests of navigation, and the preparation and publication of Notices to Mariners and hydrographic notes acquired from Sailing Masters on inland and coastal waters. With this Departmental reorganization Commander Boulton's employment with the Dominion Government was fast drawing to a close but his two assistants who had been on the Outside Service of the Department to this time were now eligible for appointment to the Inside Service of the Department's Civil Government List - the first progressive move of the Hydrographic Service since it began in 1883.

Last Field Season Commander Boulton 1892.

Aware of the new Departmental changes before leaving Owen Sound in the last week of April, Commander Boulton's first activity this season was to lay-out a measured mile at this lake port to test the speed of Government Police vessels being built at the Polson Works. On May 4th, the BAYFIELD departed for Penetanguishene to disembark Mr. Stewart and his shore party. For the remainder of the season surveying was centred in the southeastern area of Georgian Bay between Moose Point and Waubaushene, including Christian Islands. Later Commander Boulton wrote, "it will take the middle of next summer to complete this chart". He further stated "sufficient of the above-mentioned section has been done to show that the head waters of Georgian Bay contain several excellent havens, such as Victoria Harbour, Midland and Penetanguishene, the approaches to which are comparatively free from outlying dangers. Although not so favourably situated as Parry Sound, with regard to shortness of distance, I am of the opinion, all things considered, that this locality is the best suited for a transcontinental port in connection with a line from Montreal, and I think it quite likely that the favourite Georgian Bay route will finally settle down into this locality".

On October 28th the BAYFIELD returned to her winter port of Owen Sound to bring to a close nine full seasons of active charting under the command of Staff Commander Boulton. This was also to be the last field season for his Second Assistant since 1885, Mr. D.C. Campbell, who upon his return to Ottawa was transferred from the Outside Service of the Georgian Bay Survey to the Inside Service of the Chief Engineer's Branch. This was the first occasion when a field officer in the Hydrographic Service was transferred from field to permanent office duties in Ottawa.

In his last annual report dated 24th October, 1892 Commander Boulton remarked that there still remains to be surveyed the east shore of Nottawasaga Bay, about 30 miles, and again about 20 miles of shore between Collingwood and Owen Sound. "Two more seasons should complete the survey of Georgian Bay and North Channel of Lake Huron." The total number of nautical miles of coastline surveyed has been about 2,560; the boat sounding amounts to 8,224, while 9,203 miles have been sounded in the ship. The cost of this has been approximately $188,000 giving an average value of $73 for each mile of coast surveyed. The United States have been about the same quantity of lake coast as Canada, their survey was commenced in 1841 and finished in 1881, the total cost being ... (two and three-quarter million dollars)."



On April 12th, 1893 Staff Commander Boulton officially relinquished his command of the Georgian Bay Survey to his First Assistant since 1884 Mr. Wm. J. Stewart, and returned to the Admiralty Hydrographical Office in London. Before the BAYFIELD left Owen Sound for the season's work Messrs. F. Anderson and J.F. Fraser were transferred from the Chief Engineer's Branch as First and Second Assistant to Mr. Stewart, respectively. (Note: Both Mr. Anderson and Mr. Fraser had been appointed clerks in the Marine and Fisheries Department in September 1892, and replaced Mr. Stewart and Mr. Campbell).

As instructed by the Chief Engineer, Mr. Stewart proceeded to the southeast coast of Georgian Bay to continue the survey "on the same general lines" as adopted by Commander Boulton. With a party of 22 officers and crew the BAYFIELD worked in 1893 between Hope Island and Moose Point, to a line four miles west of the Christian and Western islands. In his first annual report to the Chief Engineer dated October, 1893 Mr. Stewart wrote "as a result of careful examination of the various channels, it may be said that did business warrant the expenditure, channels could be buoyed into various harbours as we found necessary for the economical prosecution of the work. The 'Bayfield' drawing 10 1/4 feet water, used the inside channel continually showing that by the aid of a few buoys, the local boats trading between Collingwood, Midland and Killarney could use this channel and avoid the heavy seas that often roll in between Hope Island and the "umbrella". During this season Mr. Stewart made two trips to Parry Sound to point out to the contractor the position for the new lighthouses.


For the remainder of the season of 1893 work was centred on the south coast of Nottawasaga Bay to extend the triangulation of Collingwood and approaches to Point Cockburn, and then to Cape Rich, thus completing the main triangulation of this Bay.



With the completion of the Murray Canal at the head of the Bay of Quinte in 1889, the volume of steam traffic in this region of Lake Ontario increased greatly. With Mr. Stewart fully occupied with the Georgian Bay Survey, in 1893, and the demand for a good chart for these waters imperative, the Chief Engineer, Mr. Wm.P. Anderson, undertook this hydrographic survey on his own - the most significant resurvey of the Great Lakes to this time, other than by Commander Boulton and Mr. Stewart. During the months of February and March Mr. Thomas Drummond, D.L.S. was engaged as a temporary assistant with the triangulation survey. In the summer months the Bay was 'sounded-out' with the aid of a hired steam-yacht ($10 per day rental, including two men), and Mr. F.A. Wilken as 'sextant observer'. The total cost of this survey was $4,271.67, and his annual report to the Deputy Minister of Marine, the Chief Engineer stated that: "the whole of the Bay of Quinte has been surveyed from the Murray Canal to Centre Brother Island, and the charts to be published will include work done by the American Government between Kingston and Centre Brother Island, in connection with the Murray Canal. It is proposed to publish the charts on two sheets of double elephant paper, on a scale of about 2,000 feet to an inch. These charts are now being prepared by the permanent staff of the department, and it is hoped they will be ready by the opening of navigation".

Remarks. It was not until the spring of 1898 that the first of these sheets was published by the Admiralty - the eastern portion from Kingston to Desoronto. So as to expedite the publication of the second sheet to the westward Mr. J.F. Fraser was transferred from the steamer BAYFIELD to Mr. Anderson's permanent staff in Ottawa. During the summer of 1898 Mr. Fraser worked on this sheet, as far west as Presqu'ile Bay and Weller's Bay, and in October assisted Mr. Anderson with further survey work in this region. This second sheet was then published by the Admiralty in March 1900. Its long delay Mr. Anderson reported being due to "pressure of work in the draughting room here, when the fair sheet was sent to England it was lost in the wreck of the LABRADOR, and lastly the cartographers of Admiralty are always crowded with work".



