About Rideau Canal

Wild and wonderful, take an unforgettable boating vacation on Canada's canals and wide open lakes

Our Canadian boating vacations are the perfect way to discover the beauty of the Rideau Canal. One of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century, the Rideau Canal is the oldest continuously-operated canal system in North America. Traveling along this attractive waterway, you'll be able to unwind and take in the spectacular nature, picturesque towns and lively cities of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

Discover more about Canada and the unique charm of each region of our cruising ground. Only our Premier Horizon Fleet is available for cruising in Canada. The 2020 cruising season opens June 1, and closes on Oct. 12, 2020. 

 

Save 5% off 2021 cruises on the UNESCO Rideau Canal in Ontario, Canada when you book before December 1, 2020.
See all of our offers. 

Is this your ideal destination?                   BOOK NOW           

See our itinerary suggestions...                    EXPLORE

 

Map showing where the Rideau Canal boating region is in Canada

The perfect boating region for...

Rideau Canal Map

Base = Le Boat Base          Canal = Canal          Navigable river = Navigable river          No entry = No navigation beyond this point

The perfect boating region for...

Fishing

Fishing in the Rideau lakes

The lakes and rivers of the Rideau Waterway offer great fishing opportunities including Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Lake Trout, Yellow Perch, Black Crappie and Walleye.

Nature

Boats cruising in nature

Nature lovers will enjoy their journey through the Rideau, which provides a haven for many species of wildlife.

Cycling

Cycling through a forest in Canada

Bicycle enthusiasts can fully enjoy the Rideau region. Although there are no bicycle trails directly along the Rideau, there are many trails and secondary roads close by that bicyclists can enjoy.

Shopping

Kilborn's shopping in Newboro on the Rideau

All the cities along the Canal offer shopping opportunities. Check out the local products and crafts shops. Don't leave Canada without a bottle of maple syrup.

Family

Family fun on the Rideau

The Rideau Canal has everything you need for the perfect family vacation. Make a splash with watersports on the Rideau, then discover all the adventure Canadian culture has to offer at the many towns and cities along the way. 

2021 season for this region
The 2021 season starts on May 21 and ends on October 11, 2021. More details and restrictions

2022 season for this region
The 2022 season starts on May 20 and ends on October 10, 2022.

  

Useful information

Download our region guide

Check out our region guideWe've produced a handy PDF guide for this region to give you an overview of all the stops and things to do along the waterway.

Download our region guide

As it winds its way 202km (125 miles) from Ottawa to Kingston, the Rideau Canal is bursting with new experiences just waiting to be explored. Whether you like taking in abundant nature, discovering fascinating culture or simply indulging in some of the finer things - the Rideau Canal has something for you!

Originally intended as a military supply route between Montreal and Kingston in the event of an American invasion of Canada. Construction of the canal, under the charge of Lt. Colonel John By, began in 1826 through a wilderness of rough bush, swamps and rocky terrain. The 19th century working conditions were grueling and the work was done by hand. An estimated 1,000 men died during the six years of construction. Today, the Rideau Canal is one of North America’s most beautiful navigable waterways, with exquisite stone-masonry admired to this day.

We've partnered up with some of the best local businesses from the towns and villages along the Rideau to help you get the most out of your Le Boat vacation. 

Discover our range of exclusive offers, only available to Le Boat customers. 

Our Canada cruises are perfect for that short escape or epic expedition. Our base is located in Smiths Falls, midway along the canal, and is the perfect starting point for long or short breaks. So whether you have a few days or several weeks, our Canada cruises are the perfect standalone vacation or accompaniment to a wider break.

Take a look at our waterway and lock closures page to find out if there are any scheduled cruising restrictions that will affect your vacation plans.

There are 24 Lockstations and 47 Locks on the Rideau. Each lock has 3 to 4 staff members to help out in any way they can.

Opening Hours:

  • May 19 - June 25:

Monday to Thursday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Friday to Sunday and holidays 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

  • June 26 - Sept. 4:

Monday to Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Friday to Sunday and holidays 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

  • September 5 - October 9:

Monday to Friday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Saturday, Sunday & Thanksgiving 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

There are many options for overnight moorings along the Rideau; private marinas, township marinas and Parks Canada moorings (situated at lock stations) all provide overnight moorings for a fee, with varying facilities and services.

However, a mandatory fee of $70 USD / $75 CAD for short breaks or $110 USD / $120 CAD for 7nts+ will be charged to Le Boat customers and covers overnight moorings at all Parks Canada sites, as well as the township marinas of Portland, Perth and Westport (first two Le Boats moor free in Westport, standard rates for others) which represents a significantly reduced rate than the fee charged locally at each of these moorings sites. All overnight moorings are operated on a first-come, first-served basis and exclude services such as shore power.

To find out how to get to our base in this boating region, as well as what facilities and amenities are available nearby, click on the link below:

  • Rental of the boat and its onboard equipment
  • A fully equipped kitchen
  • Towels and linen for all passengers
  • A boat handling demontration prior to departure
  • Technical support
  • On-board maps and visitor information
  • Passage through locks
  • A compulsory moorings fee has been included in the price quoted. See compulsory costs for more details
  • Optional vacation extras
  • Boat damage waiver
  • Running costs (diesel, gas, engine wear and tear) - charged by the engine hour (by the litre in Scotland).
  • Travel to and from the base(s)
  • Waterside services if you use them (i.e. moorings where a charge is applicable, pump-out if needed, water, etc)
  • Cancellation plan & any travel/personal insurance
  • Food and drink

Interactive map

  = Le Boat base   = Point of interest

Great to see...

