Stewardship and management

Rideau Canal National Historic Site

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.

More information about the Historic Canals and Waterways

Water Management InfoNet

Water levels and flows throughout the Rideau Canal corridor drainage basin are managed by Parks Canada an Agency of Environment Canada.

Jobs on the Rideau Canal

Join the Parks Canada and Rideau Canal team today!

Real property, occupation and development

Realty permits and fees, licences, development and land use, legislation and policy, and licenced local operators.

Film & Video productions

Download a film production proposal form and review associated fees and discounts. Includes information on the use of drones.

Commercial permits

Commercial permits at the Rideau Canal

Rideau Canal and Merrickville Blockhouse National Historic Sites of Canada Management Plan, 2022

Information on the management planning process for the Rideau Canal.

Rideau Canal Cultural Landscape Study

A guiding document for the three partner organizations (NCC, City of Ottawa, Parks Canada).


Contact us at the Rideau Canal National Historic Site.

Notice of Mooring Restrictions

Will come into effect on May 1st, 2024 to address mooring on the Ontario Waterways, under the jurisdiction of Parks Canada.

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