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Ottawa Timber Slide: mid-1880s

Ottawa Timber Slide: mid-1880s

A timber slide was a device for moving timber past rapids and waterfalls. The image here is of the main timber slide at Ottawa looking toward Canada’s parliament buildings. The men are riding a timber crib, which would carry up to 50 logs tied together down the chute. The ride was very fast and hilariously wet, which often attracted visiting dignitaries. In 1850, it was reported that up to 500 cribs went through this slide in one day. The logs were on their way to Montreal for shipment overseas.

Studio of William James Topley (1845-1930), Ottawa portrait photographer. View full size.

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Royalty Ride the Slide

In 1901 the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall visited Ottawa, and one of the highlights of their trip was a ride on a crib like this. They later became George V and Queen Mary.

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