Must see
Parliament Hill in Ottawa

Canada’s capital has at its center Parliament Hill, with grand Victorian architecture and museums like the National Gallery of Canada, with noted collections of indigenous and other Canadian art. The park-lined Rideau Canal is filled with boats in the summer. Historic Byward Market and the old town are near the canal and offer a wide choice of restaurants, shopping and outdoor entertainment.

Must see
Watson's Mill

Manotick is a charming town with plenty of restaurants and shops to keep you entertained. A highlight is Watson’s Mill, a fascinating working museum that is one of the only remaining grist mills in North America.

Long Island Locks is an idyllic location for picnicking, fishing, exploring and boat watching.

Tie up at Burritts Rapids Lock Station, then take a walking tour of the village and experience early Canada through centuries old heritage buildings or walk the "Tip to Tip Trail", a 2 km nature walk.

For historians and bird-watchers this is a great place to visit. Upper Nicholsons features one of four remaining Unequal Arm, a center bearing timber swing bridge, on the Rideau. Then just up the road you’ll discover McGuigan’s Cemetery (448 County Road 23, aka Burritts Rapids Road), one of the oldest burying grounds on the Rideau. You will be touched by the poignant headstone of Margaret Davidson, the 2 year old daughter of one of the contractors for Clowes Lock, who died in 1829.

Must see
Wick Witch shop in Merrickville

Merrickville is Canada’s prettiest village. The village center consists entirely of picturesque Victorian-era stone houses perched by the waters of the Rideau Canal. Merrickville is home to many local arts and craft shops, museums, restaurants and specialty stores serving some of the best local handmade ice cream or gourmet mustards on the Rideau Canal.

Must see
Heritage House Museum Smiths Falls

Located in the Heart of Eastern Ontario on the banks of the historic Rideau Canal, Smiths Falls offers a unique mix of leisure and recreational activities set against a backdrop of history and nature. Smiths Falls has a rich heritage, and today offers museums, theaters, art galleries and outdoor adventures including hiking, biking and fishing.

When the Rideau Canal was built, there was no water connection to Perth, so the residents constructed the Tay Canal. This area is known as "Haggart's Ditch" and features some of the best wildlife viewing on the Rideau on the way to Perth.

Must see
Spoons in craft shop Perth, Ontario

Linked to the Rideau Canal via the Tay Canal, Perth is a beautiful 200 year old town renowned for its limestone architecture. The town has something for everyone: festivals and events, canoeing, kayaking, cycling, hiking, trail-riding, museums, genealogy, camping, heritage inns, provincial parks, conservation areas, golfing, horse riding, artisans, farmer's markets, great harvest foods, docking facilities, shopping and studio tours. Perth has a wide variety of restaurants and unique boutiques.

 

Straddling a thin strip of water between the Big and Lower Rideau Lakes, Rideau Ferry is the spectacular scenic gateway to the southern Rideau. A hub for live music and festivals throughout the summer, stop here for the biannual Vintage Boat Regatta first held here in 1897.

Portland is a small village located on the Big Rideau Lake. There are many things for a landlubber to see and do in the Portland area. There are several unique stores in town, including antiques and collectables. The Cataraqui all-season trail passes just a bit east of town, golf courses are located nearby, one of the local B&Bs offers horseback riding, and cheese lovers will want to visit local cheesemakers and wineries.

Westport is a charming village. There you will find public docking facilities and a full range of land-based accomodations. The city offers a lot of activities: shops, two golf courses and swimming beaches. Nature lovers will be able to enjoy a hike in Foley Mountain Conservation Area which has spectacular views of the area.

The Village of Newboro is a popular destination spot for anglers wishing to land one of the big Largemouth Bass that populate Newboro Lake. It is also a popular stop for boaters since Newboro is located adjacent to the Newboro Lockstation on the Rideau Canal. It's a good spot to restock supplies or have a quiet lunch or dinner at one of the local restaurants or inns. Be sure not to miss Kilborn’s, a unique shopping experience located in the heart of historic Newboro and the adjacent dining room in an original 1832 residence.

Chaffey's Lockstation stands on a beautiful isthmus of land lying between the Indian Lake and Opinicon Lake. The Chaffey's Lock and Area Heritage Society was formed in 1980 to oversee the development of the Lockmaster's House Museum and to preserve the heritage of the village and surrounding area.

Must see
Jones Falls Locks

Jones Falls must be one of the prettiest lockstations along the Canal. The lockstation is home of the "Great Stone Arch Dam". Jones Falls has a flight of 3 lower locks. The turning basin separates the locks from the upper lock. This is the highest lift of any lockstation on the canal.

Seeley's Bay is a charming town with a great community park with playgrounds, tennis courts and picnic tables. Here you’ll be delighted to discover a little sliver of the region’s history at the Tepee in Centennial Park (just up Bay Street from the moorings). This modern day tepee commemorates the original Tepee of ‘Granny Seeley’, who ran a trading post and conducted business with Aboriginals and European settlers during the 1800s.

This is the site of the first mill built on the Rideau, the King’s Mill, built here at Cataraqui Falls in 1784. The site today features a lovely set of three locks, a turning basin, a detached upper lock and the Robert Anglin Visitor’s Centre. Kingston Mills Falls is located on the outlet of Colonel By Lake, an artificial lake created by the damming of the Catraqui River. The falls is just below the dam.

Must see
Town Crier in Kingston, Ontario, Town hall

Kingston is located on Lake Ontario at the mouth of the southern end of the Rideau Canal. It's known as the "Limestone City" for its grand 19th-century buildings, including the lakeside Kingston City Hall. The grand house and gardens of the Bellevue House National Historic Site commemorate Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. Fort Henry, built in the 1800s, holds military demonstrations throughout the summer and is the site of a fabulous rooftop restaurant providing a panoramic view of the beautiful historic city and the Saint Lawrence River.

