Our Nation’s Capital, Ottawa, is known for its picturesque setting at the confluence of the Ottawa, Gatineau, and Rideau rivers.

These rivers provide fabulous opportunities for recreational activities such as boating, kayaking, and canoeing. The Rideau Canal, which runs through Ottawa, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and connects the Ottawa River to Lake Ontario, serving as a historic waterway with locks and scenic views.

With all this water, Ottawa offers a wonderful array of activities for all ages and levels of fitness and daring!

  1. Rideau Canal: The Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a fantastic place for water-related activities. In the summer, you can rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard to explore the canal’s calm waters. You can also take a leisurely boat tour to learn about the canal’s history and enjoy the scenic views.
  2. Mooney’s Bay Beach: Located along the Rideau River, Mooney’s Bay Beach is a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing. The sandy beach is equipped with facilities like lifeguards, picnic areas, and volleyball courts. It’s an ideal place to relax, have a picnic, or play beach games with friends and family.
  3. Whitewater Rafting: If you’re an adventure enthusiast, you can head to the Ottawa River, which offers thrilling whitewater rafting experiences. Several outfitters in the area provide guided rafting trips suitable for different skill levels, allowing you to navigate the river’s rapids and enjoy an adrenaline-filled day.  Check out our Adventure Page for offerings by some of our local partners.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Whitewater Rafting on the Ottawa River
  4. Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP): Try stand-up paddleboarding on the Ottawa River or other nearby bodies of water. SUP offers a great workout while allowing you to enjoy the water and beautiful scenery. You can rent SUP boards from various rental outlets in Ottawa.
  5. Kayaking or Canoeing: Ottawa boasts numerous rivers and lakes perfect for kayaking and canoeing. You can explore the Ottawa River, Gatineau River, or nearby lakes like Dow’s Lake or Lac Leamy. Renting a kayak or canoe allows you to paddle at your own pace and discover hidden gems along the waterways.

    Canoeing Rideau Canal

  6. Dow’s Lake: Located in the heart of Ottawa, Dow’s Lake offers various water activities. You can rent paddleboats or canoes to explore the lake or take a romantic ride on a Venetian gondola. The area around Dow’s Lake also features lovely walking and biking paths.
  7. Boat Cruises: Ottawa has several boat cruise options, providing scenic tours along the Ottawa River and Rideau Canal. You can enjoy lunch or dinner cruises while taking in the sights of Parliament Hill, the Canadian Museum of History, and other iconic landmarks.  See our Summer Page for more on which companies offer boat cruises.
  8. Calypso Water Park: Calypso Waterpark is the summertime place to be for children and thrill seekers alike! As the biggest theme waterpark in Canada, Calypso Waterpark features a wide variety of attractions for people of all ages: 35 slides, 100 water games and 2 theme rivers! It is also home to the largest wavepool in the country, exciting slides for everyone, play areas for young families, 2 VIP Zones and a great selection of restaurants. With so much to do and see, a day at Calypso Waterpark is simply unforgettable

Remember to check local regulations and safety guidelines, as well as weather conditions, before participating in any water activities.