|Explore the Rideau Canal
and Friends of the Rideau
by following these links:
The Rideau (pronounced "Reed-O") is many things to many people. It is a superb area for recreation, it's a wonderful part of our Canadian heritage and it is a celebration of nature.
To answer the initial question, What's a Rideau?, the word rideau is French for curtain, the appearance of the falls where the Rideau meets the Ottawa River, to Samuel de Champlain who travelled up the Ottawa River in 1613. The name Rivière du Rideau first appeared on maps in about 1700.
The canal, used as a commercial waterway through to the early 1900s, helped to shape local communities. The Rideau Corridor has never lost the quiet pastoral charm of its early history.
Rideau Natural Environment
The Rideau traverses a varied terrain, flat sedimentary plains in the north and south with the rocky exposures of the Canadian Shield in the center. It is this exposure of shield rock that created the beautiful Rideau Lakes. Of the 1,000 plus kilometres of shoreline along the Rideau, a significant portion remains undeveloped, a haven for local wildlife. Conservation areas, provincial parks, and fish and bird sanctuaries provide further protected habitat along the length of the Rideau Canal.
The Rideau is also a place of festivals - the Tulip Festival in Ottawa, Canalfest in Merrickville, the Delta Fair, the Perth Garlic Festival, Seeleys Bay's Frost Fest, the Lyndhurst Turkey Fair, Busker's Rendezvous in Kingston, Colone By Day in Ottawa, Rideau Valley Art Festival in Westport, Winterlude in Ottawa, maple syrup festivals up and down the corridor, there is a celebration for every turn of the season.
P.O. Box 1232, Stn. Main
Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, K7A 5C7
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