Housed in a 19th century stone mill, the Rideau Canal Visitor Centre is the flagship interpretation centre for the historic Rideau Canal system - a National Historic Site of Canada, a designated Canadian Heritage River, and a UNESCO World Heritage destination. 

Near the Visitor Information Centre, you’ll find the impressive modern hydraulic system at the Smiths Falls Combined Locks as well as the original 3-lift manual system built by Lt. Col. By in 1829.

Hours of operation

The centre features:

  • Three floors of exhibits bringing to life the history of the canal – its construction from 1826-1831, its role throughout history, as well as the distinct lifestyle associated with the Rideau Waterway
  • Trip planning assistance.
  • Children’s area and activities.
  • Rideau Xplorers program and Club Parka
  • Enhanced programming.
  • Group tours. To book a group, contact (613) 283-5170.


Detailed fees list


Rideau Canal National Historic Site, Parks Canada
Headquarters & Visitor Information Centre
34 Beckwith Street South, Smiths Falls, ON K7A 2A8
Tel:  (613) 283-5170
Toll Free: 1 (888) 773-8888

Facilities and services 

  • Information
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Washrooms
  • Exhibits
  • Auditorium (available for rental)
  • Bus parking, please call ahead.

Rideau Canal Headquarters


Open Year-Long Monday to Friday 8:30 AM-4:30 PM by appointment only.


  • Special event permitting
  • Shoreline and In-Water Works Consultation/Permitting
  • Purchase of Boat Passes.