Running the slide
Around 1880 George Grant, principal of Queen’s University, and a group of friends took the plunge down the four- part Chaudière timber slide. Here is his report of their adventure:
Ahead for a quarter of a mile appears a narrow channel, down which a shallow stream of water is constantly rushing, with here and there a drop of some five or eight feet. The ladies gather up their garments as the crib, now beginning to feel the current, takes matters into its own hands; with rapidly- quickening speed, the unwieldy craft passes under a bridge, and with a groan and a mighty cracking and splashing, plunges nose forward, and tail high in the air, over the first drop. Now she is in the slide proper, and the pace is exhilarating; on, over the smooth timbers, she glides swiftly....
Now comes a bigger drop than the last, and the water, as we go over, surges up through our timbers, and a shower of spray falls about us. A delicate “Oh!” from the ladies compliments this effort.... Another interval of smooth rush, and again a drop, and yet another. Ahead there is a gleam of tossed and tumbled water which shows the end of the descent; down still we rush, and with one last wild dip, which sends the water spurting up about our feet, we have reached the bottom, cleverly caught on a floating platform of wood, called the “apron,” which prevents our plunging into “full fathoms five.”
We have “run the slides.”
Men run a crib down a timber slide on the Ottawa River near Parliament Hill, after 1880.