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Charts and Books

** Note, this is NOT an on-line ordering page **

(we don't normally do mail order)

Visit us at The Depot this summer for an interesting selection of Rideau items, including charts and books. The Depot is located in Blockhouse Park in Merrickville and we're open in July and August (sometimes weekends in June and September depending on availability of volunteers).

We're also out and about at various events along the Rideau with a selection of Rideau merchandise - The Ottawa Boat and Sportsmen Show (February), Colonel By Day (Monday, August long weekend, Bytown Museum), Rideau Ferry Regatta (August - every 2nd year), Classic Boat Show (August, various locations).

Charts: The Rideau navigation charts (Charts 1512 and 1513) can be purchased from World of Maps. In addition, most of the lockstations along the Rideau sell the Rideau charts.

If you're looking for a book - several Rideau history books are available at outlets along the Rideau including:

  • Novel Idea in Kingston
  • The Depot in Merrickville
  • Bytown Museum in Ottawa

A History of the Rideau Lockstations A History of the Rideau Lockstations by Ken W. Watson - a history of each lockstation on the Rideau Canal detailing why each spot was chosen, problems that had to be overcome, and how they did it. Illustrated with maps, period paintings and photographs. 120p. 2000 (updated to last printing in 2009).

(click here for more info)
Passfield - Building the Rideau Canal Building the Rideau Canal: A Pictorial History by Robert Passfield. A 2003 reprint of the 1982 classic. The book features 72 period illustrations of the canal during and just following construction, 43 of which are in stunning colour. Passfield provides expert interpretation of these images and engaging descriptions of the engineering of the works. This is one of the best books about the Rideau. 184p. 1982. (reprinted in 2003).
     (click here for more info)
Tales of the Rideau Tales of the Rideau. This non-fiction books contains 17 tales, ranging from classics such The Lost Barrel of Silver to lesser known tales such as the Sluiced Superintendent. Focusing on the back-story, the details that formed the basis for each tale, this book explores many fascinating facets of Rideau history. For details see the Tales of the Rideau Page. 166p. 2010.
Pathfinders Pathfinders, The Guides of The Rideau by Ed Bebee. Explore the lore and the lure of the Rideau with this engaging book about unsung group of men and women who contributed to the flowering of the Rideau. 170p. 2004.
(click here for more info)
The Rideau Route The Rideau Route: Exploring the Pre-Canal Waterway by Ken W. Watson. New for 2007. This book reveals the secret world that lies below the waters of the Rideau Canal – the drowned landscape of the original Rideau Route. This book answers the question; what did the Rideau Route look like before the canal was built? A fascinating and educational read. 146p. 2007.
     (click here for more info)
The Sweeney Diary The Sweeney Diary: the 1839 to 1850 Journal of Rideau Lockmaster Peter Sweeney The fascinating diary of the first lockmaster at Jones Falls. The book also includes The Life and Times of Peter Sweeney and Who's Who in the Diary by local historian Sue Warren. Anyone interested in a first hand account of life in Upper Canada, of an early Rideau lockmaster, or just interested in a good read will enjoy this book. 198p. 2008.

Digital Book MRS193
We digitized several of Parks Canada's research reports about the Rideau Canal.

In 2019 we donated these to the website ParksCanadaHistory.com where they are available as free downloads.

Those reports include:
  • Construction History of the Rideau Canal.
  • The Rideau Canal: 1832 - 1914
  • Historic Bridges on the Rideau Waterways System
  • Builders of the Rideau Canal, 1826-32
  • Recreational Boating on the Rideau Waterway, 1890-1930
  • The First Tay Canal in the Rideau Corridor, 1830-1850
  • Canal Lock Design and Construction, The Rideau Canal Experience, 1826-1982
  • Overland Transport in the Rideau Region, 1800-1930
  • Industries and Industrialists of Merrickville, 1792-1979
  • The Architectural Heritage of the Rideau Corridor
  • Commercial Navigation on the Rideau Canal, 1832-1961
  • The Second Tay Canal in the Rideau Corridor, 1880-1940
These are available as a free download from: ParksCanadaHistory.com.

Friends of the Rideau
P.O. Box 1232, Stn. Main
Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, K7A 5C7

email: info@rideaufriends.com

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