Before the calendar year 1893 ended another important appointment of hydrographic significance was made in the Chief Engineer's Branch, when on December 1st Mr. Wm. Bell Dawson, C.E. was named Engineer-in-Charge, Tidal Survey, and placed in charge of all tidal and current surveys on the seacoasts. For some years that followed the Tidal Service under Mr. Dawson was listed in annual reports of Marine and Fisheries under the sub-heading "Ocean and River Service", whilst Hydrographic Surveys under Mr. Stewart was sub-listed under "Scientific Institutions".


Note: Up to the year 1924 when the Tidal and Current Survey Division was integrated into the Canadian Hydrographic Survey, on each occasion Hydrographic Survey was transferred to another Department of the Government, the Tidal and Current Survey Division was also moved to the same Department.



In the months of May and June the steamer BAYFIELD and her two 'boat's crews' were engaged in sounding Nottawasaga Bay on the south coast of Georgian Bay. Then according to instructions, Mr. Stewart proceeded to the entrance of the Bay from Lake Huron, to extend its survey westwards along the south coasts of Manitoulin and Cockburn islands "to meet the United States Survey at Drummond Island". This was the first actual Canadian survey of Canadian Waters in Lake Huron.

Triangulation Surveys in Lake Huron, 1894 - The triangulation survey of Manitoulin Island in the summer of 1894 presented quite a problem to Mr. Stewart, and obliged him to make use of platform buoys (Figure 13) to extend his network to the westwards. This was the technique adopted and in his annual report he wrote "the south shore of Grand Manitoulin was found to be very low, much broken up, and densely wooded almost to the water's edge, trending so nearly in a straight line that an ordinary triangulation was out of the question. I therefore constructed a number of three-cornered platform buoys to support small and light tripods. These were moored offshore as far as could be conveniently seen from the low shore, and in this way a very satisfactory series of triangles were carried on, connecting Cove Island Lighthouse to the Duck Islands, a distance of fifty-four miles". In addition to this important work, a large portion of the distance was coastlined, and the necessary beacons erected for boat sounding (Figure 14). Mr. Stewart further stated "the survey of this part of the lake will be rather troublesome, as good shelter from prevailing westerly winds for a small vessel cannot be had between South Bay and Duck Islands. Such long runs in doubtful weather absorb a lot of valuable time.



When work in Lake Huron ended the BAYFIELD returned to Nottawasaga Bay in Georgian Bay to complete the unfinished work in this area, and to bring the Georgian Bay Survey to a temporary ending. This season in addition to the commencement of the Lake Huron survey 1,210 miles of ship sounding, and 670 miles of boat sounding were recorded. In his annual report dated November 13th, 1894 Mr. Stewart wrote "the survey of Georgian Bay is now practically finished, there is only an area of 1,300 square miles, in the middle of the Bay, that has not been systematically sounded. In crossing and recrossing the Bay a few lines have been run and as no shoals have ever been reported within this area, it may be left till more important work is done in other lakes".

Remarks. It was not until seventy years later, in the summer of 1964, that the centre of Georgian Bay was finally sounded. This was done by the survey vessel CARTIER, that used for the first time in the Great Lakes, the electronic distance-measuring instrument HI-FIX.

With the survey of Georgian Bay now ended Mr. Stewart further wrote "eleven seasons have been taken up in the survey of Georgian Bay and the North Channel, at a cost of about $215,000 (Report of Chief Engineer $215,389.21 and including cost of steamer BAYFIELD), but with the possible exception of Lake Superior, none of the other lakes will take anything like that amount of time or money". The expenditure of the final year of this survey amounted to $16,292.48.

Comments. From eleven seasons of hydrographic surveying to 1894 the Admiralty published thirteen general, coast and harbour charts for the Great Lakes, eight for the waters of Georgian Bay, and five for the North Channel. On all these editions appears the name of Staff Commander J.G. Boulton, R.N. On the first coast chart for Burrard Inlet published by the Admiralty in the year of his departure from Canada (1893) is this notation, "Surveyed by Mr. W.J. Stewart, under the direction of Staff Commander J.G. Boulton, R.N. 1891". (Figure 12) In addition to navigation charts for Canada's inland and coastal waters this Admiralty Surveyor wrote the first volume of sailing directions for the Great Lakes - The Georgian Bay and North Channel Pilot, published by the Department of Marine and Fisheries in Ottawa 1892. What was more significant were the techniques and practices of hydrographic surveying Commander Boulton passed on to his successors, practices that were 'norms' for the Hydrographic Service until the gasoline launch was introduced in 1924; and the gyroscope compass and echo-sounder since 1928.



In his annual report to the Acting Deputy Minister dated January 25th, 1895, the Chief Engineer made certain remarks concerning the 'Hydrographic Survey of the Great Lakes' (M&F 1894, p. 83) and stated, "the hydrographic survey of the Georgian Bay and North Channel which was most urgently required, having been completed, it was decided to continue the work on the remaining Canadian waters of the Great Lakes. The use of deeper draught vessels and the increasing speed of steamers make the demand for reliable charts very urgent".


Lake Erie 1895-97

The survey of Lake Huron begun in 1894 was temporarily discontinued, and consideration given to "take up the survey of the north shore of Lake Erie ... both because the quantity of traffic in the lake is important and the coast dangerous, and because the completion of this survey is a preliminary necessity to a correct definition of the International Boundary line". Note: This is believed to be the earliest hydrographic surveys in connection with the International Boundary between Canada and the United States. In 1907 Mr. Stewart was appointed a Canadian representative to the International Waterways Commission, that in April 1903 began the compilation of a series of 30 boundary charts for the River St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes. Up to the year 1925 monuments delineating this boundary were maintained by the Canadian Hydrographic Service (Service, 1928).

As instructed, Mr. Stewart left Owen Sound in the BAYFIELD May 1st, 1895 with a party of twenty-four officers and crew, and proceeded to Lake Erie. On passage a call was made at South Bay, Manitoulin Island, to pick up some of the large platform-buoys used in Lake Huron the previous season. A line of sounding was then carried down Lake Huron to Nine-Fathom Bank, and whilst in Lake St. Clair half a day was spent in sounding around the 'Dump' from the dredging for the new United States Government channel. This was the first Canadian hydrographic survey in Lake St. Clair and it was made to locate a channel to assist local vessels trading between Chatham, Ontario and Windsor. A good channel with 11 feet of water was found by the BAYFIELD just south of the 'Dump'.

