Ottawa Magazine

Rideau Canal

- — Matt Harrison

It’s difficult to imagine what Ottawa would look like without the Rideau Canal. In its absence, this area of the province would likely be a defunct logging town cradling the confluence of various rivers — perhaps sought only by hikers and backpacker­s longing to catch a glimpse of the mostly untarnishe­d beauty of the surroundin­g landscape. Ironically, that’s just what’s happened in spite of the 202-kilometre canal being built against long odds. Today, it acts as a magnet for skaters, boaters, kayakers, canoeists, and campers. But even for longtime residents, there are always new ways to explore the waterway.

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