From the heart of Canada’s capital, the historic Rideau Canal waterway winds south from Ottawa through towns, farms and woodlands for 202 kilometres (126 miles) towards Kingston on Lake Ontario. Constructed after the War of 1812 on fears of an American invasion of the St. Lawrence River, it served as an alternative shipping route between Montréal and Kingston.
The working canal, with its 19th century locks and structures, links rivers and lakes with man-made channels - an ideal landscape for outdoor activities and glimpses of Old Ontario on a watery route through living history.
Accessible by road, bicycle, hiking, paddling and leisurely cruises, the Rideau Canal offers self-guided walking trails at many of its 24 lockstations where it’s possible to pitch a tent within a historic setting. Venture into beautiful historic towns and military structures and, in winter, skate the frozen canal through Ottawa.