Starting June 1, some Parks Canada places will begin to offer limited access and services while maintaining physical distancing measures. Information will be updated regularly.

Only places and activities where health and safety risks can be managed will be available for visitation. We are asking visitors to be cautious and conservative in their use of these places, to observe travel restrictions, respect closures, follow the guidance of public health experts, and to make every effort to keep one another safe.

Opening details will differ across the country. Please check the Parks Canada national information portal dedicated to COVID-19 for regular updates.

Parks Canada and COVID-19 (updated May 27, 2020)

The health and safety of Canadians, visitors and Parks Canada team members is our top priority.

Being outdoors and in nature brings a number of health and wellness benefits., It is important that people have access to natural spaces where they can go to get exercise and fresh air in settings that facilitate physical distancing.

On June 1, 2020, Parks Canada will begin a safe, gradual opening of some outdoor locations in national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas.

This means:

  • Starting June 1, visitors will be permitted to access some trails, day use areas, and green spaces at some locations. Until then, all suspensions of visitor services and closures of facilities announced in March remain in place.
  • For their own safety, visitors should not try to access locations that are closed.
  • All camping facilities remain closed until at least June 21, 2020, while Parks Canada assesses whether and how these services might resume. Group activities and public events will be prohibited until further notice. All existing reservations set to take place prior to June 21, 2020, will be automatically cancelled and refunded in full.
  • Highways and roadways which pass through Parks Canada places will remain open.


Starting June 1, 2020

Starting June 1st 2020, the Rideau Canal National Historic Site will offer limited visitor access and basic services along the entire system, with the exception of Jones Falls and Kingston Mills.

Visitors will be able to access the following services and facilities:

  • lockage, boat launches, access points and mooring areas;
  • day-use areas, including green spaces, picnic areas, and parking lots;
  • day-use trails, including some cycling access on designated trails and pathways;
  • lockstation grounds; and
  • public toilets where enhanced cleaning protocols will be implemented.

Until June 1, these facilities remain closed and we ask that visitors respect these closures in order to allow canal staff to do the necessary work to prepare for opening.

Jones Falls and Kingston Mills lockstations will not open on June 1 as important infrastructure work is ongoing in both of these locations. It is expected that this work will be completed and the entire system will be open for navigation later in June.

Visiting the Rideau Canal National Historic Site will be different than it has been in the past. Visitors are asked to plan ahead by checking the Rideau Canal National Historic website before they travel.

Important information about your visit to the Rideau Canal National Historic Site

Parks Canada's priorities for Ontario Waterways at this time are the provision of the critical services of construction projects and water management. The Rideau Canal National Historic Site and its associated mooring areas and boat launches are closed to the public in the interest of limiting the potential risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus. Unmarked hazards may exist and aids to navigation may be missing, off-station, or inoperable. Use of the waterway at this time is discouraged and at one’s own risk. The public is asked to follow the advice of public health experts on physical distancing.

Lockage and mooring will remain suspended until May 31

On April 15th Parks Canada announced that its visitor facilities, including lockage and mooring, will remain suspended until May 31. As such, the Rideau Canal National Historic Site will not open for through navigation before June 1st. In the interim, Parks Canada will continue to deliver critical services to support public safety including water management on the Rideau Canal.
What's Open (updated June 1st 2020)

Starting June 1st 2020, visitors will be able to access the following services and facilities:

  • Lockstations and lockstation grounds
  • Boat Launches
  • Access points
  • Mooring areas
  • Day use areas (including green spaces, picnic areas, and parking lots)
  • Day-use trails (Including some cycling access on designated trails and pathways)
  • Public toilets
What's closed (updated June 1st 2020)

Starting June 1st 2020, the following will be closed:

  • Locks 39 to 42 - Jones Falls
  • Locks 46 to 49 - Kingston Mills
  • Camping facilities
  • Group activities
  • Public events
Your safety when visiting
 

After June 1st 2020:

  • Nautical distancing
  • Wash your hands
  • Touchless locking
  • Follow direction from Lock Staff
  • Stay on boat while locking
  • No rafting
  • Cashless payment preferred

Visitors should follow the advice of public health experts, including necessary hygiene practices and physical distancing of two metres from others.

For More information

Special Events permitting: accepting electronic applications

Water Management
 

Parks Canada’s water management responsibilities on the Rideau Canal are considered part of the Agency’s critical services to the public and continue to be carried out on a 24/7 basis with the same level of commitment in terms of resources and effort.

Parks Canada maintains the Ontario Waterways Water Management InfoNet on this website. The InfoNet contains background information on water management practices, water management updates, frequently asked questions about water management, various reports on water management, and the most recent water level of lakes along both the Rideau Canal and the Trent-Severn Waterway.

The primary source of relevant local flood forecasting information for residents and visitors continues to be their respective Conservation Authority or the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Infrastructure projects
 

The health and safety of Canadians, visitors, and Parks Canada team members is of the utmost importance to the Agency. Parks Canada’s infrastructure program is considered part of the Agency’s critical services to the public. We will continue to communicate if there are any changes in project status or schedule that impact the public.

Management plans
 

The health and safety of Canadians, visitors, and Parks Canada team members is of the utmost importance to the Agency. Parks Canada is following the advice of public health experts and implementing measures to support Canada’s efforts to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and reduce risks to employees and visitors.

As a result, Parks Canada has also suspended all public consultations and formal engagement with stakeholders and Indigenous peoples on management plans until further notice.

Management plans are developed through consultation and input from various people and organizations, including Indigenous peoples, local and regional residents, visitors, and the public.

The Agency is currently focusing its efforts on critical operations. There is, therefore, limited capacity to undertake full and meaningful management planning consultations at this time. Parks Canada also recognizes that the focus of the Canadian public, Indigenous partners and our stakeholders is on public health and safety and the economy.

Parks Canada is committed to resuming all management planning activities, including public consultations and formal engagement with stakeholders and Indigenous peoples, once operations return to normal and capacity allows.

Stay informed