Point Pelee in Lake Erie was reached noon May 4th and until the 7th Mr. Stewart was delayed in "sounding and making enquiries about new shoals reported to exist there". None could be found, but he did learn that "several wrecks existed in the locality (whereabouts unknown), and as the water is not very deep for many miles off the point, it is altogether probable that vessels have at times bumped against these sunken hulls, and the captains have reported shoals". The BAYFIELD on May 8th anchored off an unnamed point, about 30 miles west of Long Point, to commence the season's work. Here one of the main triangulation stations [USLS HOUGHTON] of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey placed in 1876 had every reference point removed, however, Mr. Stewart was able to erect a new station within a few feet of the older one. Other USC&GS stations at that time were located at Long Point [USLS LONG POINT], near the mouth of the Grand River [USLS GRAND RIVER], and at Sugar Loaf Hill [USLS SUGAR LOAF] (Port Colborne) and were found without difficulty. The use of these stations Mr. Stewart remarked caused "a large saving of time and money, and making our work more accurate than otherwise could be with a small staff and inferior instruments. In no case can a purely hydrographic survey hope to be as accurate as a special geodetic survey".

With the north shore of Lake Erie now triangulated and surveyed to 30 miles west and outside Long Point, the remainder of the 1895 season was centred between the inner bay of Long Point and Port Colborne. Boat work was extended from the shoreline "to a safe distance outside shoal water, that is an average distance of 2 1/2 miles". Ship sounding outside was carried to a distance of about 11 nautical miles from shore, "or as far as objects could be distinguished on the shore". The area sounded was 430 square miles, including 955 nautical miles in the boats, and 290 by the vessel. In addition, some 85 nautical miles of shoreline was traversed. The BAYFIELD passed through the Welland Canal October 23rd to winter at Port Dalhousie in Lake Ontario - the first wintering beyond Owen Sound.

In his annual report dated November 5th, 1895 Mr. Stewart stated, "the shore of Lake Erie is unlike that of Georgian Bay in that there are no islands, and only small indentations but I found the portion examined this season fringed with dangerous reefs, often a long distance, 4 miles off shore. Whilst known reefs have been accurately charted, one very dangerous new reef has been discovered lying about 4 miles south of Nanticoke, and covered with only 7 1/2 feet of water".


Water Levels Lake Erie, 1895.

While the level of the water in Lake Erie has been very low, and a serious matter for the large craft now using the lakes, records show it has been as low as previous years, in the winters of 1868, 1872, and 1873. However at that time the low water was not a serious trouble, both because it occurred in the winter months, and because the vessels in use then, were of shallow draught. Most of the large vessels in use now were built during a long period of high water, when, also, the canals and harbours were improved. On these accounts we hear many complaints about the very low water, and the chances are that it will be lower than ever this coming winter. Various causes have been assigned for it; the clearing of the lands, the unusually small rainfalls of late years, no doubt, being the principal causes. There is a theory advanced that the deepening of the outlets to the Lakes have contributed to a serious loss of water, but whilst the inlets to Lake Erie have been deepened in late years, no outlets have been altered. On the above theory, the water of Lake Erie should have fallen less than of any of the other Lakes".


Inauguration of United States-Canada Car-Ferry, 1895

At Port Dover this season a line of ferry-boats "to run the year round" was inaugurated, connecting the Grand Trunk System here with the Pittsburgh and Shenango Railway, at Conneaut (Ohio), and in this way deliver coal into Canada.


Historical Maps and Charts, Lake Erie

This summer Mr. Stewart was fortunate enough to see a chart of Lake Erie by Admiral Bayfield dated 1818, on which the "present Long Point Island is shown as joined to the mainland". He also saw a map of a large portion of North America compiled by Joseph Bouchette (1815) where the present "gap" is marked "portage". A chart by Mr. John Harris, R.A. (1839) shows a gap from the main part of Lake Erie to Inner Bay of Long Point. This gap was filled up in 1862, but afterwards dredged, and in 1895 was practically closed again.

Note: Mr. Joseph Bouchette was Surveyor General of Lower Canada (Quebec) at that time; and Mr. John Harris, R.N. had assisted Capt. W.F.W. Owen and Lt. H.W. Bayfield with the original Admiralty survey of Lake Ontario and Erie, in 1815 and 1816.

In the spring of 1896 the first chart of the Canadian Shore of Lake Erie was prepared for the Hydrographer of the Admiralty, and embraced that portion of the north shore from Port Colborne to Port Rowan, including Long Point, and it will probably be published on a scale of one-tenth of an inch to one mile. Before the BAYFIELD left Port Dalhousie to return to Lake Erie she underwent extensive repairs. She then proceeded up the Welland Canal to Lake Erie, and for the remainder of the season worked between Port Dover and Rhondeau Harbour. This season no important shoals were discovered. However, owing to the character of the shore a regular triangulation of the sector from Houghton Sand Hills to Rhondeau about 60 buoys for the apexes of triangles [were laid]. A great deal of inconvenience was encountered from the lack of harbours, "there being no good harbours between Long and Pelee Points". Headquarters this year was at Port Stanley. Heavy gales were experienced in May, July and September.

Water Levels, 1896. "The water on the Lakes has at least not shown any inclination, during the past season to drop lower than during its predecessor, but has rather improved, owing probably to the fact that we had far more rain in the summer of 1896 than 1895. It is sincerely to be hoped that the improvement will continue".

On October 16th the BAYFIELD returned to the North Channel of Lake Huron to examine a few reported dangers. When positioned, the results were published in a Notice to Mariners. On October 24th the BAYFIELD went into dry-dock at Collingwood for minor repairs and then returned to Owen Sound for the Winter.

In his annual report of 1896 Mr. Stewart stated, "with fairly good weather the survey of the Canadian shore of Lake Erie, from Port Colborne to Pelee Point should be completed by the first of September (1897). The balance of the Canadian shore was surveyed by the United States Government about twenty years ago, and as no complaints have been made about shoals left out, there seems no necessity for a resurvey".



 On February 11th, 1897 a large portion of the roof of the West Block on Parliament Hill was burnt, and destroyed many valuable documents and early records of the Department of Marine and Fisheries. At that time the offices of this Department were located in this building, with many of its early documents stored in a large room on the upper floor. This fact is herewith mentioned for its historical value, and probably accounts for many original hydrographic reports and documents [being] unobtainable today.

First British Columbia Tidal Records. In the West Block fire blue prints from the first tidal records by the Public Works Department on the Pacific Coast were destroyed. These records were for Sand Heads at the mouth of the Fraser River and Victoria; and dated back to February 1895. Copies from the originals were then requested by the Tidal Survey, and these were supplied by the Chief Engineer of the Public Works. In September 1898 during a fire at New Westminster, B.C. the original series were lost, and reprints from the copies sent to the Tidal Survey were then sent to Public Works. With the exception of one month this series covered the period from February 1895 to July 1898 (M&F, pp. 27, 80).



