A timber slide is a water-filled chute or runway built to carry RAFTS of timber around rapids and falls. Similar devices for individual pieces of wood were called "flumes." Ruggles Wright of Hull claimed to have built the first Canadian slide in 1829. Made of wood and designed to spread the river's fall over a kilometre or more, slides quickened the drive, lessened chances of a jam and reduced damage. Most common in the OTTAWA RIVER Valley, slides were originally private toll-levying facilities. By 1846 public slides were operating as far up the Ottawa as Lac Coulonge, and by 1870 the Canadian government maintained many public slides to facilitate the timber trade in the Ottawa River valley. In 1860 the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) rode down a timber slide during his visit to British North America.
See also TIMBER TRADE HISTORY.