It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site on our doorstep, an undulating ribbon of water, history and understated allure. Since receiving its UNESCO designation in 2007, it has been drawing visitors from around the world.
But for those who live in the nation’s capital, the Rideau Canal waterway, which opens this weekend for another season, sometimes feels almost too familiar. We often don’t give it the time and attention it so manifestly deserves. It’s the curse of the close at hand.
The 202-kilometre waterway, which extends from Ottawa to Kingston, is much more than just a playground for boaters, fishermen and those fortunate enough to own a cottage along its shores. The Rideau heritage route, as its marketers have dubbed it, contains enough quiet pleasures — some known only to canal cognoscenti — to keep capital residents diverted for many summers.