About Rideau Canal

Combine big city adventure with big lakes and sensational scenery on an unforgettable boating vacation in Canada

Boating on the Rideau Canal is the perfect way to see Southeastern Ontario and discover the beauty of the natural landscape. Be your own Captain! Cruise your licence-free luxury houseboat along the rivers and pristine lakes of the Rideau Canal Waterway as it stretches 202km from Ottawa to Kingston, Ontario. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century and the oldest continuously operated canal system in North America. Beginning at either our Smith Falls or Ottawa base, relax and unwind as you take in the spectacular nature, picturesque towns and lively cities of this attractive waterway.

 

Map showing where the Rideau Canal boating region is in Canada

Search this region

Rideau Canal map

You can enjoy our Canadian boating holidays from our bases in Ottawa and Smiths Falls. Download our region guide to learn more about this wonderful country and the unique charm offered by each stop along our cruising ground.

Rideau Canal Map

Base icon = Le Boat Base          Canal = Canal          Navigable river = Navigable river          No entry = No navigation beyond this point

The perfect boating region for...

Fishing

Fishing in the Rideau lakes

The lakes and rivers of the Rideau Waterway offer great fishing opportunities including Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Lake Trout, Yellow Perch, Black Crappie and Walleye.

Nature

Big Rideau lakes

Nature lovers will enjoy their journey through the Rideau, which provides a haven for many species of wildlife.

Cycling

Cycling through a forest in Canada

Bicycle enthusiasts can fully enjoy the Rideau region. Although there are no bicycle trails directly along the Rideau, there are many trails and secondary roads close by that bicyclists can enjoy.

Shopping

Kilborn's shopping in Newboro on the Rideau

All the cities along the Canal offer shopping opportunities. Check out the local products and crafts shops. Don't leave Canada without a bottle of maple syrup.

Family

Family fun on the Rideau

The Rideau Canal has everything you need for the perfect family vacation. Make a splash with watersports on the Rideau, then discover all the adventure Canadian culture has to offer at the many towns and cities along the way. 

Useful information

Download our Region Guide

Check out our region guideWe've produced a handy PDF guide for this region to give you an overview of all the stops and things to do along the waterway.

Download our region guide

As it winds its way 202km (125 miles) from Ottawa to Kingston, the Rideau Canal is bursting with new experiences just waiting to be explored. Whether you like taking in abundant nature, discovering fascinating culture or simply indulging in some of the finer things - the Rideau Canal has something for you!

The Rideau Canal was originally intended as a military supply route between Montreal and Kingston in the event of an American invasion of Canada. Construction of the canal, under the charge of Lt. Colonel John By, began in 1826 through a wilderness of rough bush, swamps and rocky terrain. The 19th century working conditions were grueling and the work was done by hand. An estimated 1,000 men died during the six years of construction. Today, the Rideau Canal is one of North America’s most beautiful navigable waterways, with exquisite stone-masonry admired to this day.

We've partnered up with some of the best local businesses from the towns and villages along the Rideau to help you get the most out of your Le Boat vacation. 

Discover our range of exclusive offers, only available to Le Boat customers. 

Our Canada cruises are perfect for that short escape or epic expedition. Our base is located in Smiths Falls, midway along the canal, and is the perfect starting point for long or short breaks. So whether you have a few days or several weeks, our Canada cruises are the perfect standalone holiday or accompaniment to a wider break.

Each of our Horizon boats in Canada have an on-board chart plotter pre-installed, for safer navigation and cruising while on the waterways. Your check-in orientation briefing at the base will cover how to use the chart plotters.

 

What is a chart plotter and why is it useful?

  • Using sophisticated GPS technology, our chart plotters provide dock to dock route guidance, ensuring a safe passageway for our customers on the water.
  • A chart plotter plans your route for you, so that you don't have to.
  • Chart plotter technology can also advise on key points of interest along the route.

Take a look at our waterway and lock closures page to find out if there are any scheduled cruising restrictions that will affect your holiday plans.

There are 24 lockstations and 47 locks on the Rideau Canal. Each lock has 3 to 4 staff members to help out in any way they can.

 

Opening hours:

 

  •     May 19 - June 18

 

Monday to Thursday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Friday to Sunday and holidays 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

 

  •     June 19 - Sept. 4

 

Monday to Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Friday to Sunday and holidays 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

 

  •     September 5 - October 9

 

Monday to Friday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Saturday, Sunday & Thanksgiving 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

There are many options for overnight moorings along the Rideau; private marinas, township marinas and Parks Canada moorings (situated at lock stations) all provide overnight moorings for a fee, with varying facilities and services.

 

However, a mandatory fee of $70 USD / $75 CAD for short breaks or $110 USD / $120 CAD for 7nts+ will be charged to Le Boat customers and covers overnight moorings at all Parks Canada sites, as well as the township marinas of Portland, Perth and Westport (first two Le Boats moor free in Westport, standard rates for others) which represents a significantly reduced rate than the fee charged locally at each of these moorings sites. All overnight moorings are operated on a first-come, first-served basis and exclude services such as shore power.

To find out how to get to our bases in this boating region, as well as what facilities and amenities are available nearby, click on the links below:

  • Hire of the boat and its onboard equipment
  • A fully equipped kitchen
  • Towels and linen for all passengers
  • A boat handling demonstration prior to departure
  • Technical support
  • On-board maps and visitor information
  • Passage through locks
  • A compulsory moorings fee has been included in the price quoted. See compulsory costs for more details
  • Optional holiday extras
  • Boat damage waiver
  • Running costs (diesel, gas, engine wear and tear) - charged by the engine hour.
  • Travel to and from the base(s)
  • Waterside services if you use them (i.e. moorings where a charge is applicable, pump-out if needed, water, etc)
  • Cancellation plan & any travel/personal insurance
  • Food and drink

Interactive map of the Rideau Canal

Bases  = Le Boat base  Chateau = Point of interest

Great to see…

Must see
Parliament Hill in Ottawa

Canada’s capital has at its centre Parliament Hill, with grand Victorian architecture and museums like the National Gallery of Canada, with noted collections of indigenous and other Canadian art. The park-lined Rideau Canal is filled with boats in the summer. Historic Byward Market and the old town are near the canal and offer a wide choice of restaurants, shopping and outdoor entertainment.

