The Rideau Canal is a UNESCO World Heritage Web site that runs from downtown Ottawa to Kingston. The 202 km lengthy waterway is legendary for its historic locks and well-known skating rink, however there are such a lot of issues to do on the Rideau Canal, it takes a few weeks to really discover it.

The oldest repeatedly run locks system in North America is stuffed with cities dotting its route, vineyards, historic websites, and unbelievable surroundings. We’ve visited the Rideau Canal a number of occasions in Ottawa and Kingston, however it wasn’t till we spend two weeks this previous summer time and autumn driving a houseboat with Le Boat that we had the chance to discover in every single place in between.

Scorching Vacation Offers with Le Boat – France and Canada

Earlier than we get began, we need to let you recognize about large vacation financial savings with Le Boat to discover the Rideau Canal and the canals of France. If you wish to skip on to locations to go to on the Rideau Canal, click on right here.

Plan your 2022 Cruise and save as much as 25%

Le Boat is providing a 25% financial savings on French and Canadian Canal Non-public Cruisers. This 12 months’s Black Friday offers will run from tomorrow November 25 to December 1 and clients can e-book early with confidence.

For those who pay in full you’ll receiveA 25% financial savings on France boat rental holidays, for journey anytime in 2022. Legitimate on all boat varieties besides Horizon boats.   A 25% financial savings on Canada-Rideau Canal boat rental holidays, for journey Might 20 to June 17, 2022 on Horizon Cruisers. 

With Le Boat’s versatile reserving insurance policies there are not any modification charges, there’s a COVID refund assure and you’ll unfold your funds all year long after placing down a low deposit to carry the boat of your selection. There’s no motive to attend to begin planning your dream journey at the moment.

For those who pay only a deposit you’ll obtain: A financial savings of 20% off France holidays, for journey anytime in 2022.A financial savings of 20% off Canada-Rideau Canal holidays, for journey between Might 20 and June 17, 2022A saving of 5 % off Canada-Rideau Canal holidays, for journey between June 18 and Oct 10, 2022 Some situations applySee what it’s like on a Le Boat Tour

We beloved Le Boat a lot we did it twice in 2021 and have plans for Europe in 2022! You’ll be able to e-book your individual Canada or Europe tour in your individual personal luxurious cruiser. What we beloved is that we had our personal little journey bubble with our household (together with my mum or dad’s cats) on our Horizon 4 with 4 bedrooms 4 baths. Think about cruising the canals of France whereas discovering its historic websites and indulging in French meals and wine subsequent summer time. What a dream. Learn all about our Le Boat Journey on the Rideau Canal.

Offers embrace the unbelievable Rideau Canal in Canada too! In case you are questioning why it’s best to cruise the Rideau Canal proceed studying as a result of you’ll love exploring this UNESCO World Heritage Web site. E-book your Le Boat trip right here.

Locations to go to on the Rideau Canal

The Rideau Canal was such a spectacular trip, we frequently questioned why extra Canadians don’t discover this lovely area of Ontario. Nonetheless, I don’t suppose it is going to be lengthy earlier than the waterways are flooded with guests from around the globe as soon as they see all of the unbelievable locations to go to on the Rideau Canal.

It’s actually a bucket checklist merchandise to spend every week on a ship cruising by locks. We discovered learn how to drive the houseboat, and learn how to navigate by these historic locks that may attain heights of seven.9 m (26 ft.) at Smiths Falls. It may be intimidating and exhilarating going right into a lock for the primary time.

Rideau Locks and Lock Stations

Probably the most fascinating locations to go to within the Rideau Canal are all of the Rideau Locks. There are 24 lock stations housing 47 locks on the Rideau from Ottawa to Kingston. We’ve been to or boated by each single one in all them. What makes the locks of the Rideau Canal so particular is that they’re working the identical approach that they’ve


Ottawa is by far the most effective place to expertise the Rideau Canal for vacationers. Lots of the metropolis’s prime sights are positioned on the Rideau Canal from the Fairmont Chateau Laurier to Parliament Hill and the Bytown Museum overlooking the set of 8 unbelievable locks connecting the canal to the Ottawa River. The Ottawa Locks are by far essentially the most picturesque of the Rideau Canal Locks with the Fairmont Chateau Laurie framing one aspect and the Parliament buildings on the opposite.

With boat cruises taking guests from downtown to Dows Lake to biking paths operating alongside the Rideau, there are many issues to see on the Rideau when visiting Ottawa. If you wish to cycle the Rideau Canal try Escape Bicycle Excursions for leases and guided excursions.