Itinerary suggestions

To help you get an idea of how far you can travel in the time you have, here's a selection of routes to and from our bases in this region. You dont have to stop at all the places listed or follow the route exactly. So long as you return your boat to your end base by the date you've booked - you're free to enjoy your cruise however you like. For a comfortable pace, allowing you time to regularly stop and explore, we'd recommend an average of 2 - 4 hours cruising each day.

 = Click the arrow icon on each route suggestion, to flip the 'card' and reveal more details.

Passing through a lock on the magnificent Rideau

The Tay Canal Short Break

Smiths Falls
Beveridge's Locks
Smiths Falls

6 hr(s) of cruising

22km 6 locks 3 nights

The Tay Canal Short Break

Smiths Falls RETURN via Beveridges

Smiths Falls RETURN via Beveridges

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right 

Overview

Along the Rideau you'll discover an abundance of wildlife. With Beavers, Otters, Turtles, Ospreys and the famous Canada Geese just some of the fantastic fauna you be able to spot while you drift gently along the Rideau. So remember your binoculars and camera, because this region is a nature lovers dream.

Top highlights:

  • The Heritage House Museum of Smiths Falls which delves into the lives of a family living in 1860s Canada
  • Spotting wildlife on the Tay Canal

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Smiths Falls: Located in the Heart of Eastern Ontario on the banks of the historic Rideau Canal, Smiths Falls offers a unique mix of leisure and recreational activities set against a backdrop of history and nature. Smiths Falls has a rich heritage, and today offers museums, theaters, art galleries and outdoor adventures including hiking, biking and fishing.
  • Beveridge's Locks: When the Rideau Canal was built, there was no water connection to Perth, so the residents constructed the Tay Canal. This area is known as "Haggart's Ditch" and features some of the best wildlife viewing on the Rideau on the way to Perth.

6 hr(s) of cruising

22km 6 locks 3 nights
Relax with a coffee in Perth

The Taste of Canada Short Break

Smiths Falls
Beveridge's Locks
Perth
Smiths Falls

10 hr(s) of cruising

42km 10 locks 4 nights

The Taste of Canada Short Break

Smiths Falls RETURN via Perth

Smiths Falls RETURN via Perth

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

Canada is a paradoxical place, able to combine pristine wilderness with vibrant local culture. Find yourself taking in the natural wonders of Ontario as you make your way gently down the Rideau before unearthing the lively local culture of Perth with its quaint boutiques and lively markets.

Top highlights:

  • The beautiful 200 year-old town of Perth, where there's something for everyone
  • The Heritage House Museum of Smiths Falls which delves into the lives of a family living in 1860s Canada

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Smiths Falls: Located in the Heart of Eastern Ontario on the banks of the historic Rideau Canal, Smiths Falls offers a unique mix of leisure and recreational activities set against a backdrop of history and nature. Smiths Falls has a rich heritage, and today offers museums, theaters, art galleries and outdoor adventures including hiking, biking and fishing.
  • Beveridge's Locks: When the Rideau Canal was built, there was no water connection to Perth, so the residents constructed the Tay Canal. This area is known as "Haggart's Ditch" and features some of the best wildlife viewing on the Rideau on the way to Perth.
  • Perth: Linked to the Rideau Canal via the Tay Canal, Perth is a beautiful 200 year old town renowned for it's limestone architecture. The town has something for everyone: festivals and events, canoeing, kayaking, cycling, hiking, trail-riding, museums, genealogy, camping, heritage inns, provincial parks, conservation areas, golfing, horse riding, artisans, farmer's markets, great harvest foods, docking facilities, shopping and studio tours. Perth has a wide variety of restaurants and unique boutiques.

Due to water hazards and challenging navigation, cruising along the Tay Canal to Perth is only suitable for those who have previous boating experience. Please follow the advice of the base team during your pre-departure briefing on whether you can navigate this stretch of the canal. If  you are advised not to navigate, you can still visit Perth by mooring at Lower Beverages lock and taking a short taxi ride.

10 hr(s) of cruising

42km 10 locks 4 nights
Iconic phone-box in Merrickville town centre

The Victorian Short Break

Smiths Falls
Merrickville
Smiths Falls

13 hr(s) of cruising

42km 14 locks 4 nights

The Victorian Short Break

Smiths Falls RETURN via Merrickville

Smiths Falls RETURN via Merrickville

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

Picturesque Victorian stone houses, local craft shops and a thriving artisan community. It is easy to see why Merrickville was voted Canada's most beautiful village. Let yourself wander around this chocolate-box town and delve deeper into this regions charming local culture.

Top highlights:

  • The Heritage House Museum of Smiths Falls which delves into the lives of a family living in 1860s Canada
  • Merrickville's homemade ice cream and mustards along the Rideau Canal

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation 

  • Smiths Falls: Located in the Heart of Eastern Ontario on the banks of the historic Rideau Canal, Smiths Falls offers a unique mix of leisure and recreational activities set against a backdrop of history and nature. Smiths Falls has a rich heritage, and today offers museums, theaters, art galleries and outdoor adventures including hiking, biking and fishing.
  • Merrickville: Merrickville is Canada’s prettiest village. The village center consists entirely of picturesque Victorian-era stone houses perched by the waters of the Rideau Canal. Merrickville is home to many local arts and craft shops, museums, restaurants and specialty stores serving some of the best local handmade ice cream or gourmet mustards on the Rideau Canal.

