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Heritage of the Township
The wards and communities of the Township of Rideau Lakes have a rich heritage. This area was used for millennia by native americans as a travel route and rich fishing ground. The first surveys were done in the late 1700s with settlers arriving soon thereafter.

The Township is also host to a large section of the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the only such site in Ontario.

This section of the website will allow you to explore the heritage of the Township in detail. Simply use the interactive map or the text links below. The original detailed heritage map in PDF format is also available for viewing.
   Jones Falls - post 1843
"Jones Falls: post 1843" by William Clegg
National Archives of Canada / C-001219

Interactive Map
Just click on any community or ward to bring up the history of that area.

View the Map

Rideau Lakes Local History Centre


located in Delta is open Thursday afternoons from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. 

Bring your collection of local photos and documents for digitization.  Research local history.

Contact Sue at

Heritage Plaque Program

The Township of Rideau Lakes has a shared-cost Plaque Program

for properties listed on the Municipal Heritage Register.

If you would like a plaque for your heritage home,

please review the Heritage Plaque Policy

and complete the Heritage Plaque Application.

For more information, please contact the Clerk, Mary Ellen Truelove 800-928-2250

Books for Sale

The following books are available for purchase at the Township of Rideau Lakes Municipal Office. (For shipping arrangements, please contact the office at 1-800-928-2250)

History of the Township of North Crosby and Westport by Neil A. Patterson         $10 

Hub of the Rideau: A History of South Crosby Township by Susan Warren   Free (donations  welcome)

South Elmsley in the Making 1783-1983 by James R. Kennedy    Free (donations welcome)

My Own Four Walls: Heritage Buildings in Bastard and South Burgess Township by Diane Haskins is unfortunately out of print. These books do come up for sale from time to time on the Internet.  Try EBay, AbeBooks or Amazon (used $60-$100)

Our Best-Kept Secret: A Video Celebrating the Rich Heritage of the Township of Rideau Lakes (VHS 23min 50 sec)-Free                                      DVD-$10

Township Heritage Links

bbCemeteries Page

bbBlairs Settlement
bbChaffeys Lock
bbDavis Lockstation
bbJones Falls and California
bbNarrows Lockstation
bbPlum Hollow
bbPoonamalie Lockstation
bbRideau Ferry

Local Heritage Organizations
bbChaffeys Lock and Area Heritage Society
bbThe Delta Mill Society
bbElgin and Area Heritage Society
bbMunicipal Heritage Advisory Committee
bbPortland on the Rideau Historical Society

bbMuseums Page
- Chaffeys Lockmaster's House Museum
- Delta Fire Hall Museum
- Old Stone Mill (Delta)
- Rideau District Museum (Westport)

bbLockmaster Sweeney (3.6 Mb MP3 file)
   (by Joe Grant and Tanglefoot)
   (to put the MP3 on your computer,
   right click and choose "Save Target As")

National Historic Sites
bbDelta Old Stone Mill
bbRideau Canal World Heritage Site

Natural History
bbThe View from Youngs Hill
bbThe Pace of Change
bbLife by a Vortex
bbWe take it for Granite
bbThe Fault Line
bbRock Dunder
bbLeggett's Hill
bbPhilipsville Cliff
bbA Billion Years

Tours -
bbCycling Tours

- Driving
bbMorton to Crosby
bbCrosby to Salem
bbSouth Elmsley/South Burgess


Tours - Walking
bbChaffeys Walking Tour
bbDelta Walking Tour
bbElgin Walking Tour
bbNewboro Walking Tour
bbPortland Walking Tour


The Wards
bbBastard Ward
bbNewboro Ward
bbNorth Crosby Ward
bbSouth Burgess Ward
bbSouth Crosby Ward
bbSouth Elmsley Ward

Other Heritage
bbWar of 1812 Bicentennial
bbNatural Setting
bbHistoric Plaques
bbRoads, Trails & Railways
bbNature Conservation Areas


Detailed Map
A detailed heritage map of the township and a description of the communities are available as PDF files for downloading or on-line viewing. To view and/or print these PDF files you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, version 6 or greater. To save these files directly to your computer (without viewing them first) simply click your right mouse button while on the link and choose the "save target as" or "save link as" option. Please note that these are large files.

These maps are copyright 2009, Lyle Henderson and/or C & L Specialty maps, 613-342-1745. They may not be reproduced by any means without permission.

          PDF FileHeritage Map of the Township of Rideau Lakes (2.4Mb PDF file)
          PDF FileTownship Communities Heritage Maps and Descriptions (1.9Mb PDF file)

Tours on your Smartphone
Tours on your Smartphone: These tours plus our cycling tours are available as a free MyTOURS App for any iOS, Android or Windows Phone device. For links to the app see: or do a search for "Rideau" in your app store. Once downloaded to your device the tours can be used offline.

2006 Rideau Heritage Initiative
Students in the Heritage Conservation Programme, School of Canadian Studies, Carleton University have taken part in a program called the Rideau Heritage Initiative, sponsored by the Rideau Heritage Network. They have worked with the Township of Rideau Lakes' Municipal Heritage Committee regarding issues facing heritage resources in the area and considering the merits of designation under the Ontario Heritage Act for several properties and creating a municipal register of historic properties.

Their 2006 report looked at two properties, the David Laidlaw House (Stepping Stone Inn) and St. Paul's Angican Church in Delta. You may view or download the 2006 report:

          PDF File2006 Rideau Heritage Initiative Report for the Township of Rideau Lakes
(9.3 Mb PDF file - very big)

Information for this Heritage section is based on "The Heritage Map of the Township of Rideau Lakes" prepared by the Township of Rideau Lakes Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee (MHAC).

The MHAC is a Standing Committee of the Council of the Township of Rideau Lakes. Made up of volunteers from the community and representatives from Council, it provides advice to Council on the recognition, designation and conservation of the heritage of the Township.

The MHAC has undertaken a number of projects to promote awareness and understanding of the heritage of the community. The Heritage Map, first produced as a millennium project in 1999, continues to be re-printed in updated form. "Our Best Kept Secret", a video providing a visual overview of the history and heritage of the area, is available free of charge at the Township Office. Heritage walking tour brochures, which have been reproduced on this website, are currently available for Portland, Delta and Newboro. Others are in the works for Elgin, the Old Kingston Road and the Old Stone Road.

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Township of Rideau Lakes, 1439 County Road 8, Delta, ON, K0E 1G0
Tel: 613-928-2251 or 1-800-928-2250 - Fax: 613-928-3097

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