Rideau Canal

Vacation Travel Guide
Rideau Canal which includes a castle, a river or creek and a city

This engineering and scenic marvel fills with pleasure craft in summer and transforms into the world’s longest naturally frozen skating rink in winter.

The Rideau Canal is a water channel that runs 126 miles (202 kilometers) between Ottawa and Kingston, Ontario. Built between 1827 and 1832, the canal is North America’s oldest continuously operated canal system. Today the canal is the scenic and recreational centerpiece of Ottawa, filling with boats in summer and skaters during winter.

Ottawa’s parks, gardens, museums and scenic walkways line the canal. In the summer months, the canal is a thriving waterway. Go boating, take a cruise or walk, jog or rollerblade along the sidewalks. At Dows Lake at the southern end of the canal, rent a paddleboat, kayak or canoe.

Combine your canal visit with a trip to one of the many cultural attractions along the waterway. Start at the northern entrance with the Parliament Buildings, then visit the Bytown Museum and learn how the canal was built. Explore the National Arts Centre and enjoy the views it has of the canal. At Dows Lake, walk through the ornamental gardens in the Arboretum of the Central Experimental Farm. The wetland areas that were created as a result of its construction are now home to a diverse array of plants, animals and fish.

For about 50 days during winter, you can ski or snowshoe along the canal when it freezes into the world’s longest naturally frozen skating rink. Rent skates and sleds from one of the handy locations along the canal. You’ll find washrooms, heated changing rooms and local vendors selling BeaverTails fried dough and beverages along the way too.

Rideau Canal runs south through the center of Ottawa. Boat access is via the Ottawa River in the north. In winter, the skateway can be accessed via ramps at the Mackenzie King Bridge, Fifth Avenue (Queen Elizabeth Drive side), Bronson Avenue (Colonel By Drive) and Dows Lake Pavilion. Parking is available at a number of locations.

Top Hotels Close to Rideau Canal

The Business Inn
The Business Inn
2.5 out of 5
180 MacLaren Street, Ottawa, ON
The price is CA $98 per night from Feb 17 to Feb 18
Located in Centretown, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Elgin Street, University of Ottawa, and Rideau Centre. Parliament Hill and Byward Market Square ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (2,507 reviews)
"We liked the organization in suites and the laundry facilities. There should be more attention to removing snow and ice in front of the hotel entrance."

Reviewed on Jan. 27, 2022

The Business Inn
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
4.5 out of 5
1 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON
The price is CA $289 per night from Jan 30 to Jan 31
Located in Downtown Ottawa, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Elgin Street, Byward Market Square, and Parliament Hill. University of Ottawa and ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (1,972 reviews)
"Everything was pretty excellent, however I think the bathroom could use a little update. The bathtub was a bit scratched up and chipped with made it seems dirty. Also, the door and some of the wood trip in the bathroom looks like it has aged a bit too much 😁"

Reviewed on Jan. 23, 2022

Fairmont Chateau Laurier
Lord Elgin Hotel
Lord Elgin Hotel
4 out of 5
100 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON
The price is CA $139 per night from Feb 27 to Feb 28
Located in Downtown Ottawa, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of National War Memorial, Rideau Centre, and Parliament Hill. Rideau Canal is ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (1,332 reviews)
"It was nice"

Reviewed on Jan. 26, 2022

Lord Elgin Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Plan a trip to see Rideau Canal

Fairmont Chateau Laurier
JstLikeHome - Downtown Suites
Les Suites Hotel Ottawa

Popular places to visit in Rideau Canal

Rideau Canal

Choose two or more items and save on your trip:
Choose two or more items and save on your trip:

Best Lodging Options Near Rideau Canal

The Business Inn
The Business Inn
2.5 out of 5
180 MacLaren Street, Ottawa, ON
The price is CA $98 per night from Feb 17 to Feb 18
The Business Inn
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
4.5 out of 5
1 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON
The price is CA $289 per night from Jan 30 to Jan 31
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
Lord Elgin Hotel
Lord Elgin Hotel
4 out of 5
100 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON
The price is CA $139 per night from Feb 27 to Feb 28
Lord Elgin Hotel
Ottawa Embassy Hotel & Suites
Ottawa Embassy Hotel & Suites
3.5 out of 5
25 Cartier St, Ottawa, ON
The price is CA $124 per night from Feb 3 to Feb 4
Ottawa Embassy Hotel & Suites
Residence & Conference Centre - Ottawa Downtown
Residence & Conference Centre - Ottawa Downtown
2.5 out of 5
150 Hazel Street, Ottawa, ON
Residence & Conference Centre - Ottawa Downtown
Ottawa Marriott Hotel
Ottawa Marriott Hotel
4 out of 5
100 Kent St, Ottawa, ON
The price is CA $144 per night from Feb 4 to Feb 5
Ottawa Marriott Hotel
Grand in the Glebe - 2 Bedroom & Exquisite Kitchen w/ Free Parking
Grand in the Glebe - 2 Bedroom & Exquisite Kitchen w/ Free Parking
Ottawa, ON
Grand in the Glebe - 2 Bedroom & Exquisite Kitchen w/ Free Parking
Andaz Ottawa Byward Market - a concept by Hyatt
Andaz Ottawa Byward Market - a concept by Hyatt
4 out of 5
325 Dalhousie Street, Ottawa, ON
The price is CA $175 per night from Feb 1 to Feb 2
Andaz Ottawa Byward Market - a concept by Hyatt
Les Suites Hotel Ottawa
Les Suites Hotel Ottawa
3.5 out of 5
130 Besserer St, Ottawa, ON
The price is CA $148 per night from Feb 6 to Feb 7
Les Suites Hotel Ottawa
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.