Canadian Canal Society - Societe des Canaux du Canada
(information provided by Ken W. Watson,

Rideau Canal LocationThe Rideau Canal is a waterway located in Ontario, Canada, that extends from the City of Kingston in the south to the City of Ottawa in the north, a distance of 202 km (125 miles).

From Lake Ontario at Kingston the canal rises 50.6 metres (166.2 feet) to the summit of Upper Rideau Lake and then descends 83.8 metres (275 feet) to the Ottawa River at Ottawa. Built in 1826-1831, it uses 45 locks at 24 lockstations (see map) to allow vessels drafting up to 5 feet (1.5 m) to navigate the route.

In the late 1880s two additional locks were built to connect the Town of Perth, via the Tay River, to the Rideau Canal.

Canal structures such as locks and canal cuts represent less than 10 percent of the waterway. These connect a series of lakes and rivers to form the navigation network. Some of the lakes along the route pre-date the canal construction, others were formed by flooding when river sections were dammed.

The Rideau Canal route crosses a major watershed divide, with the Rideau River watershed to the north, flowing to the Ottawa River and the Cataraqui River and Gananoque River watersheds to the south, flowing to Lake Ontario and to the St. Lawrence River.

In 1925 the Rideau Canal was designated as a National Historic Site of Canada, in 2000 it was designated a Canadian Heritage River, and in 2007 it was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Follow the links below for more details about the Rideau Canal.

Canadian Canal Society
207 Morton Street
Thorold, ON L2V 1C8

Home | About Us | Membership | Publications | Events | About Canals | Canadian Canals | Links

© Canadian Canal Society