Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada

CANADA'S 14TH WORLD HERITAGE SITE

THE RIDEAU CANAL

Including Fort Henry and Kingston Fortifications

UNESCO

THE UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE CONVENTION
Flight of Eight Locks
© Parks Canada

The Great Wall of China, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Taj Mahal in India are a few examples of sites that are considered to be of outstanding universal value by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

A UNESCO World Heritage Site is either a natural or cultural place of sufficient importance to be the responsibility of the international community as a whole. What makes the concept of World Heritage exceptional is its universal application. World Heritage sites belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located.

State Parties who are part of UNESCO's convention pledge to care for World Heritage Sites in their territory and to avoid deliberate measures that could damage World Heritage Sites in other countries. As such, the World Heritage List serves as a tool for conservation. There are currently 830 sites of cultural and natural heritage of outstanding universal value inscribed on the World Heritage List.

RIDEAU CANAL WORLD HERITAGE DESIGNATION
Swing Bridge at Kilmarnock
© Parks Canada

The Rideau Canal, including Fort Henry and the Kingston Fortifications, was nominated by Canada for inscription on the World Heritage List in January 2006. A property nominated for inclusion to the World Heritage List is considered to be of outstanding universal value when the World Heritage Committee finds that it meets one or more of ten criteria.


The Rideau Canal, including Fort Henry and the Kingston Fortifications, officially joined this prestigious list during the 31st session of the World Heritage Committee held in June 2007 in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The Rideau Canal was inscribed under two criteria:

1) Criterion i: The Rideau Canal remains the best preserved example of a slackwater canal in North America demonstrating the use of European slackwater technology in North America on a large scale. It is the only canal dating from the great North American canal-building era of the early 19th century that remains operational along its original line with most of its original structures intact.

2) Criterion iv: The Rideau Canal is an extensive, well preserved and significant example of a canal which was used for military purposes linked to a significant stage in human history - that of the fight to control the north of the American continent.

Winter at Ottawa Locks
© Parks Canada

The Rideau Canal World Heritage Site includes the Rideau Canal, Fort Henry and the Kingston Fortifications. The Government of Canada, through the Parks Canada Agency, owns the canal, but relies heavily on partners and stakeholders to provide ongoing stewardship of the canal and its shoreline.

WORLD HERITAGE SITES IN CANADA

In addition to the newly inscribed Rideau Canal, Canada has thirteen other sites inscribed on the World Heritage List. They include:

  • KLUANE/WRANGELL–ST. ELIAS/GLACIER BAY/TATSHENSHINI-ALSEK
  • WATERTON-GLACIER INTERNATIONAL PEACE PARK
  • SGANG GWAAY
  • CANADIAN ROCKY MOUNTAIN PARKS
  • WOOD BUFFALO NATIONAL PARK
  • DINOSAUR PROVINCIAL PARK
  • HEAD-SMASHED-IN BUFFALO JUMP
  • NAHANNI NATIONAL PARK
  • L'ANSE AUX MEADOWS NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
  • MIGUASHA NATIONAL PARK
  • OLD TOWN LUNENBURG
  • HISTORIC DISTRICT OF OLD QUÉBEC
  • GROS MORNE NATIONAL PARK
Dam at Edmonds Lockstation
© Parks Canada
 
Chaffeys Locks
© Parks Canada