Looking for a day trip that combines Canada’s history, gorgeous scenery, and some slightly spooky vibes? We know just the spot. Only 3 short hours outside of Toronto you’ll stumble upon the unbelievable Stone Arch Dam. This gorgeous landmark has been standing strong for nearly 200 years! It’s got some super interesting history to it, that only gets more intriguing the more you learn. So let us give you a taste then plan your trip and see this spot for yourself!
THE STONE ARCH DAM
Alright, let’s start with the history of the place. It was built way back in the early 1830s by two dudes named John Redpath and Thomas McKay. Their goal at the time was to tame the rapids that were flooding through Jones Falls. Today, the canal it’s a part of, the Rideau Waterway, has become a super convenient route for boats to get from America to Ottawa.
But one of the more interesting parts of the Stone Arch Dam is the way it was built. Interlocking and tapered vertical stones were put together to form one of the strongest structures out there. Unlike most structures that would experience wear and tear from rocks and water hitting against them, this dam is engineered to become stronger with age. It’s said that the architectural inspiration was taken from the Roman arch, and at the time it was built, construction workers apparently went so far as to nickname it the “Seventh Wonder of the World.”
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The Stone Arch spans a whopping 107 metres in width and 19.5 metres in height, which is quite a magnificent sight to see when you visit.
Plus, the place has a spooky feature that loads of folks don’t know about. So when you stand at one end of the Stone Arch and listen closely, you’ll hear what some have described as “whispers” babbling out from the dam. No, don’t worry, the place isn’t haunted. Instead, the shape of the structure makes it possible for sound to travel hundreds of metres in distance. And locals are known to trick visitors by whispering messages at them from the other side.
So pencil this place into your weekend getaway plans. Not only is it a beautiful sight to see. But it’s rich history and unbelievable engineering are definitely one-of-a-kind.
Where: Jones Falls, Elgin, Ontario