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Rideau Boat Rentals and Tours

The following lists many of the places that rent boats or provide cruises on the Rideau Canal Waterway. These include houseboats, cruisers, runabouts, pontoon boats, PWCs, canoes and kayaks. Look under the appropriate heading for listings of rental places. A listing of boat rental tips has been included at the bottom of this page. It should also be noted that in addition to these listings, many marinas offer boat rentals, particularly for small to mid-size fishing boats. Call some of the marinas in the area that you are interested in to see if they offer boat rentals. See the Marinas Page for names and phone numbers. In addition, many of the inns and lodges listed on the Accommodations Page offer boat rentals for their guests.

To get a sense of where to go on the Rideau, I would encourage you to download my free Paddling Guide to the Rideau Canal. While designed for the paddler, it is a useful document for any boater, including those renting a boat.
Boats and Cruisers
all numbers are in the 613 area code
click on the link of any listing title to go to that listing's website

Bayview Yacht Harbour at Portland offers pontoon boats for rent. Located on Big Rideau Lake. You can write to them at Bayview Yacht Harbour Ltd, P.O. Box 158, Portland, Ontario K0G 1V0, phone: 613-272-2787, or email:

Big Rideau Lake Boat Rentals - luxury houseboat rentals (see Houseboats below)

Brown's Marina at Chaffey's Lock offers a fully equipped Sportfisher 20 foot pontoon boat and a 23 foot cuddy cruiser for rent. They also have a 14 foot fishing boat with motor, canoes and outboard motors for rent. Located on Indian Lake. You can write to them at: Brown's Marina Ltd., Chaffey's Locks, Ontario, K0G 1C0, call them at: 613-359-5466 or email:

Freedom Boat Club Ottawa - a club that provides access to their fleet of boats for members. Located at Hurst Marina south of Ottawa - 2726 River Rd, Manotick. For more information contact Sterling Brown, Tel: 613-883-2696. Email:

Le Boat - Diesel powered cruiser style houseboats (their top end Horizon model, including the large Horizon 5), in 5 sizes with 2 to 5 cabins, 1 to 5 bathrooms and a capacity of 4 to 12 people. Two locations, 1 Jasper Avenue, Smiths Falls, ON K7A 4B5 and Seeley's Bay Public Dock, 130 Bay St.,Seeley's Bay, ON K0H 2N0 Canada. Tel: 1-800-734-5491. email:

Len's Cove Marina offers several rental boats from a 14 foot fishing boat to a 20 foot pontoon boat. Located on Big Rideau Lake. Write to them at: Len's Cove Marina, P.O. Box 220, 1 Water Street, Portland, Ontario K0G 1V0, Tel: 613-272-2581, Fax: 613-272-3445 or email:

Ottawa Private Yacht Rentals offers both captained and bare boat charter rentals on an express cruiser on the Ottawa River, the Rideau Canal and the 1000 Islands. For qualified boaters the Cruiser may be rented without a Captain. For non qualified boaters, practice courses are offered in Ottawa. For more information contact Captain Moe for a brochure - or 613.699.4134.

Perth Boat Rentals - offers several several 14-15ft aluminum boats available for fishing, sightseeing or just getting out on the water. For more info see their website or call 613-390-2628 or email

Rideau Acres Campground - offers several types boats for rent including 16 ft canoes, 1 man kayaks, 14 ft. rowboats, 14 ft aluminum boats with 7.5 hp 4 stroke motors and a 21 ft pontoon boat. Located on Colonel By Lake. Tel: 613-546-2711 or email

Skycroft Campground offers several rental pontoon boats (16 to 24 feet) and 14 foot v-hulled fishing boats. Also canoe and paddleboat rentals. Located on Opinicon Lake. Write to them at: Skycroft, 2827 Opinicon Road, RR 1, Elgin, ON K0G 1E0. Tel: 613-359-5491 or Toll free: 1-877-359-5491. email:

Stirling Lodge offers several rental fishing boats in sizes from 14 to 20 feet. Located on Newboro Lake. Write to them at: Stirling Lodge, P.O. Box 60, Newboro, Ontario K0G 1P0, Tel: 613-272-2435 or email:

Canoes, Kayaks and Paddle Boards

For those who like to quietly paddle along, a canoe or kayak rental might be the ticket for you. Only novice experience is required for the Rideau and with camping available at most lockstations and a plethora of B&Bs and other accommodations along the route, the Rideau is a wonderful place to spend a couple of days or a couple of weeks.

