The War of 1812

Two Neighbors Guard Their Border

Erie DVD

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The American and Canadian canals built soon after the War of 1812 ended
Work began on the Erie Canal in 1817

Our history books don't mention this as a reason for our interest in digging a canal around Lake Ontario, but Canada and the US were enemies in the War of 1812, and both countries embarked on canal-building programs shortly after it ended in 1815.  It's true that the Erie's commercial success was reason enough for the Canadians to want their own canal system, but their record shows that something else was very much on their minds at the time:  (Learn more - read the second paragraph of the link).

Commodore Perry at the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812
Commodore Perry at the Battle of Lake Erie
Battles had been fought on Lakes Erie and Ontario
The Battle of Lake Erie - 1813
Lake Ontario action
Hostilities on Lake Ontario - Sept 11, 1813 (Peter W. Spicer)