A narrow sliver of water that becomes the world’s longest skating rink in winter, the Rideau Canal runs past the National Arts Centre before it slides down into the Ottawa River via a pretty flight of locks, with Parliament Hill rising on one side, the Fairmont Château Laurier hotel on the other. Beside the foot of the locks is the Bytown Museum (bytownmuseum.com), Ottawa’s oldest building, where military supplies were stored during the construction of the canal. Here, a short film explores the history of the waterway and the difficulties involved in its construction; afterwards you can take a peek at a scattering of bygones from the city’s earliest days. From mid-May to early October, canal boat trips leave from the top of the locks, river trips from the bottom.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Canada features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Road trip Canada: 5 of the best routes

Road trip Canada: 5 of the best routes

Rugged and vast, Canada is a road-tripper's dream. Driving gives you the freedom to travel at your own pace – pull over and take in the scenery along the w…

09 Mar 2018 • Stuart Forster insert_drive_file Article
Why Halifax is Canada’s friendliest city

Why Halifax is Canada’s friendliest city

Canadians are a friendly bunch; in fact according to Twitter analysis (so it must be true) Canucks are the nicest people in the world. And Canada’s friendlies…

05 Mar 2018 • Edward Aves insert_drive_file Article
7 unusual ways to explore Canada's Bay of Fundy

7 unusual ways to explore Canada's Bay of Fundy

Inscribed as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of North America – rubbing shoulders with perennial favourites such as the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone – Cana…

01 Feb 2018 • Edward Aves insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right