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Canadian Heritage River Designation

Rideau Canal was designated a Canadian Heritage River on August 14, 2000.

The Rideau Waterway was considered for CHRS recognition from Ottawa to Kingston for its outstanding historical and recreational values. Originally built for military use, it quickly became the "highway" for early settlement and commercial traffic. It has an absolutely unique assemblage of working historical buildings and engineering structures that is unequalled anywhere in Canada.

The Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada, the core of the Rideau Waterway, was built between 1826 and 1832. It is the oldest continuously operating canal in North America and is managed by Parks Canada. The Rideau Waterway is unique to the Canadian Heritage Rivers System in that it is the first waterway based on a Heritage Canal to be recognized as a Canadian Heritage River.

The Rideau Waterway is a cultural living landscape of villages, small towns, farms, cottages, cities, and private residences, all of which contribute to its wide appeal and unmistakable cachet. A healthy natural environment is the backdrop for recreation and heritage appreciation. The Rideau system is one of Canada's finest recreational waterways with extraordinary boating, cottaging, camping, fishing and hiking opportunities within an hour's drive of over one million people.

For more information about the designation, see the official CHRS website:

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