Good catch. I got Ontario and Erie mixed up.
I wondered about this myself. I think you're right. If the decision were being made from London, they would probably rather have as many U.S. ships of the line as possible bottled up in a lake. But if Edward is making the call… in case of war, the Royal Navy could send a dozen ships the size of the Chippewa in two months, but the Chippewa could be shelling Canadian cities in two days.
???? But even if the Rideau canal is built and/or the locks on the st laurence, they are still way to small for a ship that size, no?