The Rideau Canal is the one of the jewels of the Ottawa landscape, lending beauty and history to the heart of downtown. A UNSECO World Heritage Site since 2007, there are many ways to enjoy the Canal, no matter the season.
The Rideau Canal is the largest continuously operating canal in the world. Built following the War of 1812 in order to provide a link between Lake Ontario and the Ottawa River, its construction was overseen by Lieutenant Colonel John By, and completed in 1831.
Nowadays the Canal is a focal point of the Ottawa experience. During the summer visitors can walk across the locks near the Bytown Museum; sail the Canal on a variety of boats; rent a canoe, kayak, or paddleboat at Dow’s Lake; or walk along the waterfront pathways.
During the winter months the Canal turns into the world’s longest skating rink! At 7.8 km, you can skate by Parliament Hill and through the heart of downtown while enjoying a traditional Canadian snack: a Beavertail and a hot chocolate. For updates on skating conditions visit the National Capital Commission website.