13 hr(s) of cruising

42km 14 locks 4 nights
Watersports on the Rideau

The Southern Rideau Cruise

Smiths Falls
Beveridge's Locks
Rideau Ferry
Portland
Westport
Newboro
Chaffey's Lockstation
Jones Falls
Smiths Falls

27 hr(s) of cruising

126km 14 locks 7 nights

The Southern Rideau Cruise

Smiths Falls RETURN via Jones Falls

Smiths Falls RETURN via Jones Falls

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

Gently cruise the vast lakes, mighty forests and hidden islands of the Southern Rideau. The perfect playground for any lover of the outdoors. Find yourself paddling the Big Rideau Lake, going on a hike in Foley Mountain Conservation Area or playing golf on one of Portland’s two golf courses.

Top highlights:

  • The Heritage House Museum of Smiths Falls which delves into the lives of a family living in 1860s Canada 
  • The remarkable operating structure of the Jones Falls lock 
  • Golf courses and swimming beaches in Westport

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Smiths Falls: Located in the Heart of Eastern Ontario on the banks of the historic Rideau Canal, Smiths Falls offers a unique mix of leisure and recreational activities set against a backdrop of history and nature. Smiths Falls has a rich heritage, and today offers museums, theaters, art galleries and outdoor adventures including hiking, biking and fishing.
  • Beveridge's Locks: When the Rideau Canal was built, there was no water connection to Perth, so the residents constructed the Tay Canal. This area is known as "Haggart's Ditch" and features some of the best wildlife viewing on the Rideau on the way to Perth.
  • Rideau Ferry: Straddling a thin strip of water between the Big and Lower Rideau Lakes, Rideau Ferry is the spectacular scenic gateway to the southern Rideau. A hub for live music and festivals throughout the summer, stop here for the biannual Vintage Boat Regatta first held here in 1897.
  • Portland: Portland is a small village located on Big Rideau Lake.There are many things for the landlubber to see and do in the Portland area. There are several unique stores in town, including antiques and collectables. The Cataraqui all-season trail passes just a bit east of town, golf courses are located nearby, one of the local B&Bs offers horseback riding, and cheese lovers will want to visit local cheesemakers and wineries.
  • Westport: Westport is a charming village. There you will find public docking facilities and a full range of land-based accomodations. The city offers a lot of activities: shops, two golf courses and swimming beaches. Nature lovers will be able to enjoy a hike in Foley Mountain Conservation Area which has spectacular views of the area.
  • Newboro: The Village of Newboro is a popular destination spot for anglers wishing to land one of the big Largemouth Bass that populate Newboro Lake. It is also a popular stop for boaters since Newboro is located adjacent to the Newboro Lockstation on the Rideau Canal. It's a good spot to restock supplies or have a quiet lunch or dinner at one of the local restaurants or inns. Be sure not to miss Kilborn’s, a unique shopping experience located in the heart of historic Newboro and the adjacent dining room in an original 1832 residence.
  • Chaffey's Lockstation: Chaffey's Lockstation stands on beautiful isthmus of land lying between Indian Lake and Opinicon Lake. The Chaffey's Lock and Area Heritage Society was formed in 1980 to oversee the development of the Lockmaster's House Museum and to preserve the heritage of the village and surrounding area.
  • Jones Falls: Jones Falls must be one of the prettiest lockstations along the Canal. The lockstation is home of the "Great Stone Arch Dam". Jones Falls has a flight of 3 lower locks. The turning basin separates the locks from the upper lock. This is the highest lift of any lockstation on the canal.

27 hr(s) of cruising

126km 14 locks 7 nights
Spot the wildlife on the Rideau

The Northern Rideau Cruise

Smiths Falls
Merrickville
Upper Nicholsons
Burritts Rapids
Long Island
Smiths Falls

34 hr(s) of cruising

136km 28 locks 7 nights

The Northern Rideau Cruise

Smiths Falls RETURN via Long Island

Smiths Falls RETURN via Long Island

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

Sometimes the best things in life are those little luxuries. Discover them with a cruise on the Northern Rideau. Combine some retail therapy in Canada’s prettiest village, Merrickville, with a visit to one of Canada’s top gardens, the Rideau Woodland Ramble in Burritt’s Rapids. Paradise is real, and you'll find it here!

Top highlights:

  • The Heritage House Museum of Smiths Falls which delves into the lives of a family living in 1860s Canada 
  • Birdwatch amongst the beautiful nature of Upper Nicholsons 
  • The "Tip to Tip Trail" in Burrits Rapids 
  • Picnicking in Long Island

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Smiths Falls: Located in the Heart of Eastern Ontario on the banks of the historic Rideau Canal, Smiths Falls offers a unique mix of leisure and recreational activities set against a backdrop of history and nature. Smiths Falls has a rich heritage, and today offers museums, theaters, art galleries and outdoor adventures including hiking, biking and fishing.
  • Merrickville: Merrickville is Canada’s prettiest village. The village center consists entirely of picturesque Victorian-era stone houses perched by the waters of the Rideau Canal. Merrickville is home to many local arts and craft shops, museums, restaurants and specialty stores serving some of the best local handmade ice cream or gourmet mustards on the Rideau Canal.
  • Upper Nicholsons: For historians and bird-watchers this is a great place to visit. Upper Nicholsons features one of four remaining Unequal Arm, a center bearing timber swing bridge, on the Rideau. Then just up the road you’ll discover McGuigan’s Cemetery (448 County Road 23, aka Burritts Rapids Road), one of the oldest burying grounds on the Rideau. You will be touched by the poignant headstone of Margaret Davidson, the 2 year old daughter of one of the contractors for Clowes Lock, who died in 1829.
  • Burrits Rapid: Tie up at Burritts Rapids Lock Station, then take a walking tour of the village and experience early Canada through centuries old heritage buildings or walk the "Tip to Tip Trail", a 2 km nature walk.
  • Long Island: Long Island Locks is an idyllic location for picnicking, fishing, exploring and boat watching.

