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Rideau Canal National Historic Site

Rideau Corridor Landscape Strategy

Rideau Corridor Landscape Strategy

Anyone who experiences the Rideau Canal and the communities along its length knows they are in a very special place. You might be a visitor- paddling through a narrow channel of spectacular natural beauty, walking down an historic street soaking in its character or driving through an engineering marvel. You might be a resident- cycling or skating along the Canal, running a shop in one of its many towns and villages, working a century farm, or fishing along its shores near your cottage. Whoever you are, the Rideau Canal Corridor is a place with a unique identity and a remarkable spirit.

The Rideau Canal and its Corridor have been honoured with many distinctions; a National Historic Site, a Canadian Heritage River and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, proclaiming its universal value to humanity. In 2008, the National Geographic Society declared the Rideau the 2nd most authentic, sustainable destination in the World.

These designations are not only an honour; they carry with them an obligation to ensure the universal values that are the basis of the designations are protected. Many people have questions about the implication of World Heritage status, and how communities can both capitalize on this, and maintain it through sensitive, sympathetic development.

Development pressures are creating challenges for the municipalities and other authorities responsible for decisions around land use planning and economic development. There is a growing interest in the region for new residential development such as condos, subdivisions and cottage lots, commercial development such as box stores, strip malls, hotels, tourism facilities and trailers parks, energy production facilities such as wind and solar farms, and mining operations. Decisions must be made about how development should take place.

Following the recommendation of the World Heritage Committee, Parks Canada committed to undertaking an assessment of the visual character of the Canal Corridor; this commitment resulted in the formation of the Rideau Corridor Landscape Strategy (the Strategy), a collective of representatives from First Nations, federal and provincial agencies, municipalities, NGOs, property owners and others working together to ensure a collective vision for the Rideau Corridor.

As part of its commitment to the Rideau Corridor Landscape Strategy, over the course of 2012, Parks Canada facilitated a Landscape Character Assessment to identify key features and values along the Rideau Corridor in order to support more effective planning and management of the Rideau Corridor's landscape. The Rideau Corridor Landscape Strategy Steering Committee members are pleased to release the Landscape Character Assessment report. For more information about the project, please see "Progress to Date" and visit the project website at to view a copy of the final report. Members of the Rideau Corridor Landscape Strategy will use the report as a guide in the development and implementation of tools and strategies for responsible planning and management along the Rideau Corridor.
Canoeists downtown Ottawa
Canoeists in downtown Ottawa
© Ottawa Tourism

For more information, please contact:

Susan Millar, Planner, Ontario Waterways
Parks Canada
34 Beckwith Street South
Smiths Falls, ON K7A 2A8
Tel: 613-283-7199, ext. 242 or 1-888-773-8888
Teletypewriter (TTY): 866-787-6221
Fax: 613-283-0677