Must see
Watson's Mill

Manotick is a charming town with plenty of restaurants and shops to keep you entertained. A highlight is Watson’s Mill, a fascinating working museum that is one of the only remaining grist mills in North America.

Long Island Locks is an idyllic location for picnicking, fishing, exploring and boat watching.

Tie up at Burritts Rapids Lock Station, then take a walking tour of the village and experience early Canada through centuries old heritage buildings or walk the "Tip to Tip Trail", a 2 km nature walk.

For historians and bird-watchers this is a great place to visit. Upper Nicholsons features one of four remaining Unequal Arm, a centre bearing timber swing bridge, on the Rideau. Then just up the road you’ll discover McGuigan’s Cemetery (448 County Road 23, aka Burritts Rapids Road), one of the oldest burying grounds on the Rideau. You will be touched by the poignant headstone of Margaret Davidson, the 2-year-old daughter of one of the contractors for Clowes Lock, who died in 1829.

Must see
Tienda Wick Witch Candle & Bath en Merrickville

Merrickville is Canada’s prettiest village. The village centre consists entirely of picturesque Victorian-era stone houses perched by the waters of the Rideau Canal. Merrickville is home to many local arts and craft shops, museums, restaurants and specialty stores serving some of the best local handmade ice cream or gourmet mustards on the Rideau Canal.

Must see
Museo del Patrimonio en Smiths Falls

Located in the Heart of Eastern Ontario on the banks of the historic Rideau Canal, Smiths Falls offers a unique mix of leisure and recreational activities set against a backdrop of history and nature. Smiths Falls has a rich heritage, and today offers museums, theatres, art galleries and outdoor adventures including hiking, biking and fishing.

When the Rideau Canal was built, there was no water connection to Perth, so the residents constructed the Tay Canal. This area is known as "Haggart's Ditch" and features some of the best wildlife viewing on the Rideau on the way to Perth.

Must see
Lepels in een ambachtelijke winkel in Perth, Ontario

Linked to the Rideau Canal via the Tay Canal, Perth is a beautiful 200 year old town renowned for its limestone architecture. The town has something for everyone: festivals and events, canoeing, kayaking, cycling, hiking, trail-riding, museums, genealogy, camping, heritage inns, provincial parks, conservation areas, golfing, horse riding, artisans, farmers markets, great harvest foods, docking facilities, shopping and studio tours. Perth has a wide variety of restaurants and unique boutiques.

 

Straddling a thin strip of water between the Big and Lower Rideau Lakes, Rideau Ferry is the spectacular scenic gateway to the southern Rideau. A hub for live music and festivals throughout the summer, stop here for the biannual Vintage Boat Regatta first held here in 1897.

Portland is a small village located on the Big Rideau Lake. There are many things for a landlubber to see and do in the Portland area. There are several unique stores in town, including antiques and collectables. The Cataraqui all-season trail passes just a bit east of town, golf courses are located nearby, one of the local B&Bs offer horseback riding, and cheese lovers will want to visit local cheesemakers and wineries.

Westport is a charming village. There you will find public docking facilities and a full range of land-based accommodations. The city offers a lot of activities: shops, two golf courses and swimming beaches. Nature lovers will be able to enjoy a hike in the Foley Mountain Conservation Area which has spectacular views of the area.

The Village of Newboro is a popular destination spot for anglers wishing to land one of the big Largemouth Bass that populate Newboro Lake. It is also a popular stop for boaters since Newboro is located adjacent to the Newboro Lockstation on the Rideau Canal. It's a good spot to restock supplies or have a quiet lunch or dinner at one of the local restaurants or inns. Be sure not to miss Kilborn’s, a unique shopping experience located in the heart of historic Newboro and the adjacent dining room in an original 1832 residence.

Chaffey's Lockstation stands on a beautiful isthmus of land lying between the Indian Lake and Opinicon Lake. The Chaffey's Lock and Area Heritage Society was formed in 1980 to oversee the development of the Lockmaster's House Museum and to preserve the heritage of the village and surrounding area.

Must see
Chiuse di Jones Falls

Jones Falls must be one of the prettiest lockstations along the Canal. The city is home of the "Great Stone Arch Dam". Jones Falls has a flight of 3 lower locks. The turning basin separates the locks from the upper lock. This is the highest lift of any lockstation on the canal.

Seeley's Bay is a charming town with a great community park with playgrounds, tennis courts and picnic tables. Here you’ll be delighted to discover a little sliver of the region’s history at the Tepee in Centennial Park (just up Bay Street from the moorings). This modern day tepee commemorates the original Tepee of ‘Granny Seeley’, who ran a trading post and conducted business with Aboriginals and European settlers during the 1800s.

This is the site of the first mill built on the Rideau, the King’s Mill, built here at Cataraqui Falls in 1784. The site today features a lovely set of three locks, a turning basin, a detached upper lock and the Robert Anglin Visitor’s Centre. Kingston Mills Falls is located on the outlet of Colonel By Lake, an artificial lake created by the damming of the Catraqui River. The falls is just below the dam.

Must see
Banditore a Kingston, Ontario, Municipio

Kingston is located on Lake Ontario at the mouth of the southern end of the Rideau Canal. It's known as the "Limestone City" for its grand 19th-century buildings, including the lakeside Kingston City Hall. The grand house and gardens of the Bellevue House National Historic Site commemorate Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. Fort Henry, built in the 1800s, holds military demonstrations throughout the summer and is the site of a fabulous rooftop restaurant providing a panoramic view of the beautiful historic city and the Saint Lawrence River.

Itinerary suggestions

Our boating holidays allow you the freedom to stop when you want and take each day as it comes. However, you might like to be guided by one of our day-by-day suggested itineraries, complete with estimated cruising times and restaurant recommendations. You can follow it religiously or just use it for ideas – whatever 'floats your boat'. Please bear in mind that our itineraries are just suggestions only. Cruising times are estimates and access to waterways, attractions and restaurants are all subject to availability at time of cruising.

