Thomas Burrowes (artist) - Biography


Burrowes was born in 1796 in Worcester, England. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the Corps of Royal Sappers and Miners, and he was posted to Fort Henry in Kingston, Upper Canada in 1815. In 1826, he joined a team assembling in Montreal to build a military canal linking Lake Ontario to the Ottawa River. Assigned to Bytown (the settlement that later became Ottawa, the capital of Canada), Burrowes served as Assistant Overseer of Works for the Rideau Canal project. He was one of the first persons to take up land and build a home on Wellington Street, the road upon which Canada's Parliament Buildings would be built decades later.

In 1829, Burrowes was posted to Kingston Mills, upstream from Kingston, where he served as Clerk of the Works of the Cataraqui section of the Rideau Canal until his retirement in 1846. In retirement, Burrowes worked as a farmer, supplementing his income by serving both as a postmaster and Justice of the Peace in Kingston Mills. Burrowes died in 1866. His home, Maplehurst, still stands.

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