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Remembering Irish Sacrifice on the Rideau Canal

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The 47 locks and 18 dams of the Rideau Canal are a giant draw for boaters and tourists in the summer months. The system connects Montreal with Kingston, Ontario via Ottawa. The British built the canal after the War of 1812 to allow boats to travel inland rather than risking a potentially dangerous transit along the border waters of the St. Lawrence River. The project was the largest of its kind in the British Empire at the time, and mostly Irish immigrants worked on it. Hundreds died. On Sunday in Ottawa, Canadian officials will unveil a Celtic Cross memorial in honor of the fallen canal workers. David Sommerstein spoke with Ken Clavette, a member of the Rideau Canal Celtic Cross Committee. He says it's hard to pin down how many people died building the canal system.

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