Rideau Canal & Waterway (1832)
United Nations (UNESCO) World Heritage Site ~ National Historical Site
The Rideau Waterway connects the rivers and lakes from Ottawa to Kingston with dredged canals and locks. The Rideau River runs through the heart of Manotick, Kars, and Burritt's Rapids -- a recreational jewel used for fishing, boating, swimming, picnics, and festivals. In winter when it becomes frozen, it is used for skating, walking, skiing, snowmobiling and ice-fishing.
Canal Regulations Speed & Wakes
If you plan to operate a boat with a motor, you are required to carry a Boat Operator's Card in most cases. Paddling or rowing does not require the card, but you should still know the 'rules of the road' and must carry mandatory safety equipment.
Along the Rideau Waterway, you will see signs that clearly identify no wake zones and speed limits. Speed limits are posted in kilometres per hour (8 km/hr is about 5 mph) on round white signs ringed in red. "No Wake" signs display a blue wavy line inside a red ring. Even where there are no marked zones, boat operators are responsible for safe operation of their boat and its wake, especially near other boats, moored boats, in narrow channels and along sensitive shorelines.
When boating in the canal, watch for buoyed channels, low docks, swimmers, paddlers, anchored boats, and ships up to 27 metres that can pass through a lock. Ships over 20 m have the right of way over all boats under 20 m, even if paddled or sailed.
In Ontario (and most provinces) there is a 10 kph (6 mph) speed limit within 30 metres (100 feet) from shore. The maximum fine $500 or six months imprisonment. (Canada Shipping Act: Boating Restriction Regulations)
Parks Canada Wardens and the Ottawa Police Marine Unit patrol the waterway to ensure safety for boaters and residents and protect shoreline and ecology. They have the authority to lay charges under the Historic Canals Regulations. Most charges are for "failure to comply with a posted no wake speed sign". Email comments to Mary Ann Stienberg, Prevention Officer, Parks Canada (613-283-7199 x243).
NO WAKE zones near Manotick:
- From Long Island Lockstation to approximately 250 yards upstream of the locks
- Overlapping with existing speed zone both sides of the Manotick Bridge to approximately 100 yards upstream of Mahogany Harbour
- Manotick Marina downstream to Collins Point
- Downstream end of Sanders Island (in front of Long Island Marina) to Kars Bridge
Zones under review include Black Rapids to Mooney's Bay, and upstream of Ecolands Park to Chapman Mills Conservation Area.
Improved signs in existing zones:
- Manotick Marina to first bend in channel south of Kelly's Landing
- Kars Bridge to north side of Hurst Marina