Lake Erie, 1897. In April 1897 the Admiralty published the first chart embodying Canadian resurveys for Lake Erie, an engraved edition No. 336 RIVER NIAGARA AND WELLAND CANAL from latest United States and Canadian Government Surveys. This spring two copies of the fair sheet PORT COLBORNE TO LONG POINT were drawn in Ottawa. One was sent to the Admiralty for engraving, the other to the United States Hydrographer in Washington. This was one of the earliest records of International cooperation between Canadian and United States hydrographic offices. Another sheet for the north shore of Lake Erie was only partially finished this winter from Long Point to Pointe aux Pins.

Before leaving Owen Sound to return to Lake Erie on April 26th, 1897 Mr. G.W. Hyndman was added to Mr. Stewart's field staff. This date was the earliest start yet to be made by the BAYFIELD. In Lake Erie the work of the previous autumn was resumed west to Point Pelee during the months of May, June and July that brought the first resurvey of Lake Erie to a close. In these months 50 nautical miles of shoreline was traversed, 500 miles carefully sounded from the boats over shallow water, and 1,200 miles of ship sounding completed to an average distance of 12 miles from the shore. A careful survey of Rondeau Harbour was made it being "the only harbour or refuge between Point Pelee and Long Point". Very few shoals off this shore were found between Pointe aux Pins and Point Pelee, and only half a dozen within a mile of the shore between Morpeth Pier and the village of Clearville.

Mr. Stewart later wrote, "it is intended to publish this survey in two coast sheets, the eastern one to embrace the east end of the Lake as far as the west end of Long Point, and the other taking the remainder. The first sheet should be on sale before the opening of navigation in 1898. The hydrographic survey of the Canadian Shore of Lake Erie has taken two and a half seasons to complete, and has cost $38,608.95."



 In the first week of August 1897 the BAYFIELD was back on the south shores of Cockburn and Grand Manitoulin Islands in Lake Huron, and a recharting survey of the north coast of this Lake, from Drummond to Duck Islands and False Detour Channel, was actually started. On this sector Mr. Stewart wrote "in this area are many dangerous and little known reefs ... there are also many dangers in the channel through the Duck Islands that have never been charted ... it is intended to carry out the soundings to a distance of ten miles from shore". Careful observations for the declination of the magnetic needle were obtained at False Detour Channel, Burat, Great Duck and Outer Duck Islands, Cove Island, and at Owen Sound 'with a new field unifilar magnetometer'; and these declinations "will no doubt prove of great value in the preparation of future isogonic charts of the locality". The steamer BAYFIELD returned to Owen Sound October 25th making the longest season in the history of the survey; and before returning to Ottawa Mr. Stewart made a careful resurvey of this harbour "as many changes had been made there since the last survey". During the winter 1897-98 the preparation of the second edition of 'The Georgian Bay and North Channel Pilot' was taken in hand.



In the annual report of the Chief Engineer of the Department of Marine and Fisheries dated October 31st, 1897 is this interesting hydrographic note, "the master of the Dominion steamer 'Quadra' has this year forwarded several hydrographic notes concerning British Columbia waters, including the location of several rocks and corrections of existing charts. The results of his work (Capt. J.T. Walbran) have from time to time been communicated to the Hydrographer of Great Britain and the United States, and embodied in our Notices to Mariners". (Note: The steamer 'Quadra' was employed in the general lighthouse and buoy service in British Columbia. She had previously made a special trip to the west coast of Vancouver Island for the purpose of collecting evidence in the Bering Sea Arbitration. Early in 1893 she assisted the International Boundary Commissioner in distributing survey parties along the coast of Alaska. While in the command of the 'Quadra' Captain John T. Walbran made many valuable contributions to Canadian hydrography for the waters of British Columbia, but is best remembered today as the author of "British Columbia Coast Names 1892-1906, published in 1909".)



Before the 1898 field season began a few changes were made in the field staff of the BAYFIELD. Assistant G.W. Hyndman resigned, and Mr. J.F. Fraser, Second Assistant since 1893, was transferred to the draughting office of the Chief Engineer's Branch to complete the fair sheet for the Bay of Quinte, surveyed by the Chief Engineer in 1893. Mr. Fraser was replaced by Mr. R.E. Tyrwhitt of the draughting office where he was employed since 1895.

Note: In October, Mr. Fraser in company with the Chief Engineer, Mr. Wm.P. Anderson, completed an inspection tour of the River St. Lawrence Ship Channel between Montreal and Quebec; and then assisted him with further hydrographic survey work to complete the Bay of Quinte sheet. In 1899 Mr. Fraser was put in charge of all navigation plans for the Ship Channel on file in the Chief Engineer's Branch. Three years later (1902) he was promoted Assistant Engineer in charge of aids to navigation between Kingston and Montreal. During that summer he completed a detailed triangulation survey of Lake St. Louis to connect the detached dredging-surveys of the Department of Railways and Canals since ____. This also gave him an opportunity to extend his triangulation network westward between Cornwall and Ogdensburg, to 'tie-in' with the United States triangulation network of 1870-73. In November 1903 Mr. Fraser was named Commissioner of Lighthouses, and took over from Mr. Anderson the work under his control as General Superintendent of Lighthouses.

Parry Sound Investigations 1898. The opening of the Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Railway to Depot Harbour in Parry Sound, and the establishment of a line of large freight steamers in connection with this railway made a survey of this area necessary - to improve the aids to navigation for entering Parry Sound. On April 25th, 1898 therefore, the BAYFIELD left Owen Sound and first proceeded to Parry Sound where she carefully examined the main steamer channel. She then established some temporary range lights, and rearranged the spar buoys. From investigations made Mr. Stewart reported in favour of the Carling Rock Channel (since adopted) in preference to the Gordon Rock Channel.

