What to Do

Winter, spring, summer and fall. The Rideau Canal is, by nature, a marvel through and through. But it’s also what is popping up all around it that makes for an unforgettable day trip or full-on vacation. Discover incredible beauty at every turn, coupled with unique community experiences all rooted in history along the Rideau Canal!

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  • Credit: Ottawa Tourism

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Boating & Paddling

With 23 lock stations and 45 locks (not including the two lockstations on the Tay Canal) spanning Kingston to Ottawa, boats of all sizes are able to lock through. Watch the lockmasters and crew hand crank boats through on this historic waterway.

Better yet, rent a boat and experience locking through first hand. Canal staff along the Rideau are friendly and willing to answer questions, and in some locations, such as at Kingston Mills, Chaffey’s Lock, Jones Falls and Merrickville, there are museums and visitor centres at the stations. Boat rentals are available at some spots along the canal; indulge in a rental to cross this experience off your bucket list.

When is the Rideau Canal open for boating?

The locks operate from mid-May to mid-October.  See Parks Canada website for 2021 Hours and Services.

Can I rent a boat?

Yes, there are several options for boat rentals along the Rideau Canal. Please visit Rideau-Info website for a full listing.

Can I rent a canoe/kayak?

Yes, there are several options for renting both canoes and kayaks. Please visit Rideau-Info website for a full listing.



Can I swim in the Rideau Canal?

Yes, visitors can enjoy swimming in the Rideau Canal. There are several public beaches along the canal for you to enjoy.

Swimming is not allowed in the immediate vicinity of any lock as well in the Ottawa section of the canal between Hogs Back and the Ottawa Locks.

Rideau Ferry Yacht Club Conservation Area on Lower Rideau Lake claims to have the best beach on the Rideau. It features a sandy beach, picnic area, and boat launch, and other amenities like washrooms, a change house, a picnic shelter. Maintained by the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority this public beach, boat launch, and picnic area is a popular summer hang-out. Kendrick’s Park near Lyndhurst on Lower Beverley Lake also boasts a superb spot for a family day in the sun near the Rideau system for a family day in the sun with lots of amenities, as does Westport’s Lions Club Beach on Sand Lake.

  • Cycling at the Ottawa Locks. Rideau Heritage Route

    Cycling at the Ottawa Locks. Rideau Canal World Heritage Site, Ontario, Canada