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Rideau Canal
Rideau Canal

Rideau Canal

star-5
888 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
Family afternoon
alex_m, Jul 2021
Rideau Canal Cruise
Our tour guide Brendan provided a comical and information narration throughout the tour. It was a beautiful and relaxing way to enjoy the canal
star-4
Lovely trip!
Cailin_W, Jul 2021
Rideau Canal Cruise
We had a great time. The Tour Guide was very energetic and knowledgeable. Very cool to see the sights from the river.
star-5
Canal ride a must do!
Michelle_T, Jul 2021
Rideau Canal Cruise
Lovely way to spend a sunny afternoon....on an electric boat (bateau mouche?)on the Rideau Canal. Loved the commentary in english and french - interesting facts, tidbits and a little shtick! At 1.5 hours, just long enough. Great music too!
star-5
Definitely recommend!
Christine_M, Jul 2021
Rideau Canal Cruise
It was awesome to learn more about Ottawa but the best part of the cruise was definitely Brenan our tour guide! He is very knowledgeable but even more hilarious! I will likely do this again!!!
star-5
Super
Maciej_M, Jul 2021
Rideau Canal Cruise
It was fun:)Tour Guy was the best!We like His stories and jokes and how He spoke with all Gests:)We will recommend to everyone who will go visit Ottawa.
star-5
Good ride, few masks
Christopher_R, Jul 2021
Rideau Canal Cruise
Really enjoyable ride on the Rideau excursion boat. Brennan was hilarious and informative. Downside was people not wearing masks.
star-4
The tour guide was great
Zabin_R, Jul 2021
Rideau Canal Cruise
The tour guide was excellent. Very energetic, funny and personable. The tour itself was a typical city tour.
star-5
Brennan made it awesome
David_B, Jul 2021
Rideau Canal Cruise
The tour was good, interesting and beautiful things to see. Brennan hands down made the cruise more fun than originally thought it'll be. He was charismatic and funny with lots of cool information and a few alternative facts to spice things up :)
star-4
Educational, scenic,
Stanley_B, Jul 2021
Rideau Canal Cruise
Guide was outstanding and gave an historic and educational presentation. He was smoothly bilingual. A definite asset to the program.
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.

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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