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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 things to do in Rideau Canal

Top Hotels Close to Rideau Canal

Ottawa Embassy Hotel & Suites
Ottawa Embassy Hotel & Suites
3.5 out of 5
25 Cartier St, Ottawa, ON
The price is CA $115 per night from Jul 4 to Jul 4
Located in Centretown, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Confederation Park, National Arts Centre, and Rideau Centre. University of Ottawa and Parliament ...
4.1/5Very Good! (994 reviews)
"The gentleman who checked us in was amazing!! He offered us an upgrade to a suite, which gave us a nice size kitchenette to eat our takeout, as restaurants not open yet. Then offered us a late checkout, as we had an appt in morning and were not sure how long we would be. Super friendly, clean and ..."

Reviewed on Jun. 6, 2021

Ottawa Embassy Hotel & Suites
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
4.5 out of 5
1 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON
The price is CA $220 per night from Jun 15 to Jun 15
Located in Downtown Ottawa, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of National War Memorial, Shaw Centre, and National Arts Centre. Byward Market Square ...
4.3/5Excellent! (2,099 reviews)
"Very nice historic building!"

Reviewed on Jun. 8, 2021

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
Free cancellation
The price is CA $134 per night from Jun 27 to Jun 27
Located in Downtown Ottawa, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Byward Market Square, Shaw Centre, and National Gallery of Canada. Parliament Hill and University ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (1,465 reviews)
"Clean and friendly staff."

Reviewed on Jun. 11, 2021

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.

Top Rideau Canal Flight + Hotel Deals

JstLikeHome - Downtown Suites
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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
The price is CA $90 per night from Jun 14 to Jun 14
The Business Inn
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
4.5 out of 5
1 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON
The price is CA $220 per night from Jun 15 to Jun 15
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
The price is CA $134 per night from Jun 27 to Jun 27
Andaz Ottawa Byward Market - a concept by Hyatt
Ottawa Embassy Hotel & Suites
Ottawa Embassy Hotel & Suites
3.5 out of 5
25 Cartier St, Ottawa, ON
The price is CA $115 per night from Jul 4 to Jul 4
Ottawa Embassy Hotel & Suites
Sheraton Ottawa Hotel
Sheraton Ottawa Hotel
4 out of 5
150 Albert St, Ottawa, ON
The price is CA $135 per night from Jun 17 to Jun 17
Sheraton Ottawa Hotel
Ottawa Marriott Hotel
Ottawa Marriott Hotel
4 out of 5
100 Kent St, Ottawa, ON
The price is CA $135 per night from Jun 17 to Jun 17
Ottawa Marriott Hotel
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
SOHO Residences Lisgar
SOHO Residences Lisgar
4 out of 5
300 Lisgar Street, Ottawa, ON
The price is CA $161 per night from Jun 21 to Jun 21
SOHO Residences Lisgar
The Westin Ottawa
The Westin Ottawa
4 out of 5
11 Colonel By Dr, Ottawa, ON
The price is CA $158 per night from Jun 25 to Jun 25
The Westin 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.