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The Pan-American Exposition canal system was a showpiece of the exposition grounds. It was a mile-long waterway that girdled the fair's main group of buildings but did not incorporate any part of Delaware Park Lake. Instead, the canal route went through the artificially created East and West Mirror Lakes on either side of the Triumphal Bridge just north of the Fore Court on what is now the north section of Lincoln Parkway.

Picturesque bridges spanned the canal at different intervals, and classical sculpture decorated its banks, which were embellished with colorful flowers, shrubbery and trees. Passage over the waterway was by gondolas, electric-powered launches and small boats.

At various points along the canal there were latticework stations with wooden docks and bright awnings where passengers could comfortably embark or disembark. Along the route there were about a dozen stops, including either side of the Triumphal Bridge on the north shore of Mirror Lake, at the southeast corner of the canal route, near the Six Nations Indian Exhibit, just northeast of the U.S. Government Building, at each side of the bridge at the east end of the mall, at the northeast and northwest corners of the Agriculture Building, at the northeast and northwest corners of the Electricity Building, at the bridge over the west end of the mall, at either side of the bridge just west of the Horticulture Building, and just south of the Mines Building.

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