The Canada Act of 1791 divided the colony of Quebec into two parts along the Ottawa River. The names "upper" and "lower" come from their position along the St. Lawrence River. Upper Canada was up river, closer to the source and Lower Canada was down river, closer to the mouth of the great waterway. To travel "up river" you had to paddle against the current. To travel "down river" you would be paddling with the current as it flowed to the Atlantic Ocean.