Development and land use planning

Rideau Canal National Historic Site

Working together: Parks Canada, Municipalities and Conservation Authorities

Regulation under the Ontario Planning Act requires that Parks Canada, as an adjacent landowner, is circulated for comments on development applications occurring on lands adjacent to the Rideau Canal. Parks Canada reviews development applications to help protect and enhance the natural environment, cultural heritage and scenic values of the waterway, the World Heritage site 30m buffer zone, and the surrounding landscape. Development applications can include such things as severance of land, minor variance applications and zoning changes. In this role, Parks Canada staff work closely with the Conservation Authorities as the Rideau Waterfront Development Review Team to coordinate our review and provide advice and recommendations to municipalities and counties on these applications.

Conservation Authorities

There are two Conservation Authorities that provide services and programs along the Rideau Canal. The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority operates in the area from Newboro to Kingston and the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority operates in the area from Westport to Ottawa. Waterfront property owners may require approval from one of the Conservation Authorities for permission to do work if property (or part of it) is within the Authorities’ regulated area.

To determine your Conservation Authority, you can use Conservation Ontario website.

Municipalities along the Rideau Canal

Parks Canada also works closely with the 13 municipalities and three counties along the canal to protect and enhance the natural environment, cultural heritage and scenic values of the waterway and its surrounding landscape. This is achieved through development application review, contributing to municipal Official Plan reviews to encourage strong land use policies, and through the Rideau Corridor Landscape Strategy.

Not sure if you live in a municipality that abuts the Rideau? Below is a list of the 13 municipalities and the three counties (organized north to south), with a link to their respective planning and development webpage (where available).

City of Ottawa
Municipality of North Grenville
Village of Merrickville-Wolford
Township of Montague
Town of Smiths Falls
Township of Drummond – North Elmsley
Town of Perth
Tay Valley Township
Township of Rideau Lakes
Village of Westport
Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands
Township of South Frontenac
City of Kingston
Lanark County
United Counties of Leeds and Grenville
County of Frontenac

Resources for a natural and healthy waterfront

Maintaining a natural and vegetated waterfront also enhances the visual setting of this World Heritage Site minimizes the impact of waterfront development on the scenic views, cultural heritage and natural heritage values of the waterway. Naturalized shorelines provide habitat for species, protect water quality, provide bank stability, and much more. For more information about good waterfront practices, and working together to protect and enhance this significant waterway, please visit the links below.

Rideau Corridor Landscape Strategy
A collaborative effort between the federal, provincial and municipal governments, conservation authorities and Indigenous Peoples to address the World Heritage Committee’s recommendation to protect the visual setting of the Rideau Canal.

10 principles for good development
Developed by the Rideau Corridor Landscape Strategy, this printable handout provides summarized advice on appropriate development along the canal.

The Shore Primer (PDF, 1.5 mb) - Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Learn how to preserve your shoreline's true nature and ways to restore an altered shoreline.

Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority's Shoreline Naturalization Program offers technical guidance and financial assistance to waterfront property owners within the Rideau Watershed interested in naturalizing their shorelines.

Blue-green algae (Ontario Ministry of the Environment)
Information about blue-green algae: what it is, potential impacts to human health and drinking water, and how to help prevent it through good waterfront practices.

Watersheds Canada
Watersheds Canada is a non-profit organization and registered Canadian charity committed to providing programs to communities across the country that work to engage and help shoreline owners enhance and protect the health of lakes and rivers.

Date modified :