Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada

What's New

Following extensive comments and ideas on the proposed canal lockage fee, Minister Kent - in consultation and with suggestions from canal Government MPs - announced on May 14 that Parks Canada will freeze recreational lockage fees along Canada's historic canals for three years at 2008 levels. During this time, Parks Canada will work with local Members of Parliament, community leaders and the tourism industry to develop and implement an improved operating model to ensure the long term financial sustainability of the canals operations.

Parks Canada and Ontario Waterpower Industry Collaborate on a Strategic Framework

New framework supports clean energy, safe infrastructure and sustainable canal operations

March 21, 2014 - Peterborough, ON - Parks Canada and Ontario Waterpower Association (OWA) are collaborating to manage and develop the hydroelectric potential of national historic canal systems in Ontario. The new framework is expected to foster new infrastructure investment, encourage clean hydroelectric energy and support the long-term sustainability of the Trent-Severn Waterway and Rideau Canal.

Today, the two organisations announced the release of a report on waterpower management in national historic canal systems in Ontario. The report and its recommendations are a collaborative effort that addresses the shared desire of the waterpower industry and federal government for clear, consistent policy and procedures that encourage investment in waterpower infrastructure and help Parks Canada to realise the revenue potential of hydro generation.

All revenues generated by Parks Canada canal operations are reinvested back into the canals. The financial sustainability of canals and communities requires a combined effort with Parks Canada, provincial and local governments and the many business interests along the canal. Parks Canada remains committed to the recapitalisation and maintenance of very complex historical and contemporary canals infrastructure, including dams, locks and bridges, many of which are integral to the ongoing operation of generating stations along the waterway. These investments connect communities and ensure this infrastructure is available to those who need it.

The full report, Towards a New Business Relationship: Waterpower on Parks Canada Agency Waterways, is available on the OWA website at www.owa.ca.

Quick Facts

  • The Parks Canada Agency is responsible for the administration of the Trent-Severn Waterway and Rideau Canal national historic sites of Canada. It supports the sustainability of historic canals and quality tourism opportunities with responsible fiscal management and wise investment of taxpayer dollars.
  • More than two-dozen waterpower facilities on the Trent-Severn Waterway and the Rideau Canal systems represent nearly 100 MW of installed capacity and produce, on average, approximately 500 GWh of clean, renewable energy.
  • On average, waterpower facilities provide $1.3 million in annual revenue to Parks Canada's historic canals in Ontario. All revenues generated by Parks Canada canal operations are reinvested back into the canals.
  • The Government of Canada invests in repairs or replacements of essential infrastructure like dams, bridges, and locks so that visitors can continue to enjoy sites safely.
  • Parks Canada continues to work with partners and communities to ensure the historic canals are premier tourism destinations, generate revenue, foster recreation and economic development, build strong communities and support Canadian families.

Quotes

"Our Government is committed to the financial sustainability of Canada's historic canals and the communities along them. This framework shows how governments and private industry can work together to streamline processes and support the national historic canals' infrastructure for the benefit of all Canadians."

Rick Norlock, Member of Parliament for Northumberland-Quinte West

"This report will serve as the foundation for a new business relationship. Our participation in this joint effort has itself provided for improved communication and cooperation."

Paul Norris, President, Ontario Waterpower Association

Parks Canada Investing in Future of Historic Rideau Canal

Rehabilitation of Poonamalie Dam to support continued animation of historic infrastructure

Smiths Falls, ON, March 20, 2014 - Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville, on behalf of Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced today that Parks Canada is supporting communities and businesses along the Rideau Canada by investing up to $7.5 million over the next two years to rehabilitate the Poonamalie Dam and for ongoing preventative maintenance projects and visitor facilities across the Rideau Canal system.

For the Poonamalie project, Parks Canada is investing $4.3 million to rehabilitate the existing earth dam and reconstruct a waste weir to improve dam stability, visitor safety, and improve a service vehicle lane. Up to $3.2 million will also be invested over the next two years across the Rideau Canal for preventative maintenance projects and visitor facilities. The funding announced today is in addition to the 2014 Economic Action Plan to invest $391.5 million in funding for highways, bridges and dams in national parks and along historic canals. Details on this funding will come later.

