“All I remember was it was going to be a great project and it was going to make shipping so much bigger and greater.
And from what I understand, what I read and heard, I don’t think it ever came up to the expectations of what they thought, the tonnage they thought they would have, the ocean liners they thought would be going through.
And I think the projection was good, but I think the result, I think that’s what made quite a few people bitter, too. That it never really came out to the expectations that they had for it.”
Dale Ault, Interview Audio Excerpts, Brantford, Ontario. August 5, 2013
The expectations of the Seaway project were never met. As a result quite a few people are bitter.
Originally called Charlesville the town was first settled by Nicholas Ault who was a Captain in the English Army and a United Empire Loyalist. Aultsville was renamed in the late 1800s to honour Dale’s great great uncle Samuel Ault who sat in the Canada’s first parliament in 1867.
It was a great way to grow up. Everyone knew everybody.
When I left for Cornwall the village was intact. I missed the whole demolition of the village which a lot of people told me is a wonderful thing, because all I have in my mind is the village as it was.
Audio Excerpt: Dale Ault, Brantford, Ontario. August 5, 2013
In this clip Dale Ault discusses how the projections for the Seaway were quite grand but that many expectations were not met, resulting in some people becoming bitter.
Great promises were made before and during the construction of St Lawrence Seaway about the industrial development and economic opportunities that would follow. Few of these promises were realized. The loss of homes and communities was framed as a sacrifice for the common good, for the economic well being of all Canadians. Locally the area was to become a centre of industrial development, jobs and prosperity. This never happened.
Dale Ault spent his early teen years in Aultsville, Ontario where he was raised by his grandmother in the home their family had owned since the 1800s. Aultsville was named after Samuel Ault one of Dale’s predecessors.
He lelt Aultsville to work as a copy boy for the Cornwall Standard Freeholder before the area was razed for the Seaway. On occasional trips back to Aultsville he witnessed the step by step destruction of the area until Aultsville was also leveled.
Dale spent his entire career in the newspaper business at different locations around Ontario.
He now lives in Brantford, Ontario.
Dale Ault, cropped from wedding photograph, 1957?
Dale Ault, Minor Hockey Player, early-1950s