Desjardins canal was constructed with an aim to give Dundas an easier access to North America’s great lakes system mainly Lake Ontario. It was named after Desjardins Pierre, who was its famous promoter after he formed the company that built the canal to completion in 1837. Following the war, the government felt the urge to have the interior province of Upper Canada populated as a means to have a refuge for loyalists who had been forced out of their homes in the United States. As other regions became populated with loyalties, there was a possibility for more of these men to be settled around Lake Ontario. In order to make the region enticing, the need for good transportation arose. In order to link the interior province and the shipping corridor provided by Saint Lawrence River and Lake Ontario, there was need to have the Canal. This would bring with it many benefits as it would support commercial services for the increasing population and economy of the new region and also serve military functions as it would route traffic from regions under the United States. The need to have this canal constructed was also brought by efforts Dundas town was putting to cope with the rapid development experienced in other surrounding towns like Hamilton and this canal acted as a centerpiece to establish Dundas as the industrial hub of the region.
The Desjardins Canal plaque also emphasizes the need for such a canal through the text magnificently inscribed on it. It asserts that waterways such as this provided the indispensable means of transportation in those early days. Dundas town situated at the head of navigation on the Lake was most favorable spot for the canal. The canal contributed significantly to the development of this area. However, as other transport means such as the railway developed in subsequent years, the Desjardins Canal progressively became dormant.