Lake Huron, 1898. On May 4th the BAYFIELD reached the Duck Islands in Lake Huron and resumed the surveys of the south shores of Grand Manitoulin and Cockburn Islands. Until July 10th the time was occupied in finishing the work west of the Duck Islands, and then to the eastward as far as Providence Bay, with "the triangulation and traverse of the shore line completed to Cove Island Lighthouse, or to connect with Captain Boulton's work of 1883-84". Soundings were taken in the boats "for an average distance of one nautical mile form shore, or to cover all the dangerously shoal water. Those in deeper water were taken from the vessel's deck and extend out an average distance of ten miles, or to a depth of 40 to 60 fathoms". This season 110 miles of traversing, 1,035 miles of ship sounding, and 830 miles of boat sounding were completed. In his annual report dated November 17th, 1898 Mr. Stewart stated " no important discoveries have been made but several known banks (such as that from the south end of Duck Islands) and shoals have been carefully examined and will be properly charted. Owing to the nearly straight trend of the south shore of Grand Manitoulin Island and its very low character, no regular triangulation has been possible". A base-line was also measured on the east shore of Green Island harbour, and a fair set of triangles extended west to Melville Point (ten miles west of Providence Bay). An observation post was established on the highest part of Outer Duck Island, and its latitude observed upon 'eight nights with sextant and artificial horizon'. The longitude of this observation was obtained by running a meridian distance between it and Cove Island Lighthouse.

During the winter 1898-99 the first fair sheet for Lake Huron was forwarded to the Hydrographer of the Admiralty for engraving and publication - from Drummond Island (State of Michigan, U.S.A.) to Duck Islands, and including False Detour Channel and Mississaugi Strait.

Lake Huron, 1899. The season of 1899 was late in opening, it being May before a start could be made. The survey of the south shore of Manitoulin Island from Providence Bay to the entrance of Georgian Bay was finished by July 1st, and the resurvey of the south and west shores of the Saugeen Peninsula then begun. Whilst the BAYFIELD underwent repairs for a main shaft Messrs. Anderson and Tyrwhitt with a 'boat's crew' worked near South Baymouth, Manitoulin Island. The work this season was an extension of Commander Boulton's in 1884, from Cape Hurd to Lyal Island, in the entrance of Stokes Bay. Areas of water surveyed was 525 square miles, and included 1,150 lineal miles of ship sounding, and over 800 miles in the boats. Some 75 miles of shoreline was traversed.

In his annual report dated December 30th, 1899 Mr. Stewart wrote "Stokes Bay is really the only safe harbour on the Canadian shore of Lake Huron from St. Clair River to Tobermory, a distance of 160 miles. It is quite large, the anchorage is both good and safe". He also remarked, "the demand for the last edition (300 copies) of the Georgian Bay and North Channel Pilot has been so great that it has been cleared out. A new one is in course of preparation. With the close of the next season, the survey of Lake Huron should be completed. There will then remain only Lake Ontario and Superior of the Great Lakes to be surveyed. The former has very little unsurveyed dangerous water in the line of through traffic and its survey is therefore not pressing". (Note: Charting resurveys of Lake Superior began in 1902, and Lake Ontario in 1909).

The BAYFIELD, 1899 - Almost two seasons had now been occupied in recharting Lake Huron when the South African War broke out in 1899, and in anticipation of the resurvey of Lake Superior Mr. Stewart strongly recommended this year a replacement for the older steamer BAYFIELD stating she was 'totally unfit' for this purpose. "She cost $15,000 in 1884 and about the same amount has been spent, at various times, upon repairs to her. She is a wooden screw tug of about 100 tons, built in 1863, and had very hard service before we acquired her. The original high-pressure engine, very much worn out, is still in her, and her boiler, 17 years old is weakening. In 1893 she was condemned, but has been pressed into service each year since for the summer weather only. Lake Superior is much larger than any waters we have yet surveyed, the seas are heavier, and there is no doubt a vessel of the 'Bayfield's' age and conditions should not be placed in such dangerous work. The distances, too, are much greater and much valuable time would be lost in a boat that cannot make better than seven knots per hour [sic]. I would therefore recommend that the survey be provided with a more suitable, larger, stronger, faster and more economical vessel. If this be not done the work of the survey will have to be abandoned as the 'Bayfield' is no longer fit for work on exposed shores, similar to the Canadian shores of the Great Lakes upon which the prevailing winds beat so much".

Note: For some years after its purchase the steamer BAYFIELD was used in Georgian Bay by both the Marine and Fisheries Branches of the Department - hydrographic work in the summer months, and fishery-patrol work in the late fall. At that time both Marine and Fisheries were under the same Minister.

In his annual report for 1889 Mr. Stewart stated "the shore of the Lake from Clark Point to Cape Ipperwash (the termination of the survey by the U.S. Corps of Engineers) is nearly straight and free from dangers. Its survey could be left for more pressing work".

Lake Huron, 1900. In the past winter a fair copy of the work done between Duck Islands and Cove Island, including Manitoulin gulf was forwarded, in two sheets to the Hydrographer of the Admiralty for engraving and publication. As to sheets already sent to the Admiralty Mr. Stewart wrote "owing to a great pressure of work at the Admiralty Office, London, no sheets have yet been issued for Lake Huron, but I understand the western one should be ready for distribution before the opening of navigation, 1901". A new edition of the Georgian Bay and North Channel Pilot was issued in April this year.

The BAYFIELD this spring arrived off Lyal Island on May 2nd but soon after had to return to Georgian Bay for repairs to her main steam pipe. A fresh start was made May 8th, and at the close of the season Clark Point was reached, 60 miles from the starting point. Shore soundings were carried out to a distance of 12 miles to deep water. The area surveyed was 750 square miles. With 1,100 miles of ship sounding, and 1,100 miles of boat sounding over the shallow areas. There was 110 miles of traversing of shoreline. Harbour surveys were made of Saugeen River, Port Elgin, Kincardine and Southampton. Mr. Stewart wrote "large vessels seeking shelter near this shore must proceed to Stokes Bay, Southampton is a harbour of refuge but the anchorage space is very limited. Outside the dangerous reefs, that front most of the shore for, often, more than a mile, no outlying dangers were discovered. The water gradually deepens, sometimes to 80 fathoms at the outer ends of the sounding lines off Chantry Island and sometimes to only 20 fathoms, north of Clark Point". During the coming winter fair copies of the work from Cove Island to Clark Point will be prepared ... and sailing directions for the Canadian Shore of Lake Huron written.

The BAYFIELD, 1900. Once again Mr. Stewart strongly recommended that the older steamer BAYFIELD be replaced with a more modern vessel, before commencing the survey of Lake Superior. He further remarked "in 1883 a new boiler was placed in her and it is still doing service ... in 1893 the Steamboat Inspector condemned her, but as no one made an offer to buy her, when advertised for sale, she was put in service with orders to use only in fine weather. Where harbours were plentiful and easy of access as in Georgian Bay this was all right, but on the east shores of Lake Huron it is difficult to keep out of the way of storms. For work upon the shores of the lakes now unsurveyed, principally Lake Superior. A larger, stronger, and faster vessel is urgently required, or the important work will have to be abandoned".



