Recent Searches
Clear
Rideau Canal
Rideau Canal

Rideau Canal

Rideau Canal, Ottawa, K1N 8S7

The Basics

Ottawa visitors will almost certainly encounter the Rideau Canal at some point during their trip, as the waterway cuts right through the heart of Canada’s capital city and is visible from Parliament Hill. Bike tours of the city often follow the Rideau Canal Pathways, which extend along both sides of the canal, and many walking tours include a visit to the canal’s edge. You can also embark on Rideau Canal sightseeing cruises, or join a kayak or canoe excursion. In winter, rent skates and glide around the vast, well-maintained Rideau Canal Skateway, formed by a cordoned-off part of the canal.

Show all

Recent reviews from experiences in Ottawa

star-5
A nice time on the Rideau Canal
Judy_M, Aug 2022
Ottawa Boat Cruise - Rideau Canal Cruise
The cruise was informative and relaxing on a hot summer day. We enjoyed the guide’s stories of the history of Rideau Canal and early days of Ottawa.
star-5
Highly recommended
Ghoson_B, Aug 2022
Ottawa Boat Cruise - Rideau Canal Cruise
That was our first visit to Ottawa and luckily the amazing funny instructor made our day he was so nice and kind.
star-4
Boat cruise
Sandryne_D, Aug 2022
Ottawa Boat Cruise - Rideau Canal Cruise
I learned a lot during this cruise. It's a great and fun way to see the historic monuments in Ottawa.
star-5
Very entertaining
Steve_K, Aug 2022
Ottawa Boat Cruise - Rideau Canal Cruise
The host was very entertaining. He was a great story teller, and even though we live in Ottawa we learned a number of interesting things about the Rideau Canal that we had not heard before.
star-4
Relaxing
Carla_R, Aug 2022
Ottawa Boat Cruise - Rideau Canal Cruise
Leisurely and fun event. Very informative and creative way yo learn more about Ottawa, the narrators - we had. Gabriella was a lot of fun and very knowledgeable about the area
star-5
Informative
Jennifer_S, Jul 2022
Ottawa Boat Cruise - Rideau Canal Cruise
The guide Brendan was very informative and funny. My daughter, who is 9, was bored but my husband and I enjoyed the history lesson of the building of the Rideau Canal.
star-4
Relaxing, good guide and...
Deborah_H, Aug 2022
Ottawa Boat Cruise - Rideau Canal Cruise
Relaxing, good guide and history. I hsve skated the Rideau also. Some people were not aware it is a winter commute route skate to work..only in Ottawa.
star-5
Engaging Storyteller
Martha_N, Aug 2022
Ottawa Boat Cruise - Rideau Canal Cruise
The Tour guide was awesome; he knows the area quite well, is a good communicator, understands different cultures, has a very positive attitude and willingness to teach others. He actually made our trip memorable. Thank you so very much :)
star-5
Home Town Tourists
Judy_B, Jul 2022
Ottawa Boat Cruise - Rideau Canal Cruise
A bitter sweet visit to a city we lived in many years ago. Love the Rideau Canal Tour. An all electric craft is in keeping with current ecological and environmental goals. Great historical information on Colonel By and the Canal. Have skated on it in winter. An exceptional bilingual guide in Terry. A wonderful experience. Thank you very much.
star-5
Amazing, informative, fun, and relaxing
Angela_C, Aug 2022
Ottawa Boat Cruise - Rideau Canal Cruise
I loved the fact that I was able to learn some history of the canal and it’s surroundings. A big plus was that the sun was setting when we took our tour and pictures where amazing. The only down side was that the tour took a bit longer then was advised and we ended up missing another reservation. But it was totally worth it. Most relaxing part of our trip.
star-5
Well Worth the Tour!
Franklin_H, Jul 2022
Ottawa Boat Cruise - Rideau Canal Cruise
A beautiful and relaxing way to see the Rideau canal, and learn about its history and some of the history of Ottawa. Brennan, the guide, was extremely informative and made the tour entertaining.
star-5
Great start to a great day
Susan_S, Jul 2022
Ottawa Boat Cruise - Rideau Canal Cruise
Enjoyable morning trip…our guide was fun and informative. Highly recommend for a true view of a beautiful city.
We perform checks on reviews

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Bike and boat tours on the canal run from May through October.

  • If you’re going in winter, bundle up, as temperatures frequently drop below freezing.

  • Fishing is allowed on some parts of the waterway, including Dow’s Lake. An Ontario fishing permit and outdoors card are required.

Show all

How to Get There

If you’re staying in downtown Ottawa, the best way to reach the canal is on foot. From Ottawa’s main train station, ride the 61 bus. Alternatively, a taxi from the station will take 15 to 20 minutes.

Show all

When to Get There

Ottawa’s peak visiting periods are January, February, and June to August. Even during its busiest times, the canal rarely feels crowded. If you want to see it at its most peaceful, go early in the morning.

Show all

Rideau Canal Skateway

Every winter, a 4.8-mile (7.8-kilometer) stretch of the frozen Rideau Canal transforms into an open-air ice-skating rink. Designated the world’s largest naturally frozen skate rink by the Guinness World Records, the hugely popular Rideau Canal Skateway attracts an average of 20,000 visitors per day. The skating season’s length and dates vary according to weather conditions, but typically the rink is open from January to the end of February or early March. You can rent skates from canal-side huts, some of which also sell hot chocolate, hot apple cider, and BeaverTails, a fried-dough pastry topped with cinnamon and sugar.

Show all
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Rideau Canal?