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Friends of the Rideau


Those wishing to make a donation to Friends of the Rideau may do so by using our membership form (membership not required) or by using the PayPal link on that page.

Algae Reporting

Noticing green algal blooms or excessive aquatic plant growth in your lakes or rivers? You can now easily report it! The Citizen Water Watch website (www.citizenwaterwatch.ca ) allows recreational water users to report any observations of green algal blooms or excessive aquatic plant growth to a central data base. For more information about this project, visit rvca.ca/programs/algae_watch/index.html


Severe budget cuts made to the Rideau Canal are having a profound effect on the heritage protection and presentation of the canal. The Chair of Friends of the Rideau, Hunter McGill, has recently written a letter to the Hon. Leona Aglukkaq about this issue.

See Letter to the Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (PDF)

You can learn more details about the issue by visiting SaveOurRideau.ca

Check out our new products:
Canadian Heritage RiverThe Rideau Canal Waterway is a popular vacation spot for boating, cruising, recreation, fishing, tourism, Canadian heritage appreciation, and enjoying the outdoors. The locks that connect the beautiful lakes and rivers that make up the Rideau Canal Waterway were first opened in 1832. It was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1925. In 2000, the Rideau Waterway was designated a Canadian Heritage River, recognizing its outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values. This designation also celebrates the role of the Rideau Waterway in Canada's history, not the least of which was the founding of our nation's capital, Ottawa. In 2007 it was designated a World Heritage Site, recognizing the canal as a masterpiece of human creative genius.

Rideau Corridor
(click on map for larger view)
The Rideau, which extends 202 kilometres from Kingston to Ottawa, is the oldest continuously operated canal in North America with the locks at most of the 24 lockstation still hand-operated, much as they were when the canal first opened in 1832.

The log drives, steamers such as the Rideau King, and barges are now long gone, replaced by recreational boaters and vacationers who enjoy fishing, cruising, and relaxing in unparalleled surroundings.

Drop by the historic Depot run by the Friends of the Rideau at Merrickville, right beside the Canal. Exhibits, museums, historic sites, books and videos, trails, interpretation centres, marinas, camp grounds and resorts throughout the Rideau Corridor will make your visit a memorable one.

The waters teem with panfish - bluegills, pumpkinseed, black crappie - while the back bays, weedbeds, and shorelines are home to smallmouth and largemouth bass. Some of the Corridor lakes boast lake trout. Pike are plentiful, and the waters of the Long Reach are famous for muskellunge. Bring your boat or rent one at the many marinas in the Rideau Corridor.


Have a look at our Tourist Information Page

Free boating and general information packages are available by contacting the
Rideau Canal Office of Parks Canada at

or by email at: RideauCanal-info@pc.gc.ca
(please include your postal mailing address in your email)
General Rideau info is available by calling the Parks Canada Call Centre at:

Friends of the Rideau
P.O. Box 1232, Stn. Main
Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, K7A 5C7

email: info@rideaufriends.com

A membership in Friends of the Rideau is only $20 CDN. Your membership will help to support our work to enhance and preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the Rideau. If you love the Rideau, consider taking out a membership today. Please see our membership page.

Brochures and Guides
We have a section on the website which contains several brochures and guides in Adobe PDF format so that you can save these to your own computer and easily print them.

We are also very pleased to make freely available Watson's 2014 Guide to the Rideau and his detailed paddling guides. For more information have a look at the Watson's 2014 Guide Page and Watson's Paddling Guides to the Rideau.

We've received several awards over the years for the volunteer work we do to help to promote and conserve the Rideau Canal. These include the Parks Canada Co-Operating Association Award, two certificates of recognition from Parks Canada and the first Rideau Canal Advisory Committee Rideau Heritage Award. For more information see our Awards Page.
Our Books
To assist with our mandate of public awareness of the Rideau Canal we offer every book still in print about the Rideau. These are available during the summer at our retail outlet, The Depot, located on the waterfront near the Blockhouse in Merrickville. This includes books about the Rideau authored by FoR directors: Ed Bebee and Ken Watson.

Ed's Invisible Army tells the story of the forgotten people who made the Canal work - the staff who have served on the Rideau Canal since 1832. His Fish Tales: The Lure and Lore of the Rideau expands on the stories first brought to light in his hit book Pathfinders, The Guides of The Rideau.

Ken's Tales of the Rideau contains 17 non-fiction tales, ranging from classics such The Lost Barrel of Silver to lesser known tales such as the Sluiced Superintendent. His The Rideau Route: Exploring the Pre-Canal Waterway looks at the pre-canal, setting the stage for its construction as detailed in A History of the Rideau Lockstations.

In addition, Friends of the Rideau has re-published Robert Passfield's beautiful colour book, Building the Rideau Canal, A Pictorial History.

We want to make your stay unforgettable.

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General: Home | About Us | Membership | Newsletters | Our Awards | The Depot
Rideau: What's A Rideau | Rideau Corridor | Map | Communities | History | World Heritage | Fishing | Photo Gallery | Videos
Information: Tourist Info | Brochures/Guides | Paddling Guides | How A Lock Works | Stop Wash | Loon Aware
Links: Info Links | Web Links

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©1997- Rideau Waterway Co-ordinating Association (Friends of the Rideau)

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Website design & maintenance donated by: Ken W. Watson