Insider's Guide to Ottawa

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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  • Address: Rideau Canal
  • Admission: Free

The Ottawa Locks 1 to 8 regulate the flow of the city’s signature Rideau Canal as it flows south from the Ottawa River.

The hand-cranked locks provide a gradient of 24 meters (79 feet) on the canal, which runs for more than 200 km (124 miles) from Ottawa to Kingston, a stunning example of 19th-century ingenuity and engineering.

In winter, the 8 km (5-mile) stretch of canal running through the center of the city freezes over, providing the world’s longest skating rink. In summer, walkers and cyclers promenade along the canal’s banks.

One of the best ways to see the canal locks and Ottawa is aboard a scenic canal or river cruise.

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