34 hr(s) of cruising

136km 28 locks 7 nights
Relax with a spot of fishing

The Seeley's Cruise

Smiths Falls
Beveridge's Locks
Rideau Ferry
Portland
Westport
Newboro
Chaffey's Lockstation
Jones Falls
Seeley's Bay
Smiths Falls

33 hr(s) of cruising

166km 22 locks 7 nights

The Seeley's Cruise

Smiths Falls RETURN via Seeley's Bay

Smiths Falls RETURN via Seeley's Bay

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

Get in touch with the friendly Canadian culture with a cruise to Seeleys Bay and Newboro. Be sure not to miss Kilborne’s, a unique shopping experience located in the heart of historic Newboro - and the adjacent dining room in an original 1832 residence.

Top highlights:

  • The Heritage House Museum of Smiths Falls which delves into the lives of a family living in 1860s Canada
  • Mesmerising cycle views from Rock Dunder in Seeley's Bay
  • Golf courses and swimming beaches in Westport

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Smiths Falls: Located in the Heart of Eastern Ontario on the banks of the historic Rideau Canal, Smiths Falls offers a unique mix of leisure and recreational activities set against a backdrop of history and nature. Smiths Falls has a rich heritage, and today offers museums, theaters, art galleries and outdoor adventures including hiking, biking and fishing.
  • Beveridge's Locks: When the Rideau Canal was built, there was no water connection to Perth, so the residents constructed the Tay Canal. This area is known as "Haggart's Ditch" and features some of the best wildlife viewing on the Rideau on the way to Perth.
  • Rideau Ferry: Straddling a thin strip of water between the Big and Lower Rideau Lakes, Rideau Ferry is the spectacular scenic gateway to the southern Rideau. A hub for live music and festivals throughout the summer, stop here for the biannual Vintage Boat Regatta first held here in 1897.
  • Portland: Portland is a small village located on Big Rideau Lake.There are many things for the landlubber to see and do in the Portland area. There are several unique stores in town, including antiques and collectables. The Cataraqui all-season trail passes just a bit east of town, golf courses are located nearby, one of the local B&Bs offers horseback riding, and cheese lovers will want to visit local cheesemakers and wineries.
  • Wesport: Westport is a charming village. There you will find public docking facilities and a full range of land-based accomodations. The city offers a lot of activities: shops, two golf courses and swimming beaches. Nature lovers will be able to enjoy a hike in Foley Mountain Conservation Area which has spectacular views of the area.
  • Newboro: The Village of Newboro is a popular destination spot for anglers wishing to land one of the big Largemouth Bass that populate Newboro Lake. It is also a popular stop for boaters since Newboro is located adjacent to the Newboro Lockstation on the Rideau Canal. It's a good spot to restock supplies or have a quiet lunch or dinner at one of the local restaurants or inns. Be sure not to miss Kilborn’s, a unique shopping experience located in the heart of historic Newboro and the adjacent dining room in an original 1832 residence.
  • Chaffey's Lockstation: Chaffey's Lockstation stands on beautiful isthmus of land lying between Indian Lake and Opinicon Lake. The Chaffey's Lock and Area Heritage Society was formed in 1980 to oversee the development of the Lockmaster's House Museum and to preserve the heritage of the village and surrounding area.
  • Jones Falls: Jones Falls must be one of the prettiest lockstations along the Canal. The lockstation is home of the "Great Stone Arch Dam". Jones Falls has a flight of 3 lower locks. The turning basin separates the locks from the upper lock. This is the highest lift of any lockstation on the canal.
  • Seeley's Bay: Seeley's Bay is a charming town with a great community park with playgrounds, tennis courts and picnic tables. Here you’ll be delighted to discover a little sliver of the region’s history at the Tepee in Centennial Park (just up Bay Street from the moorings). This modern day tepee commemorates the original Tepee of ‘Granny Seeley’, who ran a trading post and conducted business with Aboriginals and European settlers during the 1800s.

33 hr(s) of cruising

166km 22 locks 7 nights
Kayaking at Chaffey's Lockstation

The Southern Rideau and Military History Cruise

Smiths Falls
Beveridge's Locks
Rideau Ferry
Portland
Westport
Newboro
Chaffey's Lockstation
Jones Falls
Seeley's Bay
Kingston Mills
Kingston

34 hr(s) of cruising

166km 25 locks 7 nights

The Southern Rideau and Military History Cruise

Smiths Falls to Seeley's Bay via Kingston ONEWAY

Smiths Falls to Seeley's Bay via Kingston

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

A week long one-way cruise, which takes you from Smiths Falls on the central Rideau down to Seeley’s Bay via the city of Kingston at the Rideau’s southernmost tip. Cruising through the Rideau’s most beautiful lakes you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy adrenaline filled water sports or fishing in tranquil inlets.

