Rideau Canal

Rideau Canal which includes a castle, a river or creek and a city
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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 $118 per night from Feb. 5 to Feb. 6
CA $118
per night
Feb. 5 - Feb. 6
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! (3,403 reviews)
"I like everything"

Reviewed on Jan. 31, 2023

The Business Inn
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
4.5 out of 5
1 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON, K1N 8S7
The price is CA $269 per night from Feb. 12 to Feb. 13
CA $269
per night
Feb. 12 - Feb. 13
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! (1,618 reviews)
"The Chateau Laurier is absolutely beautiful. We had a gorgeous view of Parliament and downtown Ottawa. Parking is expensive at $60 a day with Valet being your only option but worth every penny in the end. Every ice machine was broken when we were there but room service quickly brought us buckets ..."

Reviewed on Jan. 27, 2023

Fairmont Chateau Laurier
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, K1N 7G1
The price is CA $210 per night from Feb. 2 to Feb. 3
CA $210
per night
Feb. 2 - Feb. 3
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly hotel in Ottawa. Enjoy free WiFi, 2 bars/lounges, and a rooftop terrace. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (1,274 reviews)
"Very impressed. Will stay there again."

Reviewed on Jan. 28, 2023

Andaz Ottawa Byward Market - a concept by Hyatt
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
Welcominns Hotel Ottawa
Sheraton Ottawa Hotel

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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
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
4.5 out of 5
1 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON, K1N 8S7
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
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, K1N 7G1
Andaz Ottawa Byward Market - a concept by Hyatt
Lord Elgin Hotel
Lord Elgin Hotel
4 out of 5
100 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON, K1P5K8
Lord Elgin Hotel
reStays Ottawa
reStays Ottawa
4 out of 5
101 Queen St, Ottawa, ON, K1P 5C7
reStays Ottawa
Ottawa Embassy Hotel & Suites
Ottawa Embassy Hotel & Suites
3.5 out of 5
25 Cartier St, Ottawa, ON, K2P1J2
Ottawa Embassy Hotel & Suites
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ottawa Downtown East, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ottawa Downtown East, an IHG Hotel
2.5 out of 5
235 KING EDWARD AVENUE, Ottawa, ON, K1N 7L8
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ottawa Downtown East, an IHG Hotel
Cartier Place Suite Hotel
Cartier Place Suite Hotel
3 out of 5
180 Cooper Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P2L5
Cartier Place Suite Hotel
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
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.