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. Housed in a 19th century stone mill, our Visitor Information Centre features three floors of exhibits and a 15 minute video presentation.  

Inside, exhibits bring 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.

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.

Location: 34 Beckwith St. South, in town (Smith Falls), at the foot of Beckwith St.
Season: May 21 to September 1, daily 9 am-4 pm.
Admission: By Donation (Self-guided)
Groups: Tour groups welcome with advance notice. School Groups $1.90 per person Adult/Senior Groups $3.40 per person. Outdoor guided tour of the Smith Falls Combined locks available for an additional charge.
Facilities: Wheelchair accessible, including washrooms. Bilingual displays and seasonal exhibits. Children’s area. Auditorium available for rental. Bus parking on site, please call ahead.

Rideau Canal Visitor Centre 
34 Beckwith St. South
Smiths Falls, Ontario K7A 2A8

Tel/Fax: 613-283-5170

Free activities at the Rideau Canal Visitor Information Centre


Calling all adventurers ages 3-6! Join Parka, the Parks Canada beaver as she explores the sights, sounds and stories of our National Parks and Historic sites. Club Parka’s games, activities and prizes encourage young visitors to take a fun, hands-on approach to learning about the natural world and the stories from our past.

Parks Canada Xplorers

The Rideau Canal invites young visitors to join our Parks Canada Xplorers program. This interactive booklet guides visitors aged 6-11 through the history of the Canal and the stories of the people who built it and made the Rideau Canal their home. Participants search for clues, participate in activities, and investigate the heart of the nation's capital at Ottawa Locks. After they’ve completed the booklet, Xplorers receive an official Parks Canada souvenir to commemorate their visit to the Rideau Canal.