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Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada

Visitor Experience Opportunities Report for the Rideau Corridor Released

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

Smiths 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.

The VEOC brings to light the many untapped resources for economic development within the Rideau Corridor, and underlines the importance of shared responsibility and cooperation to maximize the potential of the Rideau Canal and its adjacent communities as a world-class, relevant, and vibrant sustainable tourism destination.

The unveiling of the Rideau Canal VEOC is only the beginning of what promises to be an exciting period of renaissance for the region. Next steps will be identifying relevant and achievable initiatives for the short, mid and long term, and together facilitating the natural networking of interested parties to start making things happen.

Quick Facts

  • This initiative has been made possible through the support of local Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville, Gord Brown, and by a dedicated partner group represented by the Rideau Roundtable, Parks Canada, Valley Heartland Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) (representing support from Grenville CDFC, Frontenac CFDC and 1000 Islands CDC), the Rideau Heritage Route Tourism Association, United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, Lanark County, Town of Smiths Falls and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
  • Over 80 Rideau Canal and Corridor stakeholders and interested parties have directly contributed to the VEOC Sessions. Additionally, 88 people were active in making personal recommendations through an on-line survey about tourism for the region. Finally, over 100 people attended a public meeting hosted by MP Gord Brown in December 2013 to engage his constituents in a dialogue about their thoughts on the Rideau Canal and VEOC.
  • The next public opportunity for interested parties to discuss the VEOC reports concepts and its practical applications will be hosted by Valley Heartland CFDC and the Rideau Heritage Route Tourism Association, in Smiths Falls, on Friday February 28 at Beyond the City Lights Rural Tourism Conference, where there will be information on tourism industry trends, marketing tips, ideas for collaboration, networking, customer service, and how to tap into available resources.


“The Rideau Canal is not just waterway; it is the lifeblood of the region. The Government of Canada is proud to be working with Rideau Canal stakeholders on this collaborative initiative to improve upon and create visitor experience opportunities that will achieve a stronger, better future for our families, our businesses and in turn make the Rideau Corridor a more viable and sustainable tourism region.”

Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville

“We have a real opportunity here to take the ideas that have been generated through this initiative and make some immediate changes to how we look at the Rideau Corridor in terms of tourism and economic development; with everyone working together toward a single vision – with businesses, stakeholders, non-governmental organizations and all levels of government alike, the Rideau Corridor has the potential to be signature Canadian heritage destination.”

Susan Fournier
Valley Heartland Community Futures Development Corporation

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