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Canada 150 Circumnavigation Event

Family Event to Celebrate Historic Waterways in Ottawa’s Heart

9:00 a.m., Saturday, September 9, 2017 followed by community BBQ
The Old Ottawa East Community Association invites you to explore the remarkable waterways that surround triangular Rideau Island bordered by the Rideau River and Canal and the Ottawa River. The beautiful day-long 20k paddle is readily manageable for recreational canoeists and kayakers although portaging wheels are recommended for the three long portages.

Paddlers are welcome to start the paddle with Old Ottawa East paddlers but they also have the option of joining up with other paddlers from their own communities and, for convenience and community cohesiveness, start and end in their home community (e.g., Sandy Hill paddlers could start and end at Strathcona Park or the Parks Canada canal docks across from the NAC).

After the circumnavigation all paddlers are invited to a celebratory BBQ where we look forward to sharing stories of our day.

To participate please download and fill out the following forms:

We will also require a nominal fee of $5 per person or $10 per family to help cover costs and for the BBQ.
To submit forms and your fee please email

1) Please dress appropriately and come prepared for the day. The morning will be cool, but it will warm up. Don’t forget sunscreen, snacks (to share perhaps), lunch, water, a camera, and your life preserver!

2) There are washroom facilities throughout the route:
a) at both sets of locks
b) Rideau Hall
c) Brantwood Park – near the dock by the baseball diamond there is a porta-potty.

3) BBQ following the paddle will be held at Brantwood Park at 5:30 pm. We are hoping to share stories of our paddle through the city.

4) If you have not registered please do so as soon as possible. We don’t want to spend too much time on the morning of collecting forms and money, as we will all be eager to get in the water.

5) At the Water Taxi Dock please be respectful of the water taxi at the foot of the Chateau Laurier/Parliament locks. They are kindly letting us use their dock but please ensure that you do not encumber the operation of the taxi.

We are looking forward to seeing you all at 9 am at the docks on the canal at Clegg St. for those of you starting at other locations – we look forward to seeing you on the water or at the BBQ!

NOTE: It is highly recommended that you print both the route map and test run notes and bring them with you. The notes from the test run have been updated.


Please see below for more common questions. If you have further questions please contact .

What is the route? Where are the Portages? Will there be Maps?

We will be paddling around Rideau Island, which is the land surrounded by the Rideau River on the east, the Ottawa River on the north, and the Canal on the west. Rideau Island includes the Byward Market, Sandy Hill, Old Ottawa East, Old Ottawa South, and Carleton University.
Some of the portages are long, but manageable especially with wheels. The portages will include: across Carleton University, around Rideau Falls, and from the Ottawa River up to the top of the locks on the Rideau canal.

Detailed maps will be provided to all participants and while groups will start out at the same time and locations, paddlers are welcome to go at their own pace. We will all have an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of our city from the quiet waters that define our communities.

Are Children Welcome?

The trip will be family friendly and families are encouraged to participate. Please keep in mind that the trip will take most paddlers about 6 to 7 hours and there will be a few portages. Those with younger children may want to consider doing a partial trip or even having someone come by to pick up children part way through the day.

What if I don’t have a Canoe?

If you don’t have a canoe and wish to join the flotilla please contact . There may be spaces available in canoes and if there is enough interest we will look into renting canoes.

A big thank you to Councillor David Chernushenko for his contribution to the event.