Ahoy Rentals - Canoe and kayak rentals. Waterfront location in Kingston.  We offer one way rentals for canoes and kayaks with pick and drop off service to most lockstations along the Rideau Canal.  Ahoy Rentals, 23 Ontario St., Kingston, ON Canada K7L 2Y2. Tel: 613-549-4277. Email:

Dows Lake Pavillion - offers peddle boat, canoe and kayak rentals. Located on Dows Lake in Ottawa. Contact: Dows Lake Pavillion, 1001 Queen Elizabeth Drive, Ottawa, On. K1S 5K7. Phone: 613-232-1001,   Fax: 613-232-1245. Email:

Frontenac Outfitters - offering canoe and kayak rentals, they are located at the entrance to Frontenac Provincial Park and offer access to the Rideau Waterway through Devil Lake, Bedford Mills area. Contact: Frontenac Outfitters, 6674 Bedford Road, Sydenham, Ontario K0H 2T0. Phone: 613-376-6220. Email:

Ottawa Valley Canoe & Kayak - offers canoe and kayak rentals. Contact: Ottawa Valley Canoe & Kayak, 245 Hwy 17 West, Ottawa, ON Canada K0A 2H0 Phone 613-832-2569 or 888-633-9307. Email:

Pattinson's Paddles - offers paddle board (SUP) and kayak rentals. Located in Newboro. Tel. 613-770-6826 or email

Perth Major Outfitters - offers single or tandem kayaks, canoes, stand up paddle boards and one row boat. Paddling craft can be put on your vehicle for use offsite. Delivery of craft is also available. Located on the Tay Canal in Perth. Contact: Perth Major Outfitters, 21 Craig Street, Perth, Ontario. Tel: 613-772-1122; Toll Free 1-855-233-2121 or email

Rideau Tours - offers canoe, kayak and paddleboard rentals. Located in Chaffeys Locks. Tel. 1-613-583-4783 or email

Trailhead Kingston - offers canoe and kayak rentals. Contact: Trailhead, 272 Princess St., Kingston ON, K7K 1B5. Phone 613-546-4757 Fax 613-546-5243. Email:


If you don't have a boat and want to try some mobile accommodations, a houseboat vacation might just be for you.

Big Rideau Lake Boat Rentals - Luxury houseboats, canoe and kayak rentals on Big Rideau Lake. The Luxury houseboats are 32 to 42 feet long, air conditioned, spacious and sleep 4 to 6 adults in comfort. These boats come with reliable, efficient and eco-friendly Yahama 115 hp 4-stroke engines. The houseboats are air conditioned and come with a GPS unit with the Navionics charts. Each houseboat rental includes 2 single kayaks (no extra charge). Some dog friendly houseboats are available. You can contact them at: Big Rideau Lake Boat Rentals, 15 Water Street, Portland, ON Canada K0G 1V0. Call: 613 812-7653 or 613-272-2580. email:

Le Boat - Diesel powered cruiser style houseboats (their top end Horizon model), in 4 sizes with 2 to 4 cabins, 1 to 4 bathrooms and a capacity of 4 to 10 people. Le Boat, 1 Jasper Avenue, Smiths Falls, ON K7A 4B5. Tel: 1-800-734-5491. email:

Cruises and Tours
(all numbers unless otherwise noted are in the 613 area code)

If you don't feel like driving (piloting) and you want someone else to do all the "work", then perhaps a cruise is for you.