These investments connect communities and ensure the infrastructure is safe and available to those who need it.

Quick Facts

  • Planning for the Poonamalie Dam Rehabilitation Project has now begun. A contract for the design of this project will be awarded shortly.
  • The Poonamalie Dam, in the Rideau Lakes Township near Smiths Falls, has been continuously maintained and monitored since the 19th century. Parks Canada identified the dam for rehabilitation as part of its ongoing asset monitoring and recapitalization program on the Rideau Canal.
  • The work will be completed by April 2017 and will not affect vessel traffic during the Rideau Canal's navigation season.
  • The reconstruction of the canal cut walls at Minnow Creek Waste Weir will reuse stone facing salvaged from the existing wall to correspond with the current aesthetic look.
  • The Poonamalie Earth Dam retains water from the Big Rideau and Lower Rideau Lakes and contributes to Parks Canada management of the water heading north from Poonamalie Lockstation to Ottawa Locks.
  • Parks Canada is gearing up for a new summer season along its historic canals by offering boaters early bird special rates for their permits, which they can buy on-line until March 31, 2014, at www.parkscanada.gc.ca.

Quotes

"Our Government has made record investments to canals and we continue to work with our partners and communities to maintain the Rideau Canal as a navigable waterway, providing world-class experiences to visitors, which benefits communities and local businesses. These investments are integral in supporting economic development and families in the region."

Mr. Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville

Additional links:

Visitor Experience Opportunities Report for the Rideau Corridor Released

Tourism vision for Rideau represents a coordinated approach for future economic sustainability

Smith Falls, Ontario, January 31, 2014 - On Friday January 31, 2014, at the Rideau Canal Headquarters in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Parks Canada hosted community leaders and Rideau Canal stakeholders at the unveiling of the Rideau Canal Visitor Experience Opportunities Concept (VEOC).

The Rideau Canal VEOC represents a consolidation of potential tourism experience opportunities and innovations for the Rideau Corridor collected through discussions sessions held with Rideau Canal stakeholders throughout the fall of 2013. This collaborative initiative aims to inspire movement towards an improved model for revenue generation and economic sustainability in the Rideau Corridor. Learn more...

End of Season Operations on the Rideau Canal

Smiths Falls, Ontario, October 15, 2013 – Parks Canada would like to advise the public that after 151 uninterrupted days of navigation, the Rideau Canal's 2013 navigation season came to a close yesterday on Thanksgiving Monday. We would like to thank you for visiting by boat, bike, car or foot and look forward to welcoming you again in 2014.

Water levels to be lowered
Water levels will be decreased in the sections below Hog's Back, including Dow's Lake, beginning Tuesday, October 15 and will remain at their lowest level until Monday, November 4, after which the water level will then be raised between Hartwells Locks and Ottawa Locks to prepare for the skateway.

Water levels will also be lowered between:
• Long Island to Black Rapids beginning Monday, October 21, 2013.
• Hog's Back to Black Rapids beginning Monday, October 28, 2013.
• Burritt's Rapids to Long Island beginning Monday, November 4, 2013.

In the interest of safety, Parks Canada encourages the public to always exercise caution in and around canal structures and channels, especially when the lock stations are closed for the season. Although some sections of the canal will be drained substantially for the off-season, stretches of deep water still exist, and ice thickness can be deceptive. Parents are asked to always be vigilant with their children near the water.

The Canadian government is committed to the future sustainability of heritage canals and the communities along them. We look forward to welcoming each and every one of you back for the 2014 season. Lockage and mooring permits for 2014 will soon be available for purchase online at www.parkscanada.gc.ca/sr. In the mean time, we can all look forward to a good canal skate in Ottawa, Portland and elsewhere along Ontario's only UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Once again, Parks Canada would like to thank all the boaters and all visitors who visited the Rideau Canal this summer.