LAKE HURON, 1901. Before navigation opened on the Upper Great Lakes early in 1901, the first two charts from Canadian resurveys for Lake Huron were published in April by the Admiralty. One of these coast charts was No. 1701 COVE ISLAND TO GREAT DUCK ISLAND, AND ENTRANCE TO GEORGIAN BAY; and the other No. 3014 GREAT DUCK ISLAND TO DETOUR PASSAGE. Both were engraved editions, and drawn to approximately the same scale as the first chart for the entrance of Georgian Bay, i.e., 1 1/4 nautical miles to the inch. When published sailing Masters on the Great Lakes now had good chart coverage for two direct routes from Owen Sound in Georgian Bay, to the industrial shipping centre of Sault Ste. Marie. One route was through the North Channel, surveyed by 1890; and the other by Lake Huron to Detour Passage, that leads to the American Waters of the River St. Mary.

Up to the middle of June 1901 the survey of the east coast of Lake Huron from Clark Point to Cape Ipperwash was conducted by Mr. Stewart. From then until the end of the season the BAYFIELD was in charge of Mr. F. Anderson, first Assistant. In his annual report for 1901 the Chief Engineer remarked "there yet remains to be surveyed the north and south wider portions of the lake. The north portion embraces an area of 5,000 and the south an area of 1,100 square miles. Two good seasons e a very fair survey of these two parts". When work ended in 1901, the BAYFIELD proceeded to Georgian Bay, and before returning to Owen Sound she visited Parry Sound, where she positioned and buoyed a 'small uncharted pinnacle' near Jones Island range on which the steamer ARTHUR ORR struck in May.

Re: Steamer BAYFIELD, 1901. In his annual report dated January 1st, 1902 the Chief Engineer noted "the boiler and hull now require attention, but for survey work she has been superseded by the twin-screw schooner-tug LORD STANLEY, of Quebec, purchased from Messrs. Davie & Co., which will be fitted out during the coming season".


THE SURVEY OF LAKE WINNIPEG, 1901-03. The First Inland Water Survey Beyond the Great Lakes.

Back in 1898 two lighthouses were constructed on Lake Winnipeg by the Department of Marine and Fisheries; one at Gull Harbour on Big Island, and the other some 34 miles to the northward on the eastern extremity of Black Bear Island. These lights were built according to the Chief Engineer "to accommodate the increasing steamboat traffic on Lake Winnipeg". The steamer channels between these lighthouses were located in the narrowest sector of Lake Winnipeg, an area where lake traffic was most concentrated and the waters uncharted. On June 17th; therefore, Mr. Stewart having placed Mr. Anderson in charge of the BAYFIELD, journeyed to Lake Winnipeg to undertake the first Canadian hydrographic survey of inland waters beyond the Great Lakes.

At Selkirk, Manitoba, the steam-tug FRANK BURTON was chartered from the Northwest Navigation Co. Ltd. for the season at a cost of $3,387.16. Sailing Master was Capt. C.P. Paulsen; and Chief Engineer, Mr. C. Walderson. Assistants with Mr. Stewart were Mr. R.E. Tyrwhitt of the BAYFIELD for one month; and seasonal employee Mr. Walter Young for three and a half months. Activities were centred in the southern portion of the lake between Red River and Big Island where several lines of track soundings were run; and in the narrow channels from Gull Harbour and Berens River the waters were closely sounded.

In his annual report to the Deputy Minister the Chief Engineer wrote, "to save delay and expense the map of the lake issued by the Geological Survey (1899) is being used as a basis for a new chart." This was the first official occasion when results from a Canadian survey were not forwarded to the Admiralty for engraving and publishing.

In 1902, First and Second Assistants Messrs. F. Anderson and R.E. Tyrwhitt replaced Mr. Stewart, and extended his work on the previous season northwards. Capt. Paulsen was again Sailing Master of the FRANK BURTON; and Mr. Walderson, Chief Engineer. The chartered agreement with the Northwest Navigation Company extended from May 20th to October 16th; at a cost of $2,451.61. This season the eastern shore of the lake was closely examined; the channels into Berens and Big Black Rivers developed; and George, Little George and Sandy islands located and investigated.



Before the season of navigation opened on Lake Winnipeg, in February 1903 a chart for the Southern Portion of Lake Winnipeg was printed in Ottawa for the Department of Marine and Fisheries. It was a coloured photo-lithographic sheet, drawn by Mr. F. Anderson, to a scale of 4 statute miles to the inch. This was the first Canadian chart from Canadian surveys. Later the Chief Engineer reported "the demand for this chart has been exceedingly small".

Note: An original copy of this Lake Winnipeg chart can be seen at the Map Division, Public Archives and National Library, Ottawa.

In 1903, Messrs. Anderson and Tyrwhitt returned to Lake Winnipeg to further develop its northern portion. This season Capt. Paulsen of the FRANK BURTON was replaced by Capt. A. Vance; and Mr. A. Vrooman of the BAYFIELD replaced Mr. Walderson as Chief Engineer. Special investigations were carried out in several small harbours at Spider's Islands, Warren's Landing (entrance to the Nelson River) and Selkirk Island. Most of these narrow, crooked channels with none too deep entrances, were carefully sounded and marked with range beacons. In his annual report, the Chief Engineer commented "the open part of the Lake has now been pretty thoroughly gone over, so that there is not much necessity for continuing the work at present." Despite this statement, another full season was necessary to bring the first survey of Lake Winnipeg to a temporary close.


Back in 1899 when in Lake Huron, Mr. Stewart reported the steamer BAYFIELD as being 'totally unfit' to commence the recharting of Lake Superior. The Department of Marine and Fisheries then in December 1901 purchased its first hydrographic steamer replacement - the LORD STANLEY. In May 1902 the South African War officially ended, and this month on her way to the Upper Great Lakes the LORD STANLEY sustained serious damage to her hull whilst leaving a wharf in Toronto Harbour. This obliged her to return to Sorel for repairs at a cost of $15,950.77. When seaworthy again, she was chartered by the Department of Public Works for the remainder of the season, and used in connection with Ship Channel surveys in the River St. Lawrence below Montreal.

Unable to procure the more powerful LORD STANLEY, the older vessel BAYFIELD underwent partial repairs to her boiler, and pressed into service to commence the resurvey of Lake Superior. When the BAYFIELD returned to Owen Sound in late October she could now lay claim as being the first Canadian hydrographic vessel to see service on all the Great Lakes. This was also to be the last season for her Sailing Master and Pilot, Capt. A.M. McGregor.