Top highlights:

  • The Heritage House Museum of Smiths Falls which delves into the lives of a family living in 1860s Canada 
  • Golf courses and swimming beaches in Westport 
  • Catch fresh Bass in Newboro
  • Learn what Canadian soldiers experienced in 1839 in Kingston Mills

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Smiths Falls: Located in the Heart of Eastern Ontario on the banks of the historic Rideau Canal, Smiths Falls offers a unique mix of leisure and recreational activities set against a backdrop of history and nature. Smiths Falls has a rich heritage, and today offers museums, theaters, art galleries and outdoor adventures including hiking, biking and fishing.
  • Beveridge's Locks: When the Rideau Canal was built, there was no water connection to Perth, so the residents constructed the Tay Canal. This area is known as "Haggart's Ditch" and features some of the best wildlife viewing on the Rideau on the way to Perth.
  • Rideau Ferry: Straddling a thin strip of water between the Big and Lower Rideau Lakes, Rideau Ferry is the spectacular scenic gateway to the southern Rideau. A hub for live music and festivals throughout the summer, stop here for the biannual Vintage Boat Regatta first held here in 1897.
  • Portland: Portland is a small village located on Big Rideau Lake.There are many things for the landlubber to see and do in the Portland area. There are several unique stores in town, including antiques and collectables. The Cataraqui all-season trail passes just a bit east of town, golf courses are located nearby, one of the local B&Bs offers horseback riding, and cheese lovers will want to visit local cheesemakers and wineries.
  • Westport: Westport is a charming village. There you will find public docking facilities and a full range of land-based accomodations. The city offers a lot of activities: shops, two golf courses and swimming beaches. Nature lovers will be able to enjoy a hike in Foley Mountain Conservation Area which has spectacular views of the area.
  • Newboro: The Village of Newboro is a popular destination spot for anglers wishing to land one of the big Largemouth Bass that populate Newboro Lake. It is also a popular stop for boaters since Newboro is located adjacent to the Newboro Lockstation on the Rideau Canal. It's a good spot to restock supplies or have a quiet lunch or dinner at one of the local restaurants or inns. Be sure not to miss Kilborn’s, a unique shopping experience located in the heart of historic Newboro and the adjacent dining room in an original 1832 residence.
  • Chaffey's Lockstation: Chaffey's Lockstation stands on beautiful isthmus of land lying between Indian Lake and Opinicon Lake. The Chaffey's Lock and Area Heritage Society was formed in 1980 to oversee the development of the Lockmaster's House Museum and to preserve the heritage of the village and surrounding area.
  • Jones Falls: Jones Falls must be one of the prettiest lockstations along the Canal. The lockstation is home of the "Great Stone Arch Dam". Jones Falls has a flight of 3 lower locks. The turning basin separates the locks from the upper lock. This is the highest lift of any lockstation on the canal.
  • Kingston Mills: This is the site of the first mill built on the Rideau, the King’s Mill, built here at Cataraqui Falls in 1784. The site today features a lovely set of three locks, a turning basin, a detached upper lock and the Robert Anglin Visitor’s Centre. Kingston Mills Falls is located on the outlet of Colonel By Lake, an artificial lake created by the damming of the Catraqui River. The falls is just below the dam.
  • Kingston: Kingston is located on Lake Ontario at the mouth of the southern end of the Rideau Canal. It's known as the "Limestone City" for its grand 19th-century buildings, including the lakeside Kingston City Hall. The grand house and gardens of the Bellevue House National Historic Site commemorate Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. Fort Henry, built in the 1800s, holds military demonstrations throughout the summer and is the site of a fabulous rooftop restaurant providing a panoramic view of the beautiful historic city and the Saint Lawrence River.

34 hr(s) of cruising

166km 25 locks 7 nights
Town Crier à Kingston

The Fishing Heaven Long Break

Smiths Falls
Merrickville
Beveridge's Locks
Rideau Ferry
Portland
Westport
Newboro
Chaffey's Lockstation
Jones Falls
Seeley's Bay
Kingston Mills
Kingston
Smiths Falls

50 hr(s) of cruising

240km 36 locks 14 nights

The Fishing Heaven Long Break

Smiths Falls RETURN via Merrickville and Kingston

Smiths Falls RETURN via Merrickville and Kingston

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

Stopping off at Newboro and Seeleys Bay this itinerary is perfect for any budding angler looking to catch one of the region’s Largemouth Bass. For those less piscis-ly minded, this cruise also takes in the charming artisanal community of Merrickville and pulsating culture of Kingston. The perfect cruise for mixing nature, adventure and culture.

Top highlights:

  • The Heritage House Museum of Smiths Falls which delves into the lives of a family living in 1860s Canada 
  • Merrickville's homemade ice cream and mustards along the Rideau Canal 
  • Catch fresh Bass in Newboro 
  • Golf courses and swimming beaches in Westport
  • Learn what Canadian soldiers experienced in 1839 in Kingston Mills