Parks Canada Announces Partnership to Enhance the Financial Sustainability of the Rideau Canal

Ottawa, Ontario, September 4, 2013 -- Mr. Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds—Grenville, on behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, is pleased to launch a collaborative and innovative project to foster recreation, tourism and economic development throughout the Rideau Canal corridor.

"This partnering project reflects our Government's desire to engage key stakeholders in a conversation about the future sustainability of the Rideau Canal," said Mr. Brown. "I'm excited to start working on this common vision for the benefit of all communities along this World Heritage Site."

The Living and Visiting the Rideau UNESCO World Heritage Site project will help identify innovative new ways to ensure the Rideau Canal meets its potential as a vibrant and animated world-class site that contributes to local economies. This initiative will be managed through the collaborative efforts of Parks Canada, the Rideau Roundtable, the Rideau Heritage Route Tourism Association, the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, Lanark County, the Town of Smiths Falls, and the Valley Heartland Community Futures Development Corporation.

Together, these groups will engage in a proactive dialogue that will identify new experience concepts, innovations and enhancements to make these experiences as memorable as possible.

Parks Canada is proud of the unique experience opportunities offered on Canada's historic canals. Each year our team welcomes boaters and canal users as they discover one of the finest interconnected systems of navigation in the world.

For more information on the Rideau Canal please visit www.parkscanada.gc.ca.

Backgrounder associated with this News Release.

Realizing the Uncommon Potential of the Rideau Canal Heritage Corridor

Progress Continues for the Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge

No Delays for Boaters Expected

Smiths Falls, Ontario, August 6, 2013 – Over the next few weeks, boaters, visitors and residents travelling near or along the Rideau Canal National Historic Site and UNESCO World Heritage Site will have a chance to see the installation of a new bridge between River Road and Prince of Wales Drive and between Black Rapids and Long Island lockstations. You can see live photos of the bridge's launch and construction at www.sabridge.net.

Once complete, the four-lane Bridge will provide a critical link in Ottawa's south end, improving access and travel options for motorists, transit users, cyclists and pedestrians.

The launching of the Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge across the Rideau River was completed successfully on July 12, 2013 and no delays to mariners occurred. The next phase involves the removal of the temporary works, and once again boat traffic will be able to safely navigate through the passage way without disruption or delay. Detailed information will be posted on the City's website.

The launching of the Strandherd Armstrong Bridge is a key milestone in this construction project. The timing will ensure that the bridge is in place over the river this summer with sufficient time for key work to be completed prior to the cold weather and the bridge being opened in September 2014. Information on the timing and construction details will be provided on the City's and the Rideau Canal's web sites, Twitter (@OttawaCity & @RideauCanalNHS), in the media and directly to anyone interested.

National Historic canals are a defining feature of Canada and provide communities and visitors with beauty, recreation and a unique sense of history. Parks Canada has played a leadership role in the protection of these places, including leading the work towards to the World Heritage Site designation of the Rideau Canal.

Parks Canada is proud of the unique experience opportunities offered on Canada's historic canals. Our team looks forward to welcoming for another season, boaters and canal users as they discover one of the finest interconnected systems of navigation in the world.

Parks Canada Celebrates Canada's Heritage with Colonel By Day

Government of Canada proud to support Colonel By Day

Ottawa, Ontario, August 2, 2013 – The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, is pleased to announce the Government of Canada's support for Colonel By Day which takes place on Monday August 5th, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Ottawa Locks.

"Our government is proud to support and invest in Colonel By Day," said Minister Aglukkaq. "It is a wonderful community celebration that helps create awareness and appreciation for Canadian heritage, the stories of Rideau Canal, and the origins of the city of Ottawa".

Parks Canada is committed to work in partnership with others to foster recreation, tourism and economic development in innovative ways to ensure Canada's historic canal waterways meet their potential as vibrant and animated world-class sites and will contribute to local economies.

Parks Canada's contribution of up to $15,000 for Colonel By Day will be used to support the live heritage family programming and demonstrations which will be happening at Ottawa Locks throughout the day. The event will provide excellent opportunities for visitors to the National Capital Region to experience a snapshot of Canada's history, while enjoying the Rideau Canal operating in its modern context.

