The wards and communities of the Township of Rideau Lakes have a rich heritage. This area was used for millenia 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" by William Clegg
National Archives of Canada / C-001219
Just click on any community or ward to bring up the history of that area.
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
Hub of the Rideau: A History of South Crosby Township by Susan Warren
South Elmsley in the Making 1783-1983 by James R. Kennedy
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 and the Township tries to keep one copy available for sale. (used $60-$100)
Our Best-Kept Secret: A Video Celebrating the Rich Heritage of the Township of Rideau Lakes (VHS 23min 50 sec)-Free
Music Lockmaster 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")
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.
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:
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 millenium 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.