The Rideau Canal is an engineering masterpiece that permits boats to navigate on the Rideau River against the downward elevation towards Ottawa. It was originally built in order to offer an alternate route and access to the St. Laurence River from Kingston in case of an American naval embargo.

The Rideau Canal is about 125 miles (200 kilometres) long and it's historical locks are still in operation today. The canal connects through many lakes along its path and about 12 miles (19 km) of its waterway is human-built.

The Rideau Canal waterway has been declared a World Heritage Site and is the oldest operating canal in North America.

During winter months in Ottawa, the canal becomes one of the longest managed skating rink in the world.