Parks Canada's Chief Executive Officer Alan Latourelle added, "We are happy to be working with the Council of Heritage Organizations in Ottawa/ le Conseil des organismes du patrimoine d'Ottawa to help realize Colonel By Day by helping to tell the Rideau Canal's unique heritage story, and by continuing to inspire Canadians to learn about, and experience, this nation's rich history."

Parks Canada is proud of the unique experience opportunities offered on Canada's historic canals. Our team looks forward to welcoming for another season, boaters and canal users as they discover one of the finest interconnected systems of navigation in the world.

For more information on the Rideau Canal please visit www.parkscanada.gc.ca.

Rideau Canal Celebrates Parks Day

Activities in Ottawa, Smiths Falls and at Rideau River Provincial Park

SMITHS FALLS, ONTARIO, JULY 19, 2013 – Visitors to the Rideau Canal will have many opportunities to celebrate Parks Day with Parks Canada this Saturday, July 20, 2013.

Parks Canada is pleased to offer a variety of activities at Ottawa Locks, the Rideau Canal's Visitor Information Centre in Smiths Falls and at Rideau River Provincial Park, which is hosting a full day of activities in celebration of its 50th anniversary.

In Ottawa, children aged 6 to 11 and their families visiting Ottawa Locks will receive an Xplorers activity workbook to help guide their visit. Once the kids have completed a set number of activities, they will receive a certificate and a souvenir.

In Smiths Falls at the Rideau Canal's Visitor Information Centre, exhibits bring the history of the canal to life. Visitors will also get a chance to view episodes from A Park for all Seasons, a documentary series that celebrates Canada's national parks.

Finally, in celebration of Rideau River Provincial Park's 50th anniversary, Parks Canada is joining Ontario Parks for a day of fun for children and families. Visitors are encouraged to bring their cameras for a chance to be photographed with Parks Canada's beloved mascot, Parka! Parks Canada staff will be on siteto share stories of the Rideau Canal—past and present.

National Historic canals are a defining feature of Canada and provide communities and visitors with beauty, recreation and a unique sense of history. Parks Canada has played a leadership role in the protection of these places, including leading the work towards to the World Heritage Site designation of the Rideau Canal.

Parks Canada is proud of the unique experience opportunities offered on Canada's historic canals. Our team looks forward to welcoming for another season, boaters and canal users as they discover one of the finest interconnected systems of navigation in the world.

Government of Canada Commemorates the Contributions of the Rideau Canal Construction Workers

Ottawa, Ontario, June 20, 2013 – Today, the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and Mr. Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Orléans, unveiled a plaque that marks the expansion of the reasons for designation of the Rideau Canal National Historic Site to include the contributions of the construction workers whose work carried this monumental feat through to completion.

"The Government of Canada is proud to recognize the contributions of the construction workers who made the Rideau Canal a reality," said Mr. Galipeau. "These workers, the majority of whom were Irish immigrants or French Canadians, worked in extremely difficult and dangerous conditions and hundreds paid with the ultimate sacrifice – their lives. Their role in Canadian history is now recognized for the benefit of future generations of Canadians."

With this recognition, the Rideau Canal construction workers are now commemorated within Canada's family of national historic sites, persons and events, designated on the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC). Parks Canada will soon install two larger-than-usual plaques, along with interpretive panels, at two prominent locations. The plaques and panels will help visitors understand the Rideau Canal's history, including the noteworthy contributions of the construction workers. Ottawa and Jones Falls lockstations, two challenging labour intensive locations at the time of construction, were selected as the plaque locations.

"National historic canals are a defining feature of Canada's environment and history, and provide communities and visitors with beauty, recreation and a unique sense of historical pride," said Minister Kent. "Parks Canada has played a leadership role in the protection of these places, including leading the work towards the UNESCO World Heritage Site designation of the Rideau Canal."