Lake Superior, 1902. The recharting of the Canadian shores of Lake Superior was begun in 1902 on the less exposed sector of the east coast - at Coppermine Point, Ontario, the northern limit of the U.S. Corps of Engineers Survey of Whitefish Bay. From here the survey was extended northwards to Cape Gargantua. A very dangerous unknown shoal, with only 14 feet of water over it, was positioned 1 3/4 miles west of Leach Island. Another shoal was examined off Corbay Point, and a large uncharted rock was located south of Montreal Island, and Mica Shoal. Magnetic observations were taken at Gargantua Harbour and Batchawana Bay. With both regular assistants in Lake Winnipeg this season, Mr. Stewart was seriously handicapped, "being obliged to take all fixes alone".

Lake Superor, 1903. In June 1903, the steamer LORD STANLEY, renamed BAYFIELD, arrived in Lake Superior as a replacement for the older vessel by that name. Another replacement was Capt. W.O. Zealand, as Sailing Master. Mr. John Nisbet, Chief Engineer since 1886, was retained in this post. With a larger and more powerful steamer, Mr. Stewart was now prepared to commence survey work on the more exposed shores of Lake Superior, and accordingly proceeded to the north shore to begin the season of 1903 in Pigeon Bay, near the International Boundary. During this season the recharting of this north shore was extended eastwards to Thunder Bay, and including the offshore islands. A traverse of the shoreline and islands was completed as far as Thunder Bay, and about half of this area was sounded by the ship and boats. For this survey, Mr. Stewart made use of the U.S. triangulation points located on Victoria and Pic Islands, and on Thunder Cape.

In his annual report on Hydrographic Work in the Department of Marine and Fisheries, the Chief Engineer, Mr. Wm.P. Anderson, wrote on December 10th, 1903, "no new shoals were discovered during the season, but several were found to be incorrectly placed upon existing charts. It may safely be said, with the new chart, the inside passage between Port Arthur and Victoria Island will be much more frequently used, as the dangers in it, when properly marked are not serious. Preliminary sailing directions for this channel are being prepared".

Note: A coloured photo-lithographic chart of this channel between Fort William and Pigeon Bay was issued to the public by the Department of Marine and Fisheries July 1904 - the first Canadian Chart from Canadian Surveys for the Great Lakes.

Remarks: A flashback to September 1877 recalls to mind a request of Capt. J.C. Parsons of the wrecked S.S. CUMBERLAND, to the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, for a resurvey of two dangers in this channel: one "five reefs off the upper end of Isle Royale, near Rock of Ages"; and the other "a small shoal west of Victoria Island, in steamboat channel between Thunder Bay and Duluth."

The season of 1903 was to be the last as the 'Great Lakes Survey', and this year in addition to surveying on the north shore of Lake Superior, Mr. Stewart "built and maintained at the mouth of the dredged channel into the Kaministiquia River, a platform-buoy supporting a Wigwam 41 day lamp, which proved a great boon to the large steamers frequenting Fort William". During this season, two of Mr. Stewart's regular assistants Messrs. Anderson and Tyrwhitt were occupied in Lake Winnipeg and he had as assistants only "some transient students". The Chief Engineer later wrote, "it is very desirable that assistants for this class of technical work should be men of scientific attainments, permanently employed, as their value increases greatly with their experience". When the work ended in Lake Superior in 1903 it brought with it the close of the first chapter in the history of the Canadian Hydrographic Service - the era of the Georgian Bay and the Great Lakes Survey.

In 1904, the Great Lakes Survey in the Department of Marine and Fisheries became the Canadian Hydrographic Survey; and Mr. Wm.J. Stewart, its Officer-in-Charge since 1893, was named Chief Hydrographic Surveyor, or Chief Hydrographer. The growth, development and expansion of the Canadian Hydrographic Service to its present status date from that year.



From what has now been written, it is quite apparent that the years 1883-1894 were the formative years of the Hydrographic Service. These were the years when the Service was known as the 'Georgian Bay Survey'. It was a period of 'firsts' for many aspects of inland and coast charting, and the establishment of standard practices and procedures for future hydrographic surveys. In 1892 the Service had its first official recognition when it became a technical unit in the Chief Engineer's Branch under the direction of Mr. Wm.P. Anderson, who was also 'General Superintendent of Lighthouses and Hydrographic Service'. In 1893 the Tidal and Current Survey Division had its commencement in the Chief Engineer's Branch. From then until 1924, when this Division was transferred to the Hydrographic Survey, the recharting of Canadian Waters was of more concern to the Hydrographic Service than other aspects of marine surveying. One must not overlook the fact in those days hydrographic and tidal work were two separate areas of marine surveys. Their only common factor being that each unit came under the direction and supervision of the same Chief Engineer until 1904, and from then until 1924 under the same Deputy Minister.



When Mr. Stewart was appointed First Assistant of the BAYFIELD, in March 1884, he was officially a temporary 'clerk' in the 'Outside Service' at a salary of $550 per annum. At that time Staff Commander Boulton's salary (naval pay and allowances) was about $4,000 per annum, or about twenty-five percent higher than that of Mr. Wm. Smith, Deputy Minister of Marine and Fisheries. When Mr. Stewart succeeded Staff Commander Boulton as Officer-in-Charge, Georgian Bay Survey, in April 1893, he was listed in the Chief Engineer's Branch as a 'First Class Clerk, salary $1,650 per annum'. Mr. F. Anderson, his successor as First Assistant, was listed as a 'Third Class Clerk, salary $700 per annum'. Before this fiscal year ended the names of both Messrs. Stewart and Anderson were changed to the Civil Government List of the Department's Inside Service. In 1895, both these hydrographic surveyors were classified as 'Technical Officers' of the Inside Service, and despite Mr. Stewart's becoming Chief Hydrographer in 1904, these classifications prevailed in annual government reports until positions in the Hydrographic establishment were standardized by authority of the Civil Service Amended Act, 1908. Since 1893, Messrs. Stewart and Anderson were contributors to the existing Superannuation plan at that time; and with the establishment of the Retiring Act in 1898, Mr. Tyrwhitt. When the era of the 'Georgian Bay Survey' ended in 1903, Mr. Stewart's salary as Officer-in-Charge, C.G.S. BAYFIELD, had reached $2,050 per annum. That of his First Assistant Mr. F. Anderson (at present in charge of chartered tug FRANK BENTON [sic] in Lake Winnipeg) $1,200; and Second Assistant, Mr. R.E. Tyrwhitt, $950 per annum. In comparison, the sum of $3,000 per annum was paid the Chief Engineer, Marine Branch (Mr. Wm.P. Anderson); and $2,050 (same as Mr. Stewart) to the Engineer-in-Charge, Tidal and Current Surveys, Dr. W. Bell Dawson.

