About Rideau Canal National Historic Site
Rideau Canal National Historic Site
From the heart of Canada’s capital, the historic Rideau Canal waterway winds south from Ottawa through towns, farms and woodlands for 202 kilometres (126 miles) towards Kingston on Lake Ontario. Constructed after the War of 1812 on fears of an American invasion of the St. Lawrence River, it served as an alternative shipping route between Montréal and Kingston.
The working canal, with its 19th century locks and structures, links rivers and lakes with man-made channels - an ideal landscape for outdoor activities and glimpses of Old Ontario on a watery route through living history. The Rideau system encompasses 47 locks, 24 lockstations, historic buildings, and two large watersheds: the Rideau and the Cataraqui.
Cast a fishing line from a rocky outcrop. Visit Victorian towns and military blockhouses. Cycle a woodland pathway and picnic alongside hand-operated locks on the 19th century Rideau Canal, an historic waterway linking a scenic string of rivers and lakes. Quickly constructed in a time of military threat, the length of the canal is now a diverse outdoor playground where history mingles with the mellow Eastern Ontario countryside.
34 Beckwith Street South