The canal is one of Jericho's most attractive amenities. Its towpath offers an alternative route to the city centre. The canal was completed in 1790 as a way of linking Oxford with the West Midlands (it reaches just north of Coventry). But the arrival of the railways eventually put paid to the canal for industrial transport and it is now used solely for leisure craft. For a detailed history, see the page in the 'Jericho Sketchbook'.
Jericho is virtually the end of the canal, so many visitors moor here. We used to have two boatyards to hire boats and to service them. One yard, Orchard Crusiers has now closed, but the other,'College Cruisers, is still going strong.
Much of the canalside land in Jericho is now due to be redeveloped, which has led to a national controversy over the use of the site and particularly the loss of the valuable community boatyard which had been established on the Orchard Cruisers site. Further information from Jericho Community Boatyard.
There is also talk of reopening the former canal basin, currently submerged under Worcester Street car part.