Year Built Name Extent
540-1320 Grand Canal Beijing - Hangzhou (2,500 km)
11th Century Naviglio Grande Milan - Adriatic (30 km)
1390-97 Stecknitz Canal Elbe - Trave (11 km)
1604-42 Briare Canal Seine - Loire (58 km)
1667-81 Canal du Midi Garonne - Mediterranean (279 km)
1732 Ladoga canal St. Petersburg - Volga (110 km)
1759-61 Bridgewater Canal Worsley - Manchester (16 km)
1784-1833 Rhine-Rhone canal Strasburg-Mulhouse-Burgundy (319 km)
1810-24 North Sea canal Amsterdam - North Sea (20 km)
1817-25 Erie canal Buffalo - Albany (544 km)
1821-25 Lachine Canal Montreal - Lake St. Louis (15 km)
1836-45 Ludwigskanal Main - Danube (172 km)
1838-54 Rhine - Marne canal Saverne gap (314 km)
1859-69 Suez canal Mediterranean - Red Sea (112 km)
1894 Manchester Ship Canal Manchester - Liverpool (64 km)
1887-95 Kiel canal Baltic Sea - North Sea (99 km)
1906-14 Panama canal Atlantic Ocean - Pacific Ocean (80 km)
1905-38 Mittellandkanal Rhine - Elbe (320 km)
Source: adapted from K. Leibrand (1970) Transportation and Town Planning, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, p. 24.
Major Canals Built
Although several canal systems were built well before the industrial revolution, such as the Grand Canal in China, the 18th and 19th centuries saw the acceleration of canal projects.