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Heritage of the Township
A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Steamboats at Davis Lock
Steamboats at Davis Lock, 1998
photo by: Ken Watson
The history of the Township of Rideau Lakes has been profoundly influenced by the presence of the Rideau Canal. Completed in 1832, the canal was one of the great engineering feats of the 19th century. Parks Canada now operates this jewelled necklace of lakes and locks. The lakes, in part formed and enlarged by the construction of the canal, dominate the landscape, the commerce and now the tourism of the Rideau Corridor.

In 1925 the Rideau Canal was designated a National Historic Site of Canada. In 2000 further recognition was given to the Rideau with its designation as a "Canadian Heritage River". In 2007, it achieved international heritage recognition when it was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the only such site in all of Ontario. See the World Heritage Site Details page for more information about the Rideau's World Heritage designation.

Navigation on the canal first stimulated settlement and development and continues to contribute significantly to our culture and economy. The Township of South Crosby has been described as the "Hub of the Rideau", a label which might now apply to the whole of the Township of Rideau Lakes, as geographically, it forms the heart of the Rideau Corridor. Ours is a realm of scenic diversity conveniently situated between Ottawa, our "Nation's Capital" and Kingston, the "Limestone City".

Upper Rideau Lake is the highest gem in the Rideau Canal necklace. From Newboro one descends southward through the Cataraqui River System to Lake Ontario or northward through the Rideau River System to join the Ottawa River. Either way, you can sail to the rest of the world. Or the rest of the world can sail to us!

The historic and cultural charms of the Rideau Canal and its surroundings form a rich cultural landscape that complements the great variety of its natural resources. The natural and cultural heritage of the Rideau country can be experienced by water, exploring parts or all of the system by boat. Or you can relish the Rideau experience entirely by road, all of the Rideau Canal lockstations being readily accessible, some near busy by-ways, some in rustic seclusion.

Jones Falls Dam
The Great Stone Arch Dam at Jones Falls - Yesterday and Today
painting by: Thomas Burrows, 1841 (Archives of Ontario).    Photo by: Ken Watson

See the World Heritage Site Details page for more information
about the Rideau's World Heritage designation.

Rideau Canal Photo Tour Videos

Photo Tour VideosThe Township of Rideau Lakes is host to 6 Rideau lockstations and 65 km of the Rideau Canal World Heritage Site. You can view a series of short photo tour videos of each lockstation and the waters of the Rideau Canal by going to the Rideau Photo Tour Page.

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