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Canadian Documents Gallery

Public Works

Photograph of Empire Day celebration on Parliament Hill, Ottawa, May 24, 1916

Empire Day celebration on Parliament Hill, Ottawa, May 24, 1916
Source ]

The Board of Works was established in 1839 for Lower Canada, and its jurisdiction extended to the United Provinces of Canada in 1841. After a substantial reorganization in 1846, it was replaced by the Department of Public Works in 1859. This body was responsible for canals, works in navigable waters, harbours, lighthouses, beacons and buoys, slides and booms, roads, bridges, and public buildings.

In 1867, its functions were assumed by the federal Department of Public Works, which also became responsible for similar public works in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Control of most roads and bridges and certain public buildings was relinquished to the provinces at Confederation; the operation and administration of marine works, though not their construction, was transferred to the Marine Branch of the new Department of Marine and Fisheries in 1868. The management of all railways and canals and their related works was assumed by the Department of Railways and Canals in 1879. In 1993 the Department of Public Works was merged with the Department of Supplies and Services.

Report on proposed water distribution for the settlement of Fort Smith, N.W.T., RG 11, series B-3, volume 4390, file 12056-26, 17 pages
Source ]

Further Research

Department of Public Works fonds. Library and Archives Canada. fuseaction=genitem.displayItem?=eng&rec_nbr=22&rec_nbr_list=22

"History of Departments: Public Works." Parliament of Canada.
(accessed June 13, 2010)

Public Works and Government Services Canada.
(accessed June 13, 2010).

Thematic Guides: Records of the Department of Public Works. Library and Archives Canada.
(accessed June 13, 2010).