Canada’s national river program recognizes Canadian rivers with outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values.

Today, there are 42 Canadian Heritage Rivers in the system, totalling close to 12,000 km in length!

Winterlude activities on the Rideau Canal, Ontario

Why designate rivers?

Designating rivers raises awareness and promotes the stewardship of rivers for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations of Canadians.

Learn more about how rivers can become a Canadian Heritage River!

Costumed interpreters on the Red River, Manitoba

Encouraging local sustainability

The program collaborates with community-based river stewardship groups to promote their long-term sustainability.

Discover how stewards of Canadian Heritage Rivers work to promote their rivers!

Village of Field and the Kicking Horse River in Yoho National Park, British Columbia.

Parks Canada manages six Canadian Heritage Rivers

  • Alsek River, Yukon
  • South Nahanni, Northwest Territories
  • Athabasca River, Alberta
  • Kicking Horse River, British Columbia
  • North Saskatchewan River, Alberta
  • Rideau Waterway, Ontario

Discover Canadian Heritage Rivers!

Two children enjoying the marsh at the Attikamek Trail on the Sault Ste. Marie Canal, Ontario

How is Parks Canada involved?

Parks Canada represents the Government of Canada on the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board and provides secretariat services, policy guidance, and financial support for the designation and commemoration of Canadian Heritage Rivers.

Parks Canada is also responsible for the national and international promotion of the program.

Canadian Heritage Rivers System social media