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Smiths Falls: Located in the Heart of Eastern Ontario on the banks of the historic Rideau Canal, Smiths Falls offers a unique mix of leisure and recreational activities set against a backdrop of history and nature. Smiths Falls has a rich heritage, and today offers museums, theaters, art galleries and outdoor adventures including hiking, biking and fishing.
  • Merrickville: Merrickville is Canada’s prettiest village. The village center consists entirely of picturesque Victorian-era stone houses perched by the waters of the Rideau Canal. Merrickville is home to many local arts and craft shops, museums, restaurants and specialty stores serving some of the best local handmade ice cream or gourmet mustards on the Rideau Canal.
  • Beveridge's Locks: When the Rideau Canal was built, there was no water connection to Perth, so the residents constructed the Tay Canal. This area is known as "Haggart's Ditch" and features some of the best wildlife viewing on the Rideau on the way to Perth.
  • Rideau Ferry: Straddling a thin strip of water between the Big and Lower Rideau Lakes, Rideau Ferry is the spectacular scenic gateway to the southern Rideau. A hub for live music and festivals throughout the summer, stop here for the biannual Vintage Boat Regatta first held here in 1897.
  • Portland: Portland is a small village located on Big Rideau Lake. There are many things for the landlubber to see and do in the Portland area. There are several unique stores in town, including antiques and collectables. The Cataraqui all-season trail passes just a bit east of town, golf courses are located nearby, one of the local B&Bs offers horseback riding, and cheese lovers will want to visit local cheesemakers and wineries.
  • Westport: Westport is a charming village. There you will find public docking facilities and a full range of land-based accomodations. The city offers a lot of activities: shops, two golf courses and swimming beaches. Nature lovers will be able to enjoy a hike in Foley Mountain Conservation Area which has spectacular views of the area.
  • Newboro: The Village of Newboro is a popular destination spot for anglers wishing to land one of the big Largemouth Bass that populate Newboro Lake. It is also a popular stop for boaters since Newboro is located adjacent to the Newboro Lockstation on the Rideau Canal. It's a good spot to restock supplies or have a quiet lunch or dinner at one of the local restaurants or inns. Be sure not to miss Kilborn’s, a unique shopping experience located in the heart of historic Newboro and the adjacent dining room in an original 1832 residence.
  • Chaffey's Lockstation: Chaffey's Lockstation stands on beautiful isthmus of land lying between Indian Lake and Opinicon Lake. The Chaffey's Lock and Area Heritage Society was formed in 1980 to oversee the development of the Lockmaster's House Museum and to preserve the heritage of the village and surrounding area.
  • Jones Falls: Jones Falls must be one of the prettiest lockstations along the Canal. The lockstation is home of the "Great Stone Arch Dam". Jones Falls has a flight of 3 lower locks. The turning basin separates the locks from the upper lock. This is the highest lift of any lockstation on the canal.
  • Seeley's Bay: Seeley's Bay is a charming town with a great community park with playgrounds, tennis courts and picnic tables. Here you’ll be delighted to discover a little sliver of the region’s history at the Tepee in Centennial Park (just up Bay Street from the moorings). This modern day tepee commemorates the original Tepee of ‘Granny Seeley’, who ran a trading post and conducted business with Aboriginals and European settlers during the 1800s.
  • Kingston Mills: This is the site of the first mill built on the Rideau, the King’s Mill, built here at Cataraqui Falls in 1784. The site today features a lovely set of three locks, a turning basin, a detached upper lock and the Robert Anglin Visitor’s Centre. Kingston Mills Falls is located on the outlet of Colonel By Lake, an artificial lake created by the damming of the Catraqui River. The falls is just below the dam.
  • Kingston: Kingston is located on Lake Ontario at the mouth of the southern end of the Rideau Canal. It's known as the "Limestone City" for its grand 19th-century buildings, including the lakeside Kingston City Hall. The grand house and gardens of the Bellevue House National Historic Site commemorate Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. Fort Henry, built in the 1800s, holds military demonstrations throughout the summer and is the site of a fabulous rooftop restaurant providing a panoramic view of the beautiful historic city and the Saint Lawrence River.

50 hr(s) of cruising

240km 36 locks 14 nights
Iconic Ottawa sign in the city's heart

The Nature Lovers Long Break

Smiths Falls
Merrickville
Burritts Rapids
Upper Nicholsons
Long Island
Manotick
Ottawa
Smiths Falls

43 hr(s) of cruising

190km 38 locks 10 nights

The Nature Lovers Long Break

Smiths Falls RETURN via Ottawa

Smiths Falls RETURN via Ottawa

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

This cruise will allow you to enjoy some of the spectacular nature that lines the Rideau Canal, from the Otter to the Osprey, as you make your way to Ottawa. Here, you’ll be able to take in all that Canada’s capital has to offer before gently making your way back to Smith Falls for a second chance to spot any animal you may have missed on the way up!

Top highlights:

  • The Heritage House Museum of Smiths Falls which delves into the lives of a family living in 1860s Canada
  • Merrickville's homemade ice cream and mustards along the Rideau Canal
  • Birdwatch amongst the beautiful nature of Upper Nicholsons
  • The "Tip to Tip Trail" in Burrits Rapids
  • Art, culture and history in Canada's stunning capital city - Ottawa (and don't miss the famous Byward Market)

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Smiths Falls: Located in the Heart of Eastern Ontario on the banks of the historic Rideau Canal, Smiths Falls offers a unique mix of leisure and recreational activities set against a backdrop of history and nature. Smiths Falls has a rich heritage, and today offers museums, theaters, art galleries and outdoor adventures including hiking, biking and fishing.
  • Merrickville: Merrickville is Canada’s prettiest village. The village center consists entirely of picturesque Victorian-era stone houses perched by the waters of the Rideau Canal. Merrickville is home to many local arts and craft shops, museums, restaurants and specialty stores serving some of the best local handmade ice cream or gourmet mustards on the Rideau Canal.
  • Upper Nicholsons: For historians and bird-watchers this is a great place to visit. Upper Nicholsons features one of four remaining Unequal Arm, a center bearing timber swing bridge, on the Rideau. Then just up the road you’ll discover McGuigan’s Cemetery (448 County Road 23, aka Burritts Rapids Road), one of the oldest burying grounds on the Rideau. You will be touched by the poignant headstone of Margaret Davidson, the 2 year old daughter of one of the contractors for Clowes Lock, who died in 1829.
  • Burrits Rapid: Tie up at Burritts Rapids Lock Station, then take a walking tour of the village and experience early Canada through centuries old heritage buildings or walk the "Tip to Tip Trail", a 2 km nature walk.
  • Long Island: Long Island Locks is an idyllic location for picnicking, fishing, exploring and boat watching.
  • Manotick: Manotick is a charming town with plenty of restaurants and shops to keep you entertained. A highlight is Watson’s Mill, a fascinating working museum that is one of the only remaining grist mills in North America.
  • Ottawa: Canada’s capital has at its center Parliament Hill, with grand Victorian architecture and museums like the National Gallery of Canada, with noted collections of indigenous and other Canadian art. The park-lined Rideau Canal is filled with boats in the summer. Historic Byward Market and old town is near the canal and offers a wide choice of restaurants, shopping and outdoor entertainment.