The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada was established in 1919 and is supported by Parks Canada. It advises the Minister of the Environment regarding the national significance of places, persons and events that have marked Canada's history. On behalf of the people of Canada, Parks Canada manages a nationwide network that makes up a rich tapestry of Canada's historical heritage and offers the public opportunities for real and inspiring discoveries.

For additional information, please see the accompanying backgrounder at www.parkscanada.gc.ca under Media Room.

Rideau Canal Navigation Season Opens

Smiths falls, Ontario, May 17, 2013 – Parks Canada is pleased to announce that the Rideau Canal Waterway National Historic Site of Canada will open for the 2013 navigation season on Friday May 17th at 9:00 a.m.

Parks Canada is proud of the unique experience opportunities offered on Canada's historic canals. Maintenance and lock staff have been diligently preparing lockstations on the Rideau Canal for the 2013 navigation season. Our team looks forward to welcoming for another season, boaters and canal users as they discover one of the finest interconnected systems of navigation in the world.

Parks Canada advises that floating debris may cause potential hazards and that some navigation buoys may be out of position or partially submerged due to high flows currently being experienced. Furthermore, areas above and below water control dams should be avoided due to strong currents. As always along the Rideau Canal, Parks Canada monitors water levels and flows at various locations and responds to multiple needs including human health and safety, recreation, municipal water supply, protection of fish and wildlife habitat, hydro generation and flood mitigation.

For the 2013 navigation season, in addition to safety rings and fire extinguishers, lockstations will be equipped with red throw bags containing 50 feet of floating rope as a new safety feature. They're easy to throw and the bright color makes them easy to locate in an emergency. Unlike the traditional safety ring, throw bags can be accurately thrown and reach a greater distance. Also, this year at Colonel By Island, 11 new day-use mooring buoys will be available for boaters visiting the island.

Detailed trip planning information is available on Parks Canada's website at www.pc.gc.ca and lockage and mooring permits can be purchased at lockstations or through Parks Canada's online Shop and Reserve service. Members of the public are also welcome to phone Parks Canada's National Information Service at 1-888-773-8888.

Following extensive comments and ideas on the proposed canal lockage fee, Minister Kent - in consultation and with suggestions from canal Government Members of Parliament - announced on May 14 that Parks Canada will freeze recreational lockage fees along Canada's historic canals for three years at 2008 levels. During this time, Parks Canada will work with local Members of Parliament, community leaders and the tourism industry to develop and implement an improved operating model to ensure the long term financial sustainability of the canals operations.

Parks Canada is committed to work in partnership with others to ensure Canada's historic canal waterways meet their potential as world class sites, vibrant and animated. Together we will foster recreation, tourism and economic development in innovative ways that will contribute to local economies.

Government of Canada Announces the Completion of Two Infrastructure Investments Along the Rideau Canal National Historic Site

Two projects prepare the Rideau Canal for the 2013 season and years to come

Rideau Lakes, Ontario, May 17, 2013 – On behalf of the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Mr. Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds–Grenville, today announced the completion of two infrastructure projects on the Rideau Canal National Historic Site.

"I am pleased to see the continued commitment to the revitalization of infrastructure along the Rideau Canal," said Mr. Brown. "The recent investment of $1.1 million will ensure that this treasured location continues to engage Canadians while generating important economic benefits for the local community."

Parks Canada's canal infrastructure presents complex challenges and opportunities to address historic accuracy while ensuring the continued safety of visitors and balancing a financially responsible budget. Projects at Chaffey's and Jones Falls lockstations were identified as priorities in the canal asset management plan.

Chaffey's Lockstation underwent masonry repairs in addition to the reconstruction of sluice gates and their frames. The cost for the Chaffey's Lockstation project was $520,000.

The right wall of Lock 40 at Jones Falls Lockstation underwent repairs that involved a range of excavation, drilling, grouting and masonry and marked the first time the outside of the wall had been excavated since the Rideau Canal opened in 1832 – a testament to the craftsmanship of the original construction workers who built the locks. The cost of the Jones Falls Lockstation project was $630,000.