Route suggestions

As well as the suggested itinerary shown above, all the routes available in this region are shown below. They aren’t as detailed, but they should help you get an idea of how far you can travel in the time you have. You won’t have time to stop at every single place listed on each suggestion – but they should give you an idea of what’s possible. Of course, cruising times are approximations and access to waterways, attractions and restaurants are all subject to availability at time of cruising.

 = Click the arrow icon on each route suggestion, to flip the 'card' and reveal more details.

Passing through a lock on the magnificent Rideau

Smiths Falls RETURN via Beveridges

Smiths Falls
Beveridge's Locks
Smiths Falls

6 hr(s) of cruising

22km 6 locks 3 nights

Smiths Falls RETURN via Beveridges

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right 

Overview

Along the Rideau you'll discover an abundance of wildlife. With Beavers, Otters, Turtles, Ospreys and the famous Canada Geese just some of the fantastic fauna you be able to spot while you drift gently along the Rideau. So remember your binoculars and camera, because this region is a nature lovers dream.

Top highlights:

  • The Heritage House Museum of Smiths Falls which delves into the lives of a family living in 1860s Canada
  • Spotting wildlife on the Tay Canal

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Smiths Falls: Located in the Heart of Eastern Ontario on the banks of the historic Rideau Canal, Smiths Falls offers a unique mix of leisure and recreational activities set against a backdrop of history and nature. Smiths Falls has a rich heritage, and today offers museums, theaters, art galleries and outdoor adventures including hiking, biking and fishing.
  • Beveridge's Locks: When the Rideau Canal was built, there was no water connection to Perth, so the residents constructed the Tay Canal. This area is known as "Haggart's Ditch" and features some of the best wildlife viewing on the Rideau on the way to Perth.

6 hr(s) of cruising

22km 6 locks 3 nights
Perth coffee shop, Ontario

Smiths Falls RETURN via Perth

Smiths Falls
Beveridge's Locks
Perth
Smiths Falls

10 hr(s) of cruising

42km 10 locks 4 nights

Smiths Falls RETURN via Perth

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

Canada is a paradoxical place, able to combine pristine wilderness with vibrant local culture. Find yourself taking in the natural wonders of Ontario as you make your way gently down the Rideau before unearthing the lively local culture of Perth with its quaint boutiques and lively markets.

Top highlights:

  • The beautiful 200 year-old town of Perth, where there's something for everyone
  • The Heritage House Museum of Smiths Falls which delves into the lives of a family living in 1860s Canada

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Smiths Falls: Located in the Heart of Eastern Ontario on the banks of the historic Rideau Canal, Smiths Falls offers a unique mix of leisure and recreational activities set against a backdrop of history and nature. Smiths Falls has a rich heritage, and today offers museums, theaters, art galleries and outdoor adventures including hiking, biking and fishing.
  • Beveridge's Locks: When the Rideau Canal was built, there was no water connection to Perth, so the residents constructed the Tay Canal. This area is known as "Haggart's Ditch" and features some of the best wildlife viewing on the Rideau on the way to Perth.
  • Perth: Linked to the Rideau Canal via the Tay Canal, Perth is a beautiful 200 year old town renowned for it's limestone architecture. The town has something for everyone: festivals and events, canoeing, kayaking, cycling, hiking, trail-riding, museums, genealogy, camping, heritage inns, provincial parks, conservation areas, golfing, horse riding, artisans, farmer's markets, great harvest foods, docking facilities, shopping and studio tours. Perth has a wide variety of restaurants and unique boutiques.

Due to water hazards and challenging navigation, cruising along the Tay Canal to Perth is only suitable for those who have previous boating experience. Please follow the advice of the base team during your pre-departure briefing on whether you can navigate this stretch of the canal. If  you are advised not to navigate, you can still visit Perth by mooring at Lower Beverages lock and taking a short taxi ride.

10 hr(s) of cruising

42km 10 locks 4 nights
Ottawa

Ottawa RETURN via Long Island (for Manotick)

Ottawa
Long Island
Manotick
Ottawa

9 hr(s) of cruising

36km 10 locks 3 nights

Ottawa RETURN via Long Island (for Manotick)

Ottawa > Long Island > Ottawa

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

Take in all that Canada’s capital has to offer on your first night before making your way down the Rideau River to explore the stunning Canadian Countryside and the welcoming little town of Manotick. This is the perfect city and countryside, short-break combo.

Top highlights:

  • Art, culture and history in Canada's stunning capital city - Ottawa (and don't miss the famous Byward Market)
  • Picnicing on Long Island
  • One of North America's only working grist mills, in Manotick

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your holiday.

  • Ottawa: Canada’s capital has at its center Parliament Hill, with grand Victorian architecture and museums like the National Gallery of Canada, with noted collections of indigenous and other Canadian art. The park-lined Rideau Canal is filled with boats in the summer. Historic Byward Market and old town is near the canal and offers a wide choice of restaurants, shopping and outdoor entertainment. 
  • Long Island: Long Island Locks is an idyllic location for picnicking, fishing, exploring and boat watching. 
  • Manotick: Manotick is a charming town with plenty of restaurants and shops to keep you entertained. A highlight is Watson’s Mill, a fascinating working museum that is one of the only remaining grist mills in North America.

 

9 hr(s) of cruising

36km 10 locks 3 nights
Iconic phone-box in Merrickville town centre

Smiths Falls RETURN via Merrickville

Smiths Falls
Merrickville
Smiths Falls

13 hr(s) of cruising

42km 14 locks 4 nights

Smiths Falls RETURN via Merrickville

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

Picturesque Victorian stone houses, local craft shops and a thriving artisan community. It is easy to see why Merrickville was voted Canada's most beautiful village. Let yourself wander around this chocolate-box town and delve deeper into this regions charming local culture.

