Attraction Spotlight: Rideau Canal Visitors Centre

Posted by Maha Shahbazian on Monday, February 9th, 2015 at 9:41am.

Rideau Canal - Image Credit:

The Rideau Canal Visitors Centre is the interpretation centre for the Rideau Canal system in Ontario. The historic Rideau Canal system is a National Historic site in Canada and a UNESCO World Heritage destination. The Visitor Centre offers four floors of exhibits in a 19th century stone mill and you’ll be presented with a 15 minute video during your visit. Here is a look at what to expect upon visiting the Rideau Canal Visitor Information Centre.

About the Visitors Centre

The Visitors Centre is located at 34 Beckwith St. South in Smith Falls. It’s at the foot of Beckwith Street. You can visit daily from 9am-4:30pm from May 16 through September 1st. The Visitors Centre is a self-guided experience. They don’t charge admission but ask for donations.

Tour groups are welcome to the Centre and must give notice in advance. School groups will be charged $1.90 per person, adults and senior groups will be charged $3.40 per person and groups are welcome to tour the Smith Falls Combined locks for an additional charge.

There are washrooms, bilingual displays, children’s area and its wheelchair accessible. The auditorium is available for rentals and there is bus parking on site.

What to expect

When you visit the Rideau Canal Visitors Centre, you’ll get to see four floors of exhibits, a 15 minute video presentation and you can take part in free activities throughout the year. The exhibits bring the history of the canal to life for visitors to experience.

You’ll learn about its construction from 1826-1831, its role in history and the distinct lifestyle associated with the Rideau Waterway. Near the Centre is the modern hydraulic system at the Smith Falls Combined Locks and the 1829 original 3-lift manual system built by Lt. Col. By.

Visitors can check out free activities like the Parks Canada Xplorers program for kids, Club Parka for ages 3-6, Bats of Ontario in the summer and Doors Open Smith’s Falls in June.

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