Final touches to help preserve and present the 181 year old Rideau Canal National Historic Site and UNESCO World Heritage Site are now complete, in time for the opening of this year's navigation season which is today, May 17, 2013.

"Our Government is a leader in the protection of Canada's national historic sites and recognizes the importance of these locations to the economy," said Minister Kent. "These investments in infrastructure reflect our government's commitment to economic growth as well as to the physical integrity of these historic canals and the sustainability of the communities along it."

Following extensive comments and ideas on the proposed canal lockage fee, Minister Kent – in consultation and with suggestions from canal Government MPs – announced on May 14 that Parks Canada will freeze lockage fees along Canada's historic canals for three years at 2008 levels. During this time, Parks Canada will work with local Members of Parliament, community leaders and the tourism industry to develop and implement an improved operating model to ensure the long term financial sustainability of the canals operations.

Parks Canada is proud of the unique experience offered on Canada's historic canals. The Parks Canada team looks forward to welcoming for another season, boaters and canal users as they discover one of the finest interconnected systems of navigation in the world.

Parks Canada is the largest provider of historic and natural heritage tourism in Canada. Through a network of 44 national parks, 167 national historic sites, and four national marine conservation areas, Parks Canada sets the stage and invites Canadians, as well as people from around the world, to engage in personal moments of inspiring discovery of our treasured natural and historic places.

For additional information, please see the accompanying backgrounder at www.parkscanada.gc.ca under Media Room.

Navigation Charts are Back!

SMITHS FALLS, ONTARIO, February 12, 2013 - Parks Canada is pleased to announce that navigation charts for the Rideau Canal,1512 (Ottawa-Smiths Falls) and 1513 (Smiths Falls to Kingston) will continue to be sold at the following Rideau Canal sites.

Ottawa Lock
Hogs Back
Long Island
Burritts Rapids
Smiths Falls Combined
Rideau Canal Visitor Information Centre, Smiths Falls
Poonamalie
Beveridges
Narrows
Newboro
Chaffeys
Jones Falls
Kingston Mills

Price (including HST 13 %)

1512 Ottawa to Smiths Falls: $25.99
1513 Smiths Falls to Kingston: $37.29

Charts will be available for 2013 Navigation Season opening.

Parks Canada Announces 2013 Hours of Operation at Lockstations on The Historic Rideau Canal

SMITHS FALLS, ONTARIO, December 1, 2012 – Parks Canada has finalized the 2013 hours of operation schedule for lockstations on the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

As in previous years, the 2013 navigation season – the 181st consecutive season of canal operations on the Rideau – will run from the May long-weekend to Thanksgiving, with on-demand services provided.*

2013 Rideau Canal Hours of Operation:

May 17 to June 20
Monday to Thursday
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Friday to Sunday; and Victoria Day
9:00 am – 5:00 pm

June 21 to Sept 2
Monday to Thursday
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday to Sunday; and Canada Day, August Civic Holiday and Labour Day
9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Sept 3 to Oct 14
Monday to Thursday
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Friday to Sunday; and Thanksgiving
9:00 am – 5:00 pm

*Hours for Beveridges Lock from May long-weekend to Thanksgiving are: 10 am to 4 pm Monday to Thursday, and 9 am to 5 pm Friday to Sunday. To book passage through Beveridges Lock during the shoulder seasons (May 17 to June 20 and Sept 3 to Oct 14), boaters will need to pre-book by calling 613-359-5377 ext. 102 at least forty-eight hours in advance. A valid permit number will be required to pre-book lockage, or will need to be purchased at the time of booking.

A reminder from Parks Canada about safety on and around the Rideau Canal

SMITHS FALLS, ONTARIO, November 19, 2012 – As you and your family enjoy outdoor activities this winter, Parks Canada encourages you to be conscious of the hazards of freezing water and snow covered areas and would like to remind you to always exercise caution in and around canal structures and channels, especially downstream of dams and areas of running water.