Top highlights:

  • The Heritage House Museum of Smiths Falls which delves into the lives of a family living in 1860s Canada
  • Merrickville's homemade ice cream and mustards along the Rideau Canal

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation 

  • Smiths Falls: Located in the Heart of Eastern Ontario on the banks of the historic Rideau Canal, Smiths Falls offers a unique mix of leisure and recreational activities set against a backdrop of history and nature. Smiths Falls has a rich heritage, and today offers museums, theaters, art galleries and outdoor adventures including hiking, biking and fishing.
  • Merrickville: Merrickville is Canada’s prettiest village. The village center consists entirely of picturesque Victorian-era stone houses perched by the waters of the Rideau Canal. Merrickville is home to many local arts and craft shops, museums, restaurants and specialty stores serving some of the best local handmade ice cream or gourmet mustards on the Rideau Canal.

13 hr(s) of cruising

42km 14 locks 4 nights
Watersports on the Rideau

Smiths Falls RETURN via Jones Falls

Smiths Falls
Beveridge's Locks
Rideau Ferry
Portland
Westport
Newboro
Chaffey's Lockstation
Jones Falls
Smiths Falls

27 hr(s) of cruising

126km 14 locks 7 nights

Smiths Falls RETURN via Jones Falls

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

Gently cruise the vast lakes, mighty forests and hidden islands of the Southern Rideau. The perfect playground for any lover of the outdoors. Find yourself paddling the Big Rideau Lake, going on a hike in Foley Mountain Conservation Area or playing golf on one of Portland’s two golf courses.

Top highlights:

  • The Heritage House Museum of Smiths Falls which delves into the lives of a family living in 1860s Canada 
  • The remarkable operating structure of the Jones Falls lock 
  • Golf courses and swimming beaches in Westport

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Smiths Falls: Located in the Heart of Eastern Ontario on the banks of the historic Rideau Canal, Smiths Falls offers a unique mix of leisure and recreational activities set against a backdrop of history and nature. Smiths Falls has a rich heritage, and today offers museums, theaters, art galleries and outdoor adventures including hiking, biking and fishing.
  • Beveridge's Locks: When the Rideau Canal was built, there was no water connection to Perth, so the residents constructed the Tay Canal. This area is known as "Haggart's Ditch" and features some of the best wildlife viewing on the Rideau on the way to Perth.
  • Rideau Ferry: Straddling a thin strip of water between the Big and Lower Rideau Lakes, Rideau Ferry is the spectacular scenic gateway to the southern Rideau. A hub for live music and festivals throughout the summer, stop here for the biannual Vintage Boat Regatta first held here in 1897.
  • Portland: Portland is a small village located on Big Rideau Lake.There are many things for the landlubber to see and do in the Portland area. There are several unique stores in town, including antiques and collectables. The Cataraqui all-season trail passes just a bit east of town, golf courses are located nearby, one of the local B&Bs offers horseback riding, and cheese lovers will want to visit local cheesemakers and wineries.
  • Westport: Westport is a charming village. There you will find public docking facilities and a full range of land-based accomodations. The city offers a lot of activities: shops, two golf courses and swimming beaches. Nature lovers will be able to enjoy a hike in Foley Mountain Conservation Area which has spectacular views of the area.
  • Newboro: The Village of Newboro is a popular destination spot for anglers wishing to land one of the big Largemouth Bass that populate Newboro Lake. It is also a popular stop for boaters since Newboro is located adjacent to the Newboro Lockstation on the Rideau Canal. It's a good spot to restock supplies or have a quiet lunch or dinner at one of the local restaurants or inns. Be sure not to miss Kilborn’s, a unique shopping experience located in the heart of historic Newboro and the adjacent dining room in an original 1832 residence.
  • Chaffey's Lockstation: Chaffey's Lockstation stands on beautiful isthmus of land lying between Indian Lake and Opinicon Lake. The Chaffey's Lock and Area Heritage Society was formed in 1980 to oversee the development of the Lockmaster's House Museum and to preserve the heritage of the village and surrounding area.
  • Jones Falls: Jones Falls must be one of the prettiest lockstations along the Canal. The lockstation is home of the "Great Stone Arch Dam". Jones Falls has a flight of 3 lower locks. The turning basin separates the locks from the upper lock. This is the highest lift of any lockstation on the canal.

27 hr(s) of cruising

126km 14 locks 7 nights
Rideau Woodlands Ramble near Burritts Rapids

Smiths Falls RETURN via Long Island

Smiths Falls
Merrickville
Upper Nicholsons
Burritts Rapids
Long Island
Smiths Falls

34 hr(s) of cruising

136km 28 locks 7 nights

Smiths Falls RETURN via Long Island

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

Sometimes the best things in life are those little luxuries. Discover them with a cruise on the Northern Rideau. Combine some retail therapy in Canada’s prettiest village, Merrickville, with a visit to one of Canada’s top gardens, the Rideau Woodland Ramble in Burritt’s Rapids. Paradise is real, and you'll find it here!

Top highlights:

  • The Heritage House Museum of Smiths Falls which delves into the lives of a family living in 1860s Canada 
  • Birdwatch amongst the beautiful nature of Upper Nicholsons 
  • The "Tip to Tip Trail" in Burrits Rapids 
  • Picnicking in Long Island

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Smiths Falls: Located in the Heart of Eastern Ontario on the banks of the historic Rideau Canal, Smiths Falls offers a unique mix of leisure and recreational activities set against a backdrop of history and nature. Smiths Falls has a rich heritage, and today offers museums, theaters, art galleries and outdoor adventures including hiking, biking and fishing.
  • Merrickville: Merrickville is Canada’s prettiest village. The village center consists entirely of picturesque Victorian-era stone houses perched by the waters of the Rideau Canal. Merrickville is home to many local arts and craft shops, museums, restaurants and specialty stores serving some of the best local handmade ice cream or gourmet mustards on the Rideau Canal.
  • Upper Nicholsons: For historians and bird-watchers this is a great place to visit. Upper Nicholsons features one of four remaining Unequal Arm, a center bearing timber swing bridge, on the Rideau. Then just up the road you’ll discover McGuigan’s Cemetery (448 County Road 23, aka Burritts Rapids Road), one of the oldest burying grounds on the Rideau. You will be touched by the poignant headstone of Margaret Davidson, the 2 year old daughter of one of the contractors for Clowes Lock, who died in 1829.
  • Burrits Rapid: Tie up at Burritts Rapids Lock Station, then take a walking tour of the village and experience early Canada through centuries old heritage buildings or walk the "Tip to Tip Trail", a 2 km nature walk.
  • Long Island: Long Island Locks is an idyllic location for picnicking, fishing, exploring and boat watching.

