Thousand Islands and Rideau Canal

Thousand Islands and Rideau Canal

Explore the engineered and natural waterways of the Thousand Islands and UNESCO-designated Rideau Canal through some of Ontario’s most charming communities, including the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville in Southeastern Ontario.

The Rideau Canal and related tributaries  meander over 200 kilometres between Ottawa and Lake Ontario, connecting to the famous Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence River.

Explore the shorelines, waterways and communities in this picturesque area. Cycle along coastal areas, embark on a scenic boat ride and go scuba diving to view underwater wonders. Nearby towns offer unique shops, dining options, farmers' markets and local crafts.

Map of 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal

Where is the Thousand Islands and Rideau Canal?

Named for its two most defining geographical features, this area lies between Kingston and Cornwall in the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, bordered by the St. Lawrence River and Thousand Islands to the south and the Rideau waterway in the north.

Highway 401 provides the most direct route from Toronto, approximately a three hour drive. Ottawa is just an hour north up Highway 416.

View Thousand Islands and Rideau Canal on Google Maps

Things to do in Thousand Islands and Rideau Canal

Explore the waterways

Tour the Rideau Canal with Ontario Waterway Cruises, or experience a self-guided luxury houseboat adventure with LeBoat.

Visit the Jewel of the Rideau

Called Canada’s Most Beautiful Village by Communities in Bloom, Merrickville is a vibrant Victorian village with lots of charm.

Scuba dive to shipwrecks

View shipwrecks of the St. Lawrence River at popular freshwater scuba diving sites.

Visit a favourite local fair

The Delta Fair began as an agricultural event in 1830 and is now a major annual attraction held at the end of July. Enjoy fun activities like shows, food and a midway.

Golf with a view

Play on championship-calibre golf courses that offer easy club rentals and power carts for a great golfing experience.

Take a garden tour

The 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Garden Trail features a variety of beautiful public and private gardens for guided and self-guided tours.

Points of interest

Discover more highlights this destination has to offer.

Last updated: April 11, 2024

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