Ontario Waterway Cruises Inc. - Operate 5 day cruises on the Rideau Canal Waterway and the Trent Severn Waterway. The ship, the "Kawartha Voyageur" can accommodate 45 passengers. It offers double cabins with 2 lower berths, private facilities, full dining room, spacious lounge with bar, top sundeck with shaded section. It cruises during daylight hours and docks at night. For schedule and fares contact: Ontario Waterway Cruises Inc., Box 6, Orillia, Ontario, L3V 6H9, Canada. Tel: (800) 561-5767.

Rideau Canal Cruises - Electric sighseeing boats in downtown Ottawa - cruises between the Ottawa Locks and Dows Lake. Departs from the National Arts Centre side of the canal below Plaza Bridge with stops at Lansdowne Park and Dows Lake. These solar power boats accommodate up to 98 people. For schedule and fares see the website or call 613-317-3919.

Rideau Roundtable - Voyageur Canoe Tours offering group tours which includes 2 voyageur canoes and crew/interpreters. Tours usually take place at Smiths Fall or Merrickville, but can be arranged anywhere. Contact: Stew Hamill, Rideau Experience Coordinator, Rideau Roundtable, 613-327-9018,

Boat Rental Tips

Safety is a prime consideration when renting any boat. This particularly applies to houseboats which can be a bit unwieldy to handle. If you follow the basic tips on this page, you will have a more relaxed, enjoyable cruise.

  • Is the boat well maintained - see if you can get a reference or two from people who have rented from this firm regarding the quality of the boat. Call a marina located close by and ask about the reputation of the houseboat firm.

  • Make sure the boat comes fully equipped with the most up to date charts of the waterway

  • Check to make sure it has all the required safety equipment. This is set in law by the Canadian Coast Guard. Boats from 8 m to 12 m (26 to 39 feet) in length require life jackets or PFDs (one each of an appropriate size for each person on board); a buoyant heaving line of at least 15 m in length; a life buoy with 15 m of buoyant line; a reboarding device (ie. ladder); an anchor with at least 30m of cable, rope, or chain; one bailer or one manual pump; a class 10BC fire extinguisher (if boat is powered or has cooking or refrigerating appliances); distress signals (watertight flashlight and 12 Canadian-approved flares of which six must be either Type A, B, or C and at least two of Type D; and navigation equipment consisting of a signalling device and navigation lights that comply with Collision Regulations. If the boat is from 12 m to 20 m (39 to 65.5 feet) in length, then it requires all the above together with the following: a bilge pump instead of manual bailer, fire extinguishers (class 10BC, one at each entrance space where a cooking or refrigeration appliance is located, one at the entrance to the cabin and one at the entrance of the engine compartment); and two fire buckets.

  • Check to see what communication equipment it has on board. If you have a cell phone, make sure to bring it along. Collect a list of local contact numbers (marinas, locks) to carry with you.

  • Check to make sure the boat has a good First Aid Kit, if in doubt, bring your own. You may find yourself several hours away from medical help, there should be enough first aid materials on board to be able to patch up an accident victim until proper medical aid can be rendered (another good reason to carry a cell phone with you).

  • Boating knowledge - what is your level of experience? If you are a complete novice, you might want to consider a safe boating course from your local branch of the sail and power squadrons. At the very least, make sure the boat renter will take you out on the water for a familiarization tour of your rental boat and fully explain all the rules of the road, including how to read charts and navigate the waterway.

  • Boating Operator's Card - you do not need to have a Pleasure Craft Opertating card when renting a boat unless the rental firm requires it. The boat rental firm will take you though a rental-boat safety checklist - the completion of which satisfies the safe boating rules.

Much of the information that you will need can be found on this website. Check out the Boater's Page, the maps, maps, maps page, the Boating Rules Page, the Trip Planning Page, the Marinas Page, and the Rideau Canal Lockstation Numbers Page. for helpful information related to the tips above.

The Rideau is quite easy to boat and offers lots of services en-route. It is well suited to novice and expert alike.

Comments: send me email: Ken Watson

©1996- Ken W. Watson