The Rideau Canal runs over 200 kilometres from Kingston to Ottawa Ontario. This system of lakes, rivers and man made canals were first opened in 1832 and is designated a National Historic Site, a Canadian Heritage River and a UNESCO world heritage site. There are 45 locks and 23 lock stations enroute with 12 miles of the route being constituted of man made canals.
Most of the locks are still operated by hand and it is the oldest continuously operated canal in North America. It forms the backdrop and main landscape of many of the scenes of early Ottawa history and is famous as a skating facility in the nation's capital during the winter.
The original purpose of