The Rideau Canal Waterway is a popular vacation spot for boating, cruising, recreation, fishing, tourism, Canadian heritage appreciation, and enjoying the outdoors. The locks that connect the beautiful lakes and rivers that make up the Rideau Canal were first opened in 1832. It was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1925. In 2000, the Rideau Waterway was designated a Canadian Heritage River, recognizing its outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values. This designation also celebrates the role of the Rideau Waterway in Canada's history, not the least of which was the founding of our nation's capital, Ottawa. In 2007 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognizing the canal as a masterpiece of human creative genius.
(click on map for larger view)
The Rideau, which extends 202 kilometres from Kingston to Ottawa, is the oldest continuously operated canal in North America with the locks at most of the 24 lockstation still hand-operated, much as they were when the canal first opened in 1832.
The Rideau Canal is living history, each of the historic lockstations is a fascinating place to explore.
In the summer, drop by the Depot run by the Friends of the Rideau at Merrickville, near the blockhouse, right beside the Canal.
The waters teem with panfish - bluegills, pumpkinseed, black crappie - while the back bays, weedbeds, and shorelines are home to smallmouth and largemouth bass. Some of the Rideau lakes boast lake trout. Pike are plentiful, and the waters of the Long Reach are famous for muskellunge. Bring your boat or rent one at the many marinas in the Rideau Corridor.
For those driving, the Rideau Heritage Route, from Kingston to Ottawa, passes through many interesting local communities and provides access to the lockstations which are well worth a visit.
Free boating and general information packages are available by contacting the Rideau Canal Office of Parks Canada at 613-283-5170 or by email at: RideauCanalfirstname.lastname@example.org (please include your postal mailing address in your email)
General Rideau info is available by calling the Parks Canada Call Centre at: 1-888-773-8888
Friends of the Rideau
P.O. Box 1232, Stn. Main
Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, K7A 5C7 email: email@example.com
SUPPORT THE RIDEAU
A membership in Friends of the Rideau is only $20 CDN. Your membership will help to support our work to enhance and preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the Rideau. If you love the Rideau, consider taking out a membership today. Please see our membership page.