Plan your visit
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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.
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
- 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.