Rideau Canal

Rideau Canal which includes a castle, a river or creek and a city
Choose two or more items and save on your trip:
Choose two or more items and save on your trip:
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, K2P0L3
The price is CA $109 per night from Dec 14 to Dec 15
CA $109
per night
Dec 14 - Dec 15
Stay at this business-friendly hotel in Ottawa. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and a 24-hour fitness center. Our guests praise the clean rooms in our reviews. ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (3,142 reviews)
"Unfamiliar with Ottawa, I was a bit concerned about the location and the property itself. In fact, both aspects were wonderful. Great business hotel."

Reviewed on Dec. 5, 2022

The Business Inn
Lord Elgin Hotel
Lord Elgin Hotel
4 out of 5
100 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON, K1P5K8
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is CA $187 per night from Dec 18 to Dec 19
CA $187
per night
Dec 18 - Dec 19
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly hotel in Ottawa. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and room service. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the comfy rooms ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (1,053 reviews)
"no"

Reviewed on Nov. 28, 2022

Lord Elgin Hotel
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
4.5 out of 5
1 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON, K1N 8S7
The price is CA $255 per night from Dec 24 to Dec 25
CA $255
per night
Dec 24 - Dec 25
Stay at this 4.5-star luxury hotel in Ottawa. Enjoy 3 restaurants, breakfast, and WiFi. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms in our reviews. ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (1,578 reviews)
"Beautiful historic building with charm. Room was so spacious, and incredibly quiet and clean. Love that the windows open a bit for those of us that like a breeze at night."

Reviewed on Dec. 3, 2022

Fairmont Chateau Laurier
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

Lord Elgin Hotel
Sheraton Ottawa Hotel
Welcominns Hotel Ottawa

Popular places to visit


Best Lodging Options Near Rideau Canal

The Business Inn
The Business Inn
2.5 out of 5
180 MacLaren Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P0L3
The Business Inn
Lord Elgin Hotel
Lord Elgin Hotel
4 out of 5
100 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON, K1P5K8
Lord Elgin Hotel
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
4.5 out of 5
1 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON, K1N 8S7
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
Ottawa Embassy Hotel & Suites
Ottawa Embassy Hotel & Suites
3.5 out of 5
25 Cartier St, Ottawa, ON, K2P1J2
Ottawa Embassy Hotel & Suites
Homewood Suites by Hilton Ottawa Downtown
Homewood Suites by Hilton Ottawa Downtown
3.5 out of 5
361 Queen Street, Ottawa, ON, K1R 0C7
Homewood Suites by Hilton Ottawa Downtown
Les Suites Hotel Ottawa
Les Suites Hotel Ottawa
3.5 out of 5
130 Besserer St, Ottawa, ON, K1N9M9
Les Suites Hotel Ottawa
The Westin Ottawa
The Westin Ottawa
4 out of 5
11 Colonel By Dr, Ottawa, ON, K1N 9H4
The Westin Ottawa
Sonder The O'connor
Sonder The O'connor
3.5 out of 5
377 Rue O'Connor Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 2M2
Sonder The O'connor
reStays Ottawa
reStays Ottawa
4 out of 5
101 Queen St, Ottawa, ON, K1P 5C7
reStays 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.