Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada

 No moustaches on the Rideau Canal?

No moustaches on the Rideau Canal? Not likely!

Rideau Canal: Pro-moustache, Pro-safety.

Let's address a rumour being spread about the Rideau Canal. It has been suggested that signage along the canal expresses disdain for individuals who choose to grow a moustache. Quite the contrary. While the signs might be especially funny to skaters enjoying the canal's skateway in Ottawa every winter, they actually indicate a "No Wake Zone" where boaters must navigate slowly in the interest of other vessels, swimmers and wildlife.

Besides, many great moustachioed men have graced the pages of Canadian history books - from Samuel de Champlain (considered among the first to use "Rideau" in the area as early as 1613) to Burton Cummings. A few other noteworthy Canadian moustaches include Louis Riel, Billy Bishop, Octave Crémazie, Louis Cyr, Donald Sutherland, Marshall McLuhan, James Naismith, Jean Talon and Georges Vanier. Though not Canadian, the actor playing Sergeant Preston of the Yukon in the 1950s television series of the same name also sported a fine moustache.

Parks Canada and the Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada respect these moustached men and their contributions to this great country.

Now, moustaches were not popular during the construction of the Rideau Canal but it's safe to assume that in its over 175 years, locks could not have been operated without sweat dripping from the fuzzy upper lips donned upon by the hard working men of the Rideau.

But, once again, lets set the record straight. The sign is about safety, not moustaches.

We hope you think about this and watch your wake next time you see one of these signs along the Rideau Canal.

Safe boating helps us all. It helps people, it helps wildlife and wildlife habitat and it protects the canal's natural shoreline.

For more information on safe boating, please visit our page on Visitor Safety.

To learn more about famous Canadian moustaches, a good place to start is our Directory of Designations of National Historic Significance of Canada.