Rideau Canal National Historic Site
The Rideau Canal is North America’s best-preserved “slackwater” canal, and the only one from the great 19th century canal-building era that still operates along its original route with most of its original structures intact. Today, Parks Canada welcomes visitors to this UNESCO World Heritage Site to experience travel along an iconic route. Pleasure boaters and paddlers fill the locks, while other visitors come by land to marvel at the historic locks in action.
Please note: Parks Canada is not responsible for operating the Rideau Canal Skateway. For any questions related to the Skateway, please visit the National Capital Commission website or telephone 613-239-5234
Stay the night alongside the canal in a fully restored lockmaster’s house.
Paddling on the Rideau Canal
Lakes, marshes, rivers and locks are all part of the trip.
Visiting the Rideau Canal National Historic Site
Activities and experiences
Boating, paddling, overnight mooring, walking trails, licensed local operators.
Plan your visit
How to get here, maps, hours of operation, passes and permits, fees.
Camping and accommodations
Camping at lockstations, historic accommodations, reserve an oTENTik.
Safety and guidelines
We all have a role to play in maintaining safety on the Rideau Canal.
About the Rideau Canal National Historic Site
Nature and science
Along its 202 km route from Ottawa to Kingston, the Rideau Canal passes through four distinct natural landscapes.
Culture and history
Discover the history behind the 22 lockstations that make up the 202 km route from Ottawa to Kingston.
Management and operations
Stewardship and management
Water management, jobs, real property, occupation and development, film and video productions, commercial permits, and management planning.
Water Management InfoNet
Water levels, drawdown, outlook and updates, local conservation authorities, frequently asked questions.
Improvements and infrastructure
Status updates, info bulletins and frequently asked questions about critical projects that may affect your visit.
Planning to visit during COVID-19?
Hours of operation
The navigation season runs from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving (mid-May to mid-October).
More places to discover with Parks Canada
Laurier House National Historic Site
Two of Canada’s most important Prime Ministers, Sir Wilfrid Laurier and the Rt. Hon. William Lyon Mackenzie King, resided in this Victorian Ottawa mansion where they entertained dignitaries and politicians while often conducting the nation’s business.
Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site
Discover a newfound fascination with engineering along the Trent-Severn Waterway. This navigational wonder adds up to 44 locks, 104 operable dams and six heritage lockstations along a 386-km scenic string of canals and waterways.
Fort George National Historic Site
Discover the history of The War of 1812 by speaking with costumed interpreters, touring historic buildings, and watching demonstrations at Fort George.
Thousand Islands National Park
Granite islands speckle the St. Lawrence River in a transition zone between Canadian Shield and Adirondack Mountains. Explore by boating, paddling, or hiking. Awesome Thousand Islands National Park awaits, a few hours from Toronto or Montreal.
Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site
Tour the Sault Ste. Marie Canal with an informative Parks Canada guide and you’ll soon understand the vitally important role this innovative piece of engineering made to water transportation in Canada.
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