 

43 hr(s) of cruising

190km 38 locks 10 nights

Our Feefo reviews

Feefo is an independent and impartial review service that requests reviews directly from those who have been on a Le Boat vacation. Below you can read what our past customers think about their Le Boat experience, and trust that what you read is unfiltered, unedited and uncensored.

Added on 7 October 2020

Jennifer Cooney said

Boats are absolutely perfect for enjoying the Rideau Canal with family. Staff was great! I could not think of a better way to enjoy Thanksgiving weekend than spending time on a boat with family this year.
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Smiths Falls - Smiths Falls
Horizon 4
Added on 30 September 2020

Yvette Scott said

People were nice and friendly Scenery was fantastic!!!!
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Smiths Falls - Smiths Falls
Horizon 3
Added on 30 September 2020

Murray Ogilvie said

Excellent service. We would do it all again. The houseboat was very well outfitted.
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Smiths Falls - Smiths Falls
Horizon 1
Added on 9 September 2020

Kimberly Chapman said

The boat was new and clean with all of the amenities necessary for a very comfortable vacation. Doug did a great job showing us the boat. The cruising grounds south of Smiths Falls were wonderful. We enjoyed tying up at a different location each night and meeting the other boaters.
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Smiths Falls - Smiths Falls
Horizon 2
Added on 7 September 2020

Louise Roberge said

Friendly, helpful, good practices and documentation Love the Rideau ... great boat
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Smiths Falls - Smiths Falls
Horizon 1
Added on 6 September 2020

Martin Mcskimming said

very well handled. Introduction was excellent. everything worked well. Boat well fitted out.
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Smiths Falls - Smiths Falls
Horizon 2
Added on 6 September 2020

Amanda Ellis said

What they did well on board: Well done on demonstrations for boat operation, and basic orientation. (Curtis) What they did well with booking over the phone/upon arrival: Friendly and knowledgeable staff. Answered all manner of questions on travel routes, boat amenities and layout. Provided great documentation for all aspects of the trip and safety/orientation videos for novice boaters well in advance of travel date. Maggie especially, also Laurie and Chris. Condition and cleanliness of Horizon 2 - excellent. Linens and towels were good quality. What could be better: Assistance getting baggage to the dock from check-in. Was not clear to everyone on board where the lifejackets were stored during demo. No boat radio on board however an emergency cell # was provide for 24-7 access to LeBoat staff. Other: Not all basic items listed for kitchenware were on board. Should be a simple checklist and walkthrough when cleaning / turning over a vessel for the next guests. (Rectified at checkout) Glassware onboard. Perhaps dishes ok but wine glasses were an issue in the way they were stored in a drawer that when opened, fell over and broke. Checkout: Please do not leave returning guests waiting to checkout, while serving another customer on the phone ! This could be easily rectified with 2 staff available during check-in and check-out times. Online forms: Website/IT not user friendly set up-had to try and resend forms several times and in the end called to check they were received. Got a confirmation via phone, information had been received but on the day before travel day they did not have contact phone number for the primary guest who booked the trip. Small detail but did not inspire confidence that booking staff and onsite staff were in communication with each other. (All other phone numbers from the same doc were on hand it seemed except the person who actually booked the trip-bizarre). The day before phone call to inform guests what time to arrive at base, leaves little time for planning/commuting to the base -perhaps because they knew we were only coming from an hour or so away ? Overall - all very easy fixes to anything mentioned here. 4 person booking and we all would recommend to others. Thanks LeBoat for helping to make some special memories! Hope to see you next year. Bed mattresses could have been more comfortable-understood we were staying on a boat and not at a 5 star hotel. But a little more cushioning would be better. 5 adults would have been too cramped. Our party was reduced in the end by 1 and so only 4 adults. This was the right number of guests on board for this boat. 5 + 1 would have been too crowded. Adults + kids would work.
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Smiths Falls - Smiths Falls
Horizon 2
Added on 5 September 2020

Ciaran Mcloughlin said

Excellent holiday from start to finish. Regards to Chris and her team for making it all so pleasant and seamless. Friendly and smooth check in.
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Smiths Falls - Smiths Falls
Horizon 4
Added on 31 August 2020

Tim Jamieson said

Service was prompt and personal. The Le Boat was imaculate and had all the amenities.
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Smiths Falls - Smiths Falls
Horizon 3
Added on 30 August 2020

Gilles Fecteau said

This is our second rental this year. Service was excellent. The boat was ready in time. The only thing I wish was done are the beds. It is confusing to sort out what's in the bag. I know this is due to COVID. So I hope it will not be a problem next year. Did Smiths Falls to Portland earlier this year and Smiths Falls to Merrickville on this trip.
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Dear Gilles, Thank you for taking the time to write a five star review and thank you for coming back for a second trip in such a difficult year. We are so pleased you enjoyed the experience both to Portland and now this time to Merrickville. We also hope that we are able to make the beds again next year but will bring your feedback to base staff for their attention. We look forward to welcoming you onboard again soon. The Le Boat Team
Smiths Falls - Smiths Falls
Horizon 4