All Parks Canada facilities are temporarily closed, all visitor services and all motor vehicle access by visitors are suspended until further notice.

New footbridge downtown Ottawa – Clearance of 6.7 metres (22 feet).
Click here for more info.

The Rideau Canal runs between Ottawa and Kingston in Southern Ontario, both easily accessible by car and public transportation from Toronto (260 kilometres to Kingston) and Montréal (200 kilometres to Ottawa). The length of the canal itself can be accessed by road, bicycle, on foot or by boat.

Spring through fall is the most popular time to visit. Though the locks are closed in winter, there is skating, ice-fishing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Getting here


34 Beckwith Street South
Smiths Falls ON K7A 2A8

The Rideau Canal's 24 lockstations are all accessible by road, and therefore by vehicle, bicycle or on foot. The canal lockstations are generally accessible by all-season roads.

Hours of operation

The navigation season runs from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving (mid-May to mid-October).

Complete schedule


Site access is free. Otherwise, there are fees for locking and overnight mooring.  

Detailed fees list


Facilities and services

Quick facts

  • Only 19 kilometres (12 miles) of channels were cut to connect two rivers and over a dozen lakes to form the 202-kilometre (126-mile) Rideau Canal.
  • The 47 locks located at 24 lockstations can each accommodate vessels up to 27.3 m (90') long and 8.5 m (28') wide.
  • Most locks are still operated by hand using the same mechanisms as in 1832, when the canal opened. 
  • Under normal conditions, there is a minimum of approximately 1.5m (5') of water in the navigation channel during the navigation season.
  • Kayakers and canoeists can explore over 1000 kilometres (621 miles) of the waterway’s shoreline, overnighting at 22 of the 24 lockstations which offer serviced camping for hikers, boaters and cyclists.