With the Rideau Canal and its lockstations closed for the winter, staff are not on site to clear and salt paths or other open areas. Although some sections of the canal have been drained substantially for the off-season, stretches of deep water still exist, and ice thickness can be deceptive. Parents are asked to always be vigilant with their children near the water.

We hope everyone who visited the Rideau Canal this past season had a wonderful experience; our staff is looking forward to serving you again in 2013 as Parks Canada is already preparing for the 181st consecutive season of canal operations.

End of season on Colonel By Island

Docks coming out of water for another year

SMITHS FALLS, ONTARIO, September 28, 2012 – As Parks Canada prepares to close the Rideau Canal for another season, on Colonel By Island, docks will be removed and facilities closed as of October 1. The canal closes to navigation on Wednesday October 10, 2012.

In the interest of safety, Parks Canada encourages the public to always exercise caution in and around canal structures and channels, especially when the lockstations are closed for the season. Parents are asked to always be vigilant with their children near the water.

Parks Canada would like to thank all the boaters and all visitors who visited the Rideau Canal this summer.

End of Rideau Canal's 180th navigation season

Water levels to be lowered

SMITHS FALLS, ONTARIO, September 27, 2012 – Parks Canada would like to advise the public that the Rideau Canal 2012 navigation season will end on Wednesday, October 10, 2012. It is normal practice at this time of year to lower the water to off-season levels.

Water levels will be decreased in the sections below Hog's Back, including Dow's Lake, beginning Thursday October 11 and will remain at their lowest level until Monday October 29, after which the water level will then be raised between Hartwells Locks and Ottawa Locks to prepare for the skateway.

Water levels will also be lowered between:

  • Long Island and Black Rapids beginning Monday, October 15, 2012.
  • Hog's Back and Black Rapids beginning Monday, October 22, 2012.
  • Burrits Rapids and Long Island beginning Monday, October 30, 2012.

In the interest of safety, Parks Canada encourages the public to always exercise caution in and around canal structures and channels, especially when the lockstations are closed for the season. Though sections of the canal are drained substantially in the off-season, stretches of deep water still exist. Parents are asked to always be vigilant with their children near the water.

Parks Canada would like to thank all the boaters and all visitors who visited the Rideau Canal this summer.

Visual Preference Survey Captures Values of the Rideau Corridor

Smiths Falls, Ontario, September 7, 2012 – Building on the successful first round of public consultation sessions in March and field work this summer, a final round of public consultation sessions was held the week of August 13, 2012. Parks Canada extends a very big thank you to all who attended the workshops, held in five communities along the Rideau Corridor, and to those who completed the online version of the visual preference survey. The visual preference survey highlighted that the Rideau Corridor landscape is valued for many different qualities and characteristics. It also encouraged some great discussions, and helped gather invaluable feedback about how the Rideau Corridor should be managed and protected in the future.

This fall represents the final phase of the project comprising the landscape character assessment final report and recommendations. The recommendations will inform strategic and land use planning by Parks Canada, conservation authorities, municipalities and others as part of a broader Rideau Corridor Landscape Strategy.

Anyone interested in providing input is also encouraged to contribute to the online photographic library of the Rideau Corridor's landscapes. For those who were unable to attend the workshops, the presentation, maps and comment sheet are all available, including information about participating in these opportunities and about the project itself, on the website www.rcls-sacr.ca.

Follow us on Twitter at @RideauCLS.

The Rideau Canal is a National Historic Site, Canadian Heritage River, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As part of the 2007 World Heritage Site designation, the World Heritage Committee recommended that the Rideau Canal's visual protection be strengthened outside of the established buffer zone to ensure the visual values of the setting are protected alongside environmental values.

As part of its commitment to the Rideau Corridor Landscape Strategy, Parks Canada is facilitating a Landscape Character Assessment to identify key features and values of the Rideau Corridor in order to support more effective planning and management of the Rideau Corridor's landscape into the future.

For further information on the Landscape Character Assessment project, please contact Parks Canada at rideaucanal-info@pc.gc.ca or 613-283-5170.