34 hr(s) of cruising

136km 28 locks 7 nights
Rideau River Cruise

Ottawa RETURN via Merrickville

Ottawa
Long Island
Manotick
Burritts Rapids
Upper Nicholsons
Merrickville
Ottawa

30 hr(s) of cruising

139km 30 locks 7 nights

Ottawa RETURN via Merrickville

Ottawa > Merrickville > Ottawa

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

This cruise allows you to combine Canada’s bustling and vibrant capital city, with the beautiful Rideau River with its spectacular nature and wildlife and its welcoming artisan towns that are full of history and small-town character.

Top highlights:

  • Merrickville's homemade ice cream and mustards along the Rideau Canal
  • Birdwatch amongst the beautiful nature of Upper Nicholsons
  • The "Tip to Tip Trail" in Burrits Rapids
  • Art, culture and history in Canada's stunning capital city - Ottawa (and don't miss the famous Byward Market)

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your holiday.

  • Ottawa: Canada’s capital has at its center Parliament Hill, with grand Victorian architecture and museums like the National Gallery of Canada, with noted collections of indigenous and other Canadian art. The park-lined Rideau Canal is filled with boats in the summer. Historic Byward Market and old town is near the canal and offers a wide choice of restaurants, shopping and outdoor entertainment.
  • Manotick: Manotick is a charming town with plenty of restaurants and shops to keep you entertained. A highlight is Watson’s Mill, a fascinating working museum that is one of the only remaining grist mills in North America.
  • Long Island: Long Island Locks is an idyllic location for picnicking, fishing, exploring and boat watching.
  • Burrits Rapid: Tie up at Burritts Rapids Lock Station, then take a walking tour of the village and experience early Canada through centuries old heritage buildings or walk the "Tip to Tip Trail", a 2 km nature walk.
  • Upper Nicholsons: For historians and bird-watchers this is a great place to visit. Upper Nicholsons features one of four remaining Unequal Arm, a center bearing timber swing bridge, on the Rideau. Then just up the road you’ll discover McGuigan’s Cemetery (448 County Road 23, aka Burritts Rapids Road), one of the oldest burying grounds on the Rideau. You will be touched by the poignant headstone of Margaret Davidson, the 2 year old daughter of one of the contractors for Clowes Lock, who died in 1829.
  • Merrickville: Merrickville is Canada’s prettiest village. The village center consists entirely of picturesque Victorian-era stone houses perched by the waters of the Rideau Canal. Merrickville is home to many local arts and craft shops, museums, restaurants and specialty stores serving some of the best local handmade ice cream or gourmet mustards on the Rideau Canal.

 

30 hr(s) of cruising

139km 30 locks 7 nights
Dows Lake

Ottawa to Smiths Falls

Ottawa
Long Island
Manotick
Burritts Rapids
Upper Nicholsons
Merrickville
Smiths Falls

20 hr(s) of cruising

92km 20 locks 7 nights

Ottawa to Smiths Falls

Ottawa > Smiths Falls

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

This one-way cruise between Ottawa and Smiths Falls allows you to make the very most of Canada's capital and gives plenty of time to discover the scenic Rideau River at the leisurely pace it deserves.

Top highlights:

  • The Heritage House Museum of Smiths Falls which delves into the lives of a family living in 1860s Canada
  • Merrickville's homemade ice cream and mustards along the Rideau Canal
  • Birdwatch amongst the beautiful nature of Upper Nicholsons
  • The "Tip to Tip Trail" in Burrits Rapids
  • Art, culture and history in Canada's stunning capital city - Ottawa (and don't miss the famous Byward Market)

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your holiday.

  • Ottawa: Canada’s capital has at its center Parliament Hill, with grand Victorian architecture and museums like the National Gallery of Canada, with noted collections of indigenous and other Canadian art. The park-lined Rideau Canal is filled with boats in the summer. Historic Byward Market and old town is near the canal and offers a wide choice of restaurants, shopping and outdoor entertainment.
  • Long Island: Long Island Locks is an idyllic location for picnicking, fishing, exploring and boat watching.
  • Manotick: Manotick is a charming town with plenty of restaurants and shops to keep you entertained. A highlight is Watson’s Mill, a fascinating working museum that is one of the only remaining grist mills in North America.
  • Burrits Rapid: Tie up at Burritts Rapids Lock Station, then take a walking tour of the village and experience early Canada through centuries old heritage buildings or walk the "Tip to Tip Trail", a 2 km nature walk.
  • Upper Nicholsons: For historians and bird-watchers this is a great place to visit. Upper Nicholsons features one of four remaining Unequal Arm, a center bearing timber swing bridge, on the Rideau. Then just up the road you’ll discover McGuigan’s Cemetery (448 County Road 23, aka Burritts Rapids Road), one of the oldest burying grounds on the Rideau. You will be touched by the poignant headstone of Margaret Davidson, the 2 year old daughter of one of the contractors for Clowes Lock, who died in 1829.
  • Merrickville: Merrickville is Canada’s prettiest village. The village center consists entirely of picturesque Victorian-era stone houses perched by the waters of the Rideau Canal. Merrickville is home to many local arts and craft shops, museums, restaurants and specialty stores serving some of the best local handmade ice cream or gourmet mustards on the Rideau Canal.
  • Smiths Falls: Located in the Heart of Eastern Ontario on the banks of the historic Rideau Canal, Smiths Falls offers a unique mix of leisure and recreational activities set against a backdrop of history and nature. Smiths Falls has a rich heritage, and today offers museums, theaters, art galleries and outdoor adventures including hiking, biking and fishing.

