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A buildings had been requested by early settlers to hold items that had previously been left near or on the dock by boats providing items for the settlements.
These lands were considered by many to be blocking economic progress as well as being held for speculative reasons only.
The settlement along both sides of the canal was allowed by Colonel By due to their desperate poverty and inability to pay the rent.
These men, separated from the others, had done some of the hard labour required of the canal's construction.
The town took its name from John By who, as a Colonel in the British Royal Engineers, was instrumental in the construction of the canal. Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica was also built early on in the developing town.
The streets are laid out with much regularity, and of a liberal width that will hereafter contribute to the convenience, salubrity and elegance of the place.