For further information on the Rideau Corridor Landscape Strategy, please contact Doug Struthers, Chair, Rideau Corridor Landscape Strategy, at mayor@merrickville-wolford.ca or 613-269-4791.

Google World Wonders Project
The Rideau Canal is one of three Canadian sites included in the Google World Wonders Project, which is making world heritage sites available to Internet users across the globe.
© Google

Google World Wonders Project includes Rideau Canal

Online wander of world wonder

Smiths Falls, Ontario, July 25, 2012 – Once again the Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada has been highlighted as an amazing wonder of the world. The Rideau Canal is one of three Canadian sites included in the Google World Wonders Project, which is making world heritage sites available to Internet users across the globe.

Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal is a treasured national resource that connects the towns and cities of Eastern Ontario. It provides opportunities for land and water-based recreation and preserves a rare combination of historical and ecological characteristics for a unique and complete cultural experience.

The Parks Canada Agency is delighted to have the Rideau Canal included as a wonder in the Google Wonders Project. Tourists from Canada and all over the world are drawn to the Rideau Canal because Parks Canada manages the canal in a way that preserves traditions of the site while offering visitors incredible opportunities to enjoy the cultural and natural beauty of the canal to build memorable experiences with their loved ones.

Now, countless people around the world can get an initial taste of the Rideau Canal from their Internet connected devices, which will raise the profile of the canal as a world must-see destination.

View the Rideau Canal World Wonders Project page.

Landscape Character Assessment underway for the Rideau Corridor!

What is Special about the Rideau Canal Corridor?

The Rideau Canal is recognized internationally as an engineering marvel, but what about the landscape around it? People who know the Rideau Canal Corridor know that it has a unique character and sense of place, created by a collage of stunning scenery, quiet oases, historic landmarks and amazing natural beauty. This summer, Parks Canada is undertaking a Landscape Character Assessment of the Rideau Corridor, to help identify the special places along the Rideau Canal to ensure they are considered in planning and management decisions.

What is a Landscape Character Assessment?

A Landscape Character Assessment identifies features, areas and views that collectively create a landscape, setting it apart from other areas. This assessment will identify these values in the Rideau Corridor, map them, and characterize specific landscape areas along the Rideau Canal. The results will be used to inform strategic and land use planning by Parks Canada, conservation authorities, municipalities and others as part of a broader Rideau Corridor Landscape Strategy.

How Can You Get Involved?

The public is invited to share ideas about what makes the Rideau Corridor special to them. There are many different ways to share your ideas:

  • Pick up a brochure at a municipal office, or at any of the 24 lockstations along the Rideau Canal;
  • Join the Flickr group: Place your photos on the map of the corridor with a statement about why you value the landscape in your photo;
  • Email us at Rideau-canal-info@pc.gc.ca Send along photos of places along the Rideau that are important to you. We encourage you to share stories and information about the natural and cultural areas, landscapes or scenic views that you treasure along the Rideau Corridor;
  • And later this summer, join us at public consultation workshops held in five communities along the Rideau Corridor.

Information about participating in these opportunities and about the project itself can be found on the web site www.rcls-sacr.ca.

Follow us on Twitter at @RideauCLS.

The Rideau Canal is a National Historic Site, Canadian Heritage River, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As part of the 2007 World Heritage Site designation, the World Heritage Committee recommended that the Rideau Canal's visual protection be strengthened outside of the established buffer zone to ensure the visual values of the setting are protected alongside environmental values.

For further information on the Landscape Character Assessment project, please contact:
Rideau Canal, Parks Canada
rideaucanal-info@pc.gc.ca 613-283-5170

For further information on the Rideau Corridor Landscape Strategy, please contact:
Doug Struthers
Chair, Rideau Corridor Landscape Strategy
mayor@merrickville-wolford.ca 613-269-4791

Update: Boating Safely Public Consultation

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 - Parks Canada will not be implementing a public consultation programme at this point in time for Boating Safely on the Rideau Canal. For the 2012 season, educational signage will be placed in the waterway and at boat launches in the northern sector of the canal. Educational materials will be distributed at lockstations along the Rideau Canal.