Rideau Canal Cruise

We’ve taken a guided Rideau Canal Cruise from downtown to Dows Lake however it was whereas on Le Boat that we moored instantly in entrance of the Westin Resort and Nationwide Arts Heart on our luxurious houseboat that we actually skilled what it’s like for boaters to journey by the locks. Prior to now, now we have all the time watched in envy as boaters sipped wine on their decks underneath the summer time solar, and now swiftly we have been doing so! It’s unbelievable to observe the twinkling lights of town dance on the water as we stayed within the prime location. An incredible factor is that Parks Canada gives free docking and you should purchase electrical energy (in the event you want it) for 9.20 per night time.

Dows Lake

Downs Lake is one other cease in Ottawa on the Rideau Canal. We not solely had the prospect to boat it, now we have additionally raced dragon boats on this lake in the course of winter whereas it was frozen. There’s a pavilion on the lake the place boaters can moor for the night time. It has eating places and leases for kayaks, paddleboats, and bicycles. You can too skate on Dows Lake within the winter.


We had by no means heard of Merrickville earlier than cruising the Rideau Canal, however as soon as we explored this charming downtown, we named it one of many prettiest little cities in Ontario. We then came upon that Communities in Bloom as soon as named it essentially the most lovely village in Canada. This shocking city positioned instantly on the Rideau Canal has lots to see and it’s best to spend no less than a day right here.

Begin the morning with recent espresso and pastries at Stella Luna Cafe. And ensure to return within the afternoon for recent Gelato as you stroll the storefronts. House owners, Tammy and Alessandro met in Rome and after figuring out one another for simply a short while, determined to get married. Tammy moved from the Ottawa space to Italy for greater than a decade and once they determined to maneuver to Canada, they introduced the most effective darn gelato with them. It was one in all our favourite locations to go to in Merrickville.

Merrickville Ruins

There are a number of issues to see in Merrickville in addition to the cafes and outlets although, one of the crucial fascinating sights is the ruins positioned beside the Merrickville locks. The Merrickville Ruins are stone ruins relationship again to the 1800s. Positioned on the sight of an outdated mill, these ruins are as fairly as an image and make for the right Instagram cease. You should additionally cease on the Merrickville blockhouse. It’s the largest blockhouse on the Rideau Canal and is a Nationwide Historic Web site.

Burrits Rapids

Almost each lock you cease at on the Rideau Canal is value seeing. Whether or not they have a museum or lockhouse, a Parks Canada home, or interactive indicators, they’re value seeing. Burrits Rapids is an fascinating cease to see the Burritts Rapids Swing Bridge. The Burrits Rapids Park space additionally attracts many locals to hike its Tip to Toe Path, a stunning 4 km stroll, and ensure to cease on the close by Rideau Woodland Ramble.

The Rideau Woodland Ramble will not be solely a famend backyard middle, however you may stroll by the gardens which have been meticulously designed to create a serene setting. Benefit from the shows all through the artist’s stroll and make your solution to the labyrinth for some quiet contemplation.

Smiths Falls

Smiths Falls is the place all Le Boat Excursions start and finish and with good motive. Smiths Falls is positioned in the course of the Rideau Canal and is an incredible hub for exploring the Rideau. This city homes the best locks on the Rideau and one in all solely three hydraulic locks on the Rideau. The remainder of the locks on the Rideau Canal are crammed, opened, and drained by hand with Park’s Canada Workers working the historic cranks. In Smiths Falls there are a number of climbing and biking trails alongside the canal and loads of eateries and outlets downtown.

Railway Museum

A spotlight of visiting Smiths Falls is the Railway Museum of Japanese Ontario. This unbelievable museum takes you again by time as you stroll by the outdated practice stations, cabooses, and railway vehicles. There’s a reproduction of an outdated Dentist Prepare that was as soon as used to achieve rural communities in Canada and you’ll even keep in a single day in a classic caboose. You can too take practice rides and check out your hand on the hand automobile. It’s an incredible museum to go to.

Canoeing and Tenting at Beveridges Lock

Beveridges Lock is a well-liked lock station on the Rideau Canal with Otentiks accessible for rental from Parks Canada. This lock station connects the Rideau Canal with the Tay River main towards the group of Perth. One thing we extremely suggest doing is renting a canoe from Park’s Canada (or bringing your individual kayak or canoe) to Beveridges to undergo the locks in a non-motorized car. It was thrilling to be inside a lock on a canoe whereas having it replenish with water. It is a in style paddling route that’s stuffed with birdlife.

Rideau Lakes

The Rideau Canal isn’t all slender waterways and channels. In reality, there are many lakes on the Rideau. In reality, the Rideau Lakes is taken into account probably the greatest small boat cruising locations in Canada. With so many communities and marinas, this waterway is unquestionably the place to have a ship!

Colonel By Island

Positioned on Massive Rideau Lake, Colonel By Island is a Nationwide Historic Web site that’s run by Park’s Canada. This island is steeped in historical past. Again within the day, it was frequented by the rat pack, Paul Anka, and New York’s elite. It was as soon as owned by the proprietor of New York’s Yellow Cab Firm and he used to convey all his socialite buddies out to the Canadian wilderness for a distant escape.

