Technical data

Rideau Canal National Historic Site

Operational length & width of locks:
27.3 m (90')L x 8.5 m (28')
Length of canal:
202 km (126 miles)
Year complete waterway opened:
Highest lift (of a lock):
7.9 m (26') Smiths Falls Combined 
Peak navigation season:
July and mid-August
Speed limit zones:
Yes, 10 km/hr
Number of locks:
47 (includes 2 Tay Canal locks)
Number of lock stations:
Approximate travel time:
3 - 5 days (one-way trip of canal)

Water depths

Water depths on the Rideau Canal are not guaranteed so boaters must know their vessel dimensions and actual draught before planning a trip.

Operators should also be aware that the draught of their vessel, when fully loaded and under power, in varied weather conditions and in fresh (vs. salt) water, may differ considerably from its advertised draught.

Parks Canada is not liable for any damage caused by deadheads (partially submerged logs/tree trunks) or other floating debris in the channel. However, staff do make every effort to remove obstacles once they become aware of them.

There is a minimum of approximately 1.5m (5') of water in the navigation channel during the navigation season. 

Vessels, when loaded and under power, should not have a draught that exceeds available water depth.

Operators of vessels should follow Rideau Canal social media and Canadian Coast Guard Navigational Warnings (NAVWARNs) for the latest on draught conditions.



Bridge Clearance

When boating along the Rideau Canal (Kingston to Ottawa), the minimum overhead fixed bridge clearance is 6.7 m (22’). 

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