Had it not been for a period of economic recession in the 1890s, and the South African War 1899-1902, the Great Lakes Survey in all probability would have expanded beyond the establishment of one ship party and three regular hydrographers. Since the regular field staff had not increased in numbers, but when surveys of Lake Winnipeg (1901) and Lake Superior (1902) began, several temporary seasonal assistants were taken on the Outside Service. One of these assistants was a Mr. G.H.G. Boulton (relative of Staff Commander Boulton?) 1899, 1900, 1901. With regular assistants Messrs. Anderson and Tyrwhitt in Lake Winnipeg, in 1903 Mr. Stewart had with him on the BAYFIELD the following student personnel: Mr. Harris Cohen, Acting First Assistant; Mr. Robert Rolland, Acting Second Assistant; and other assistants Messrs. A.O. Bourdonnais and H. Swan. Salaries for these temporary assistants varies from $600-$700 per annum. Finally, there was Mr. J.A. Simpson, Mr. Stewart's 'Secretary', at a salary of $720 per annum.



Before closing out the first chapter of this story here are a few remarks on ship officers who served in the first two BAYFIELDS. Sailing Master and Pilot of the first ship from 1884-1902 was Capt. A.M. McGregor of Owen Sound; and the first Chief Engineers were Mr. Charles Linter (1884-86), and Mr. John Nisbet (1886-1902). When appointed Sailing Master and Chief Engineer in 1884 the salary of Capt. McGregor was $1,070 per annum, and of Mr. Linter $800 per annum. When commissioned in 1884 the BAYFIELD's ship company was about 17 officers and crew. That of the second BAYFIELD, the LORD STANLEY, in 1903 was increased to about 25 officers and crew. At the time Hydrographic Officers signed ship's articles, and the time served on the two BAYFIELDS were accepted as sea-going experience when Messrs. Stewart and Anderson were granted certificates of Competency as Master, Inland Waters, in the years 1897 and 1905, respectively.

When the second BAYFIELD was commissioned in 1903, Capt. McGregor was replaced by Capt. W.O. Zealand, with a salary of $1,400 per annum. Mr. John Nisbet, when he replaced Mr. Chas. Linter as Chief Engineer in 1886, was paid $900 per annum. When he was transferred to the second BAYFIELD, his salary was increased to $1,000 per annum.

Until 1904, Mr. Stewart was Officer in Charge of the Second BAYFIELD, and in subsequent years was succeeded by Capt. F. Anderson (1905), H.D. Parizeau, R.J. Fraser, and H.L. Leadman. When the survey of the Great Lakes ended in 1920 she was assigned to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and worked in this area intermittently until laid up in 1931.

Remarks: Most of the survey and ship officers who served on this early training ship have now passed to the Great Beyond. The names of the last officers to serve in her were as follows: Mr. H.L. Leadman, Officer-in-Charge; Capt. D.M. Snelgrove; and Mr. S.A. Robson, Chief Engineer. One hydrographer is still in our midst who began his career in the BAYFIELD in 1930 is the past Dominion Hydrographer Mr. N.G. Gray. When working on the exposed coast of the Magdalen Islands in 1931, Mr. Gray had the unique experience of using a 'boat's crew', or sailing gig, to chart these waters. A few years later the last sailing gig was beached on the Atlantic Coast, bringing to a close an e

Between the years 1883-1904, the Admiralty published twenty-five engraved general, coast and harbour charts from surveys by officers in the Department of Marine and Fisheries. Two of theses editions were for the Bay of Quinte, Lake Ontario, from surveys by the Chief Engineer and other assistants; and twenty-three editions were strictly from resurveys by the Georgian Bay and Great Lakes Survey - Great Lakes 22, British Columbia 1. Great Lakes Charts were for the following regions: Georgian Bay 8, the North Channel 3, Lake Erie 3, St. Clair River to Lake Huron 1, Lake Huron 4, and Lake Superior 1 and in British Columbia, Burrard Inlet 1. In addition, three photo-lithograph preliminary charts were printed in Ottawa by the Department of Marine and Fisheries: Lake Winnipeg 2, Lake Superior 1. This gives the Georgian Bay and Great Lakes Survey credit for a total of twenty-six charts (Admiralty 23, Canadian 3); and the Department of Marine and Fisheries in all twenty-eight editions (Admiralty 25, Canadian 3)

Up to the year 1904, two volumes of sailing directions had been written from Canadian resurveys in the Great Lakes: one for Georgian Bay and the North Channel, the other for the Canadian shores of Lake Huron. Periodically local sailing directions for harbours in the Great Lakes were printed in Notices to Mariners of the Marine and Fisheries Department.

The price of the first Canadian chart for Lake Winnipeg in 1903 was 50 cents per copy; but in the following year the price for these photo-liths was reduced to 25 cents each. In 1906 this price was stabilized to 15 cents per copy, the same as charged a few years later for the first engraved Canadian coast charts. Up to the year 1919 sailing directions and pilots were issued to the public free of charge. In October 1919 the price of one of the earliest volumes to be written "Sailing Directions for Lake Huron and Georgian Bay" was changed to 25 cents per volume.


The amount spent on the resurvey of Georgian Bay and the North Channel from 1883 to 1894 was approximately $215,400, and with the purchase and maintenance of the steamer BAYFIELD this figure rose to $255,500. Expenditure on the resurveys of Lake Erie, Huron, Superior, Burrard Inlet, B.C., and Lake Winnipeg came to approximately $200,000; and to this must be added at least $85,000 to cover costs of chartering the steam tug FRANK BURTON in Lake Winnipeg, and the second steamer BAYFIELD. The total outlay of public funds therefore to the commencement of the era of the Canadian Hydrographic Survey in 1904 was slightly more than half a million dollars (almost $550,000) for twenty-one field seasons. This amounts to an average of $25,000 per annum, which is an insignificant sum when one considers the increased safety and tremendous contribution Canadian resurveys brought to Canadian shipping and navigation in those years.

Note: All of the information in this section has been taken from the work of M. Meehan with updates by the Friends of Hydrography in 1999.

Further Reading:

It is suggested that additional accounts, which are without doubt better organized, more scholarly but less interesting, are available in the following publications:

  1. The Chartmakers
  2. Surveying a Northern Land