The home, tennis courts, and huge fireplaces are nonetheless standing albeit in a state of disrepair. You’ll be able to solely take a look at the constructing from the surface, however it’s nonetheless an interesting instance of how the wealthy and well-known used to spend their weekend retreats. There’s a implausible climbing path and it’s an excellent place to go kayaking and swimming.

Wine at Westport

Westport is one other picturesque comminute on the Rideau Canal. With loads of ice cream outlets, buying, and even a brewery it’s the right place to spend the night time. The bustling marina is an inviting place to spend the night time on a ship. I believe the star attraction of Westport is the Scheurmann Winery.

The winery is ready in a picturesque setting making it the right eating choice for sundown. Only a 20-minute stroll from city, it appeared that everybody from the Marina and native BnBs made their solution to the restaurant for the night. One other place we suggest going to in Westport is up Foley Mountain for views of the city and Higher Rideau Lake.

Chafey’s Lock

Chafey’s Lock is one other must-visit lock station on the Rideau Canal. There’s a marina and place to moor your boat for the night and the well-known cease right here is the Opinicon Restaurant. This historic restaurant and retreat dates again to the Fifties and feels as you probably have stepped proper into the film Soiled Dancing. There’s an ice cream store and there may be additionally a museum.

Kilborns at Newboro

One other enjoyable city to go to on the Rideau Canal for buying is Newboro. We had heard of the fascinating division retailer they’d there, however it wasn’t till going inside that we discovered simply how particular it’s. Kilborn’s is a division retailer set inside three historic homes which have been blended collectively. Take a stroll by the completely different shows to purchase some one-of-a-kind native artwork or just replenish on snacks and meals.

Jones Falls

Our favorite lock on the Rideau Canal was Jones Falls. It’s typically thought-about one of the crucial enticing locks on the Rideau Canal with a complete of 4 locks. There’s a big turning basin between one and the opposite three which can be linked. What makes Jones Falls particular to us is all of the historic plaques, lock homes, and its 16 km (10 miles) lengthy climbing and biking path.

Kingston Mills

Probably the most lovely locks on the Rideau Canal is Kingston Mills. Positioned simply quarter-hour outdoors of Kingston this lock station has a turning basin, three-step locks, and one other indifferent lock. A cool reality is that this set of 4 locks was the placement of the primary mill on the Rideau Canal relationship again to 1784.

Rideau Canal Mansions

Cruising alongside the Rideau Canal doesn’t solely supply lovely pure views, it is also an incredible place to go home looking. Effectively, home trying to find homes that you simply’ll by no means be capable of afford. The nearer you get to Ottawa the extra huge the mansions change into. We thought we noticed a wonderful waterfront house when cruising south from Smiths Falls, however after we took a visit north, the properties hit a completely new degree. Some appear like accommodations whereas others have their very own seaplanes parked out entrance together with their a number of boats and kayaks. Ah to dream.

Historical past of the Rideau Canal

Although Britain gained the warfare of 1812, Canada was left feeling very susceptible to a different assault from the US. With Canada and America now splitting the St. Lawrence River, the powers that be have been tasked with a secure path to the Nice Lakes in case one other warfare broke out. It was determined that the Rideau River can be an excellent route between Ottawa what was then Bytown and the St. Lawrence River.

The tough work began in 1827 and was accomplished in 1932 however not with out taking a toll. The individual tasked with overseeing the development of the Rideau Canal was Colonel John By. After the completion of the Rideau Canal, with many delays and further prices, Colonel By was summoned house to elucidate himself. Greater than 500 males died of malaria and the fee was greater than England needed to spend. As an alternative of being lauded for his accomplishment, he was placed on trial and needed to defend himself. In the long run he misplaced his army profession.

Skating on the Rideau Canal – Winter

One of many extra well-known issues to do on the Rideau Canal when in Ottawa is to go skating on it throughout Winterlude. I do know this isn’t a part of a ship cruise, however in the event you make your approach again to Canada in winter, don’t miss this iconic Canadian exercise. When the ice freezes, the Rideau Canal turns into the world’s largest skating rink with outlets, eating places, and warming stations dotting the route. It’s a actually distinctive Canadian expertise to skate on the Rideau and a visit to Ottawa in winter is value it only for the prospect to hop on the ice! Ensure to seize a Beavertail and recent frozen maple syrup while you’re out on the ice. Learn extra Winterlude Itinerary – The Final Information to Ottawa

Don’t neglect to take a look at Le Boat for nice Black Friday financial savings to France and Canada

And these are among the most unbelievable issues to do on The Rideau Canal. It actually is Canada’s hidden gem. When you have an opportunity to go to our nation’s capital be sure to take a cruise alongside the Rideau Canal. It’s spectacular.

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