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Anson Northup, the first steamboat on the Canadian prairies, arrived in Fort Garry in 1859. Belching hot sparks and growling in fury, it was called "fire canoe" by the local Cree. The first steam-powered passenger vessel in Canada had begun service on the St. Lawrence River in 1809, and for the next 150 years, steamboats carried passengers and freight on great Canadian rivers, among them the treacherous Stikine and Fraser in British Columbia; the Saskatchewan and Red Rivers on the prairies; and the mighty St. Lawrence and Saguenay in Ontario and Quebec.
Travel back in time aboard makeshift gold-rush riverboats on the Yukon, sternwheelers on the Saskatchewan and luxurious liners on the St. Lawrence to the decades when steamboats sent the echoes of whistles across a vast land of powerful rivers.