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Rideau Canal
Rideau Canal

Rideau Canal

star-5
847 Reviews
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.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Ottawa

star-5
Rideau Canal Cruise
Mark_B, Aug 2020
Rideau Canal Cruise
Very pleased with this cruise. Kids enjoyed it. They took social distancing very seriously and we appreciated that.
star-5
Excellent
Vishnu_P, Aug 2020
Rideau Canal Cruise
Even during Covid they took all precautions to keep the ride safe for all tourists. Everyone should experience this trip atleast once
star-4
Ottawa Getaway
Susan_F, Sep 2020
Rideau Canal Cruise
The Rideau Canal tour was really scenic and our Guide was very informative and entertaining. It was for 90 Minutes.
star-5
calm, relaxing boat ride
Luca_C, Sep 2020
Rideau Canal Cruise
Calm relaxing boat ride along the Rideau Canal. The buildings along the canal have interesting stories associated with them. Highly recommended.
star-5
Check it out!
Mary, Jul 2020
Rideau Canal Cruise
Extremely pleasant and informative narration by host, Terry. Navigation and attention to social distancing and hygiene carried out by a very professional crew. All to an excellent sound track. Very good value for money and lovely way to while away some time in Ottawa.
star-4
Boat Cruise
medaroo1, Aug 2019
Rideau Canal Cruise
Cruise was relaxing. Guide spoke well. Gave a lot of information. Crew was great and well mannered. Boat was clean and well kept.
star-5
Good time on the canal
Dave, Sep 2020
Rideau Canal Cruise
We really enjoyed our tour. All the employees, in particular our guide, helped make our tour enjoyable.
star-4
Great experience to see Ottawa via Rideau Canal
nschana, Jul 2019
Rideau Canal Cruise
The cruise very well hosted and informative. A very interesting way to learn and see the historical aspects of Ottawa along the Rideau Canal.
star-5
Rideau Canal Cruise
Larry_G1, Sep 2020
Rideau Canal Cruise
We found the whole experience quite entertaining and would encourage anyone interested in the Canal Cruise to book early. No concerns adhering to safely protocol. The Guide was informative and amusing in the very best of ways. The captain was awesome as well.
star-5
the gentle man and what i stated above
johnogrady, Sep 2020
Rideau Canal Cruise
Saturday 4:30 pm trip was fun .If it was not for the gentleman on the microphone it would of been a boring trip. He added flare and historical facts and a little fiction to punch up the experience .What ever you are paying him it is clearly not enough
star-5
Beautiful ❗ 🤩 🤩
Rafael, Sep 2020
Rideau Canal Cruise
Absolutely nice ‼️‼️‼️ All the way is beautiful, houses 🏘, gardens and buildings, but the best is Terry, the hoster ❗❗❗ Thank you for a great experience, we are now in love with Ottawa, ‼️‼️😍😍😍
star-5
😊
Ivan, Aug 2020
Rideau Canal Cruise
Excellent experience! All the staff are friendly and courteous. We loved the music played on the trip going nack to the dock! 😊

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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