Hop into a voyageur canoe (similar to what Samuel de Champlain would have used) and travel down the Rideau Canal, Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site! Parks Canada offers voyageur canoe tours departing from the Hartwells Lockstation, located just over 7km south of downtown Ottawa, near the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum and the Central Experimental Farm.
There are two types of tours which both include a leisurely paddle down a portion of the Rideau Canal, providing scenic views of Ottawa’s urban parkland and cityscape including the Dominion Arboretum, Dows Lake and more. Along the way, two guides maneuver the canoe and share historical information about the 19th century construction of the Rideau Canal, the serene natural setting and other interesting facts.
The Locking-Through Experience tour starts by taking participants through the two-stage, manually-operated locks – a very unique way to experience the opening and closing of the massive lock gates from within!
The Evening Paddle Experience sets out from below the locks and explores the picturesque green spaces surrounding Dows Lake as the sun sets.
Schedule and access
Tours are approximately two hours and run daily June through August, except on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
All participants must be physically capable of boarding the canoe, sitting upright without assistance and paddling during the excursion.
To book a spot on this 10-person canoe tour or for more information, call 613-283-5170, ext. 205, or email [email protected]. Charter and custom tours can also be arranged.