20 hr(s) of cruising

92km 20 locks 7 nights
Canadian canoe going through a lock

Smiths Falls RETURN via Seeley's Bay

Smiths Falls
Beveridge's Locks
Rideau Ferry
Portland
Westport
Newboro
Chaffey's Lockstation
Jones Falls
Seeley's Bay
Smiths Falls

33 hr(s) of cruising

166km 22 locks 7 nights

Smiths Falls RETURN via Seeley's Bay

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

Get in touch with the friendly Canadian culture with a cruise to Seeleys Bay and Newboro. Be sure not to miss Kilborne’s, a unique shopping experience located in the heart of historic Newboro - and the adjacent dining room in an original 1832 residence.

Top highlights:

  • The Heritage House Museum of Smiths Falls which delves into the lives of a family living in 1860s Canada
  • Mesmerising cycle views from Rock Dunder in Seeley's Bay
  • Golf courses and swimming beaches in Westport

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Smiths Falls: Located in the Heart of Eastern Ontario on the banks of the historic Rideau Canal, Smiths Falls offers a unique mix of leisure and recreational activities set against a backdrop of history and nature. Smiths Falls has a rich heritage, and today offers museums, theaters, art galleries and outdoor adventures including hiking, biking and fishing.
  • Beveridge's Locks: When the Rideau Canal was built, there was no water connection to Perth, so the residents constructed the Tay Canal. This area is known as "Haggart's Ditch" and features some of the best wildlife viewing on the Rideau on the way to Perth.
  • Rideau Ferry: Straddling a thin strip of water between the Big and Lower Rideau Lakes, Rideau Ferry is the spectacular scenic gateway to the southern Rideau. A hub for live music and festivals throughout the summer, stop here for the biannual Vintage Boat Regatta first held here in 1897.
  • Portland: Portland is a small village located on Big Rideau Lake.There are many things for the landlubber to see and do in the Portland area. There are several unique stores in town, including antiques and collectables. The Cataraqui all-season trail passes just a bit east of town, golf courses are located nearby, one of the local B&Bs offers horseback riding, and cheese lovers will want to visit local cheesemakers and wineries.
  • Wesport: Westport is a charming village. There you will find public docking facilities and a full range of land-based accomodations. The city offers a lot of activities: shops, two golf courses and swimming beaches. Nature lovers will be able to enjoy a hike in Foley Mountain Conservation Area which has spectacular views of the area.
  • Newboro: The Village of Newboro is a popular destination spot for anglers wishing to land one of the big Largemouth Bass that populate Newboro Lake. It is also a popular stop for boaters since Newboro is located adjacent to the Newboro Lockstation on the Rideau Canal. It's a good spot to restock supplies or have a quiet lunch or dinner at one of the local restaurants or inns. Be sure not to miss Kilborn’s, a unique shopping experience located in the heart of historic Newboro and the adjacent dining room in an original 1832 residence.
  • Chaffey's Lockstation: Chaffey's Lockstation stands on beautiful isthmus of land lying between Indian Lake and Opinicon Lake. The Chaffey's Lock and Area Heritage Society was formed in 1980 to oversee the development of the Lockmaster's House Museum and to preserve the heritage of the village and surrounding area.
  • Jones Falls: Jones Falls must be one of the prettiest lockstations along the Canal. The lockstation is home of the "Great Stone Arch Dam". Jones Falls has a flight of 3 lower locks. The turning basin separates the locks from the upper lock. This is the highest lift of any lockstation on the canal.
  • Seeley's Bay: Seeley's Bay is a charming town with a great community park with playgrounds, tennis courts and picnic tables. Here you’ll be delighted to discover a little sliver of the region’s history at the Tepee in Centennial Park (just up Bay Street from the moorings). This modern day tepee commemorates the original Tepee of ‘Granny Seeley’, who ran a trading post and conducted business with Aboriginals and European settlers during the 1800s.

33 hr(s) of cruising

166km 22 locks 7 nights
Man fishing

Smiths Falls RETURN via Merrickville and Kingston

Smiths Falls
Merrickville
Beveridge's Locks
Rideau Ferry
Portland
Westport
Newboro
Chaffey's Lockstation
Jones Falls
Seeley's Bay
Kingston Mills
Kingston
Smiths Falls

50 hr(s) of cruising

240km 36 locks 14 nights

Smiths Falls RETURN via Merrickville and Kingston

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

Stopping off at Newboro and Seeleys Bay this itinerary is perfect for any budding angler looking to catch one of the region’s Largemouth Bass. For those less piscis-ly minded, this cruise also takes in the charming artisanal community of Merrickville and pulsating culture of Kingston. The perfect cruise for mixing nature, adventure and culture.

Top highlights:

  • The Heritage House Museum of Smiths Falls which delves into the lives of a family living in 1860s Canada 
  • Merrickville's homemade ice cream and mustards along the Rideau Canal 
  • Catch fresh Bass in Newboro 
  • Golf courses and swimming beaches in Westport
  • Learn what Canadian soldiers experienced in 1839 in Kingston Mills

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Smiths Falls: Located in the Heart of Eastern Ontario on the banks of the historic Rideau Canal, Smiths Falls offers a unique mix of leisure and recreational activities set against a backdrop of history and nature. Smiths Falls has a rich heritage, and today offers museums, theaters, art galleries and outdoor adventures including hiking, biking and fishing.
  • Merrickville: Merrickville is Canada’s prettiest village. The village center consists entirely of picturesque Victorian-era stone houses perched by the waters of the Rideau Canal. Merrickville is home to many local arts and craft shops, museums, restaurants and specialty stores serving some of the best local handmade ice cream or gourmet mustards on the Rideau Canal.
  • Beveridge's Locks: When the Rideau Canal was built, there was no water connection to Perth, so the residents constructed the Tay Canal. This area is known as "Haggart's Ditch" and features some of the best wildlife viewing on the Rideau on the way to Perth.
  • Rideau Ferry: Straddling a thin strip of water between the Big and Lower Rideau Lakes, Rideau Ferry is the spectacular scenic gateway to the southern Rideau. A hub for live music and festivals throughout the summer, stop here for the biannual Vintage Boat Regatta first held here in 1897.
  • Portland: Portland is a small village located on Big Rideau Lake. There are many things for the landlubber to see and do in the Portland area. There are several unique stores in town, including antiques and collectables. The Cataraqui all-season trail passes just a bit east of town, golf courses are located nearby, one of the local B&Bs offers horseback riding, and cheese lovers will want to visit local cheesemakers and wineries.
  • Westport: Westport is a charming village. There you will find public docking facilities and a full range of land-based accomodations. The city offers a lot of activities: shops, two golf courses and swimming beaches. Nature lovers will be able to enjoy a hike in Foley Mountain Conservation Area which has spectacular views of the area.
  • Newboro: The Village of Newboro is a popular destination spot for anglers wishing to land one of the big Largemouth Bass that populate Newboro Lake. It is also a popular stop for boaters since Newboro is located adjacent to the Newboro Lockstation on the Rideau Canal. It's a good spot to restock supplies or have a quiet lunch or dinner at one of the local restaurants or inns. Be sure not to miss Kilborn’s, a unique shopping experience located in the heart of historic Newboro and the adjacent dining room in an original 1832 residence.
  • Chaffey's Lockstation: Chaffey's Lockstation stands on beautiful isthmus of land lying between Indian Lake and Opinicon Lake. The Chaffey's Lock and Area Heritage Society was formed in 1980 to oversee the development of the Lockmaster's House Museum and to preserve the heritage of the village and surrounding area.
  • Jones Falls: Jones Falls must be one of the prettiest lockstations along the Canal. The lockstation is home of the "Great Stone Arch Dam". Jones Falls has a flight of 3 lower locks. The turning basin separates the locks from the upper lock. This is the highest lift of any lockstation on the canal.
  • Seeley's Bay: Seeley's Bay is a charming town with a great community park with playgrounds, tennis courts and picnic tables. Here you’ll be delighted to discover a little sliver of the region’s history at the Tepee in Centennial Park (just up Bay Street from the moorings). This modern day tepee commemorates the original Tepee of ‘Granny Seeley’, who ran a trading post and conducted business with Aboriginals and European settlers during the 1800s.
  • Kingston Mills: This is the site of the first mill built on the Rideau, the King’s Mill, built here at Cataraqui Falls in 1784. The site today features a lovely set of three locks, a turning basin, a detached upper lock and the Robert Anglin Visitor’s Centre. Kingston Mills Falls is located on the outlet of Colonel By Lake, an artificial lake created by the damming of the Catraqui River. The falls is just below the dam.
  • Kingston: Kingston is located on Lake Ontario at the mouth of the southern end of the Rideau Canal. It's known as the "Limestone City" for its grand 19th-century buildings, including the lakeside Kingston City Hall. The grand house and gardens of the Bellevue House National Historic Site commemorate Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. Fort Henry, built in the 1800s, holds military demonstrations throughout the summer and is the site of a fabulous rooftop restaurant providing a panoramic view of the beautiful historic city and the Saint Lawrence River.

50 hr(s) of cruising

240km 36 locks 14 nights
Sunset and boat on the Rideau

Smiths Falls RETURN via Ottawa

Smiths Falls
Merrickville
Burritts Rapids
Upper Nicholsons
Long Island
Manotick
Ottawa
Smiths Falls

43 hr(s) of cruising

190km 38 locks 10 nights

Smiths Falls RETURN via Ottawa

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

This cruise will allow you to enjoy some of the spectacular nature that lines the Rideau Canal, from the Otter to the Osprey, as you make your way to Ottawa. Here, you’ll be able to take in all that Canada’s capital has to offer before gently making your way back to Smith Falls for a second chance to spot any animal you may have missed on the way up!

Top highlights:

  • The Heritage House Museum of Smiths Falls which delves into the lives of a family living in 1860s Canada
  • Merrickville's homemade ice cream and mustards along the Rideau Canal
  • Birdwatch amongst the beautiful nature of Upper Nicholsons
  • The "Tip to Tip Trail" in Burrits Rapids
  • Art, culture and history in Canada's stunning capital city - Ottawa (and don't miss the famous Byward Market)

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Smiths Falls: Located in the Heart of Eastern Ontario on the banks of the historic Rideau Canal, Smiths Falls offers a unique mix of leisure and recreational activities set against a backdrop of history and nature. Smiths Falls has a rich heritage, and today offers museums, theaters, art galleries and outdoor adventures including hiking, biking and fishing.
  • Merrickville: Merrickville is Canada’s prettiest village. The village center consists entirely of picturesque Victorian-era stone houses perched by the waters of the Rideau Canal. Merrickville is home to many local arts and craft shops, museums, restaurants and specialty stores serving some of the best local handmade ice cream or gourmet mustards on the Rideau Canal.
  • Upper Nicholsons: For historians and bird-watchers this is a great place to visit. Upper Nicholsons features one of four remaining Unequal Arm, a center bearing timber swing bridge, on the Rideau. Then just up the road you’ll discover McGuigan’s Cemetery (448 County Road 23, aka Burritts Rapids Road), one of the oldest burying grounds on the Rideau. You will be touched by the poignant headstone of Margaret Davidson, the 2 year old daughter of one of the contractors for Clowes Lock, who died in 1829.
  • Burrits Rapid: Tie up at Burritts Rapids Lock Station, then take a walking tour of the village and experience early Canada through centuries old heritage buildings or walk the "Tip to Tip Trail", a 2 km nature walk.
  • Long Island: Long Island Locks is an idyllic location for picnicking, fishing, exploring and boat watching.
  • Manotick: Manotick is a charming town with plenty of restaurants and shops to keep you entertained. A highlight is Watson’s Mill, a fascinating working museum that is one of the only remaining grist mills in North America.
  • Ottawa: Canada’s capital has at its center Parliament Hill, with grand Victorian architecture and museums like the National Gallery of Canada, with noted collections of indigenous and other Canadian art. The park-lined Rideau Canal is filled with boats in the summer. Historic Byward Market and old town is near the canal and offers a wide choice of restaurants, shopping and outdoor entertainment.

43 hr(s) of cruising

190km 38 locks 10 nights

Our Feefo reviews

Feefo is an independent and impartial review service that requests reviews directly from those who have been on a Le Boat vacation. Below you can read what our past customers think about their Le Boat experience, and trust that what you read is unfiltered, unedited and uncensored.

Added on 23 September 2023

Lorraine Marshall said

The boat was clean; the staff at Smith Falls friendly and helpful. We had a great time. The only concern was that the boat wasn't very well stocked. There was a partial roll of toilet paper and one small trash bag. I didn't expect to have to buy everything including but not limited to- more toilet paper, sponges, soap (dish, hand and shower), paper towels, foil, etc. We would like to go overseas next time and will be even more limited in how much we can bring along. The other thing that didn't sit particularly well was having a list of chores upon departure when I paid a premium fee for cleaning. It's beautiful. The locks were fun and very manageable. The lock staff was super friendly and helpful. The towns were quaint.
READ MORE
Good day Lorraine, Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your boating vacation. We are delighted to hear that you had a good time on your Le Boat experience and that the staff was friendly and helpful. We appreciate your feedback and we encourage you to email our customer service team at [email protected] for further assistance. We look forward to welcoming you onboard again. Kind regards Refilwe from Le Boat
Smiths Falls - Smiths Falls
Horizon 1
Added on 6 September 2023

A customer said

polite and well informed staff
READ MORE
Good day, Thank you for taking the time to write a five-star review of your boating vacation on the Rideau Canal. We are delighted to hear that you had a great time on your Le Boat experience, and that our staff were able to assist during your check-in process. We look forward to welcoming you onboard again. Kind regards Refilwe from Le Boat
Smiths Falls - Smiths Falls
Horizon 1 PLUS
Added on 26 August 2023

A customer said

Everyone we interacted with on the Le Boat staff was helpful and friendly. Great location to start and end our trip.
READ MORE
Good day, Thank you for taking the time to write a five-star review of your vacation on the Rideau Canal. We are delighted to hear that you had a great time on your Le Boat experience, and that the staff was able to assist. We look forward to welcoming you on board again. Kind regards Refilwe from Le Boat
Smiths Falls - Smiths Falls
Horizon 4
Added on 23 August 2023

A customer said

It was a great experience cruising with Le Boat! They provide a lot of useful information for the first time purchaser. The boat is very nice, clean and fully equipped. Kitchen and sitting area is big, there are stove, pots and utensils, even a grill on the second floor. I have recommended to my friends, they all want to try it! Perfect 3 nights boating vacation!
READ MORE
Good day, Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your vacation on the Rideau Canal. We are delighted to hear that you had a great time on your Le Boat experience, and that the boat was to your satisfaction. We look forward to welcoming you on board again. Kind regards Refilwe from Le Boat
Smiths Falls - Smiths Falls
Horizon 4
Added on 12 August 2023

A customer said

They provide superior boats for a start! The staff work very hard to make your vacation safe and stress free. The lakes and canals of the Rideau system are great for cruising, I found our fellow boaters to be very friendly to socialize with after docking for the day.
READ MORE
Good day, Thank you for taking the time to write a five-star review of your vacation on the Rideau Canal. We are delighted to hear that you had a great time on your Le Boat experience, and that the boat was to your satisfaction. We look forward to welcoming you on board again. Kind regards Refilwe from Le Boat
Smiths Falls - Smiths Falls
Horizon 1
Added on 2 August 2023

Patrick said

Overall a great experience! So much fun Clean and good working boat. Lots of room. Easy to use. Boat was clean and worked well and was easy to use.
READ MORE
Good day, Thank you for taking the time to write a five-star review of your vacation on the Rideau Canal. We are delighted to hear that you had a great time on your Le Boat experience, and that the boat was to your satisfaction. We look forward to welcoming you on board again. Kind regards Refilwe from Le Boat
Smiths Falls - Smiths Falls
Horizon 4
Added on 30 June 2023

Ed Kinnear said

Accommodated last minute booking All went well from beginning to end
READ MORE
Smiths Falls - Smiths Falls
Horizon 1
Added on 12 June 2023

Kevin Birtchnell said

The people are so helpful and willing to do what’s needed to create an amazing experience! Everything was excellent! We had the most amazing vacation with our friends that will remembered for ever! We are booking another trip for 2024!
READ MORE
Good Afternoon Kevin, Thank you for your five-star review of your boating vacation on the Rideau Canal. We are so pleased to hear that you received above and beyond service from our team in Smiths Falls. We would expect nothing less! We look forward to welcoming you on board again soon! Best Regards, Elyse, Le Boat
Smiths Falls - Smiths Falls
Horizon 5
Added on 20 May 2023

Jill Heinerth said

The entire team at Le Boat was helpful and kind. I thought their dedication to safety and customer comfort was excellent. We were given ample time to acclimatize to the boat with excellent instructions by Dave. He was patient and helpful, anticipating all our questions and covering all safety features and procedures clearly. The boat was very comfortable and included all the necessary features for a relaxing trip.
READ MORE
Smiths Falls - Smiths Falls
Horizon 3
Added on 1 October 2022

Monica Maletz said

Great Experience, boat in new condition, a few more items in the galley would have been useful, we left a list. We travelled from Smith Falls to Kingston and return. We saw the most beautiful parts of the Rideau Canal and the lakes and locks that would have been unreachable by car. Very nice experience to see this part of Canada in this manner.
READ MORE
Good Afternoon Monica, Thank you so much for taking the time to provide us with a five-star review of your boating holiday on the Rideau Canal. We are very pleased to hear you enjoyed your experience on one of the newest boats in our fleet and we also appreciate your feedback about the items that could have been useful on board. We will take a look at your list and pass it along to the right teams! We hope to welcome you on board again soon! Best Wishes, Le Boat Team
Smiths Falls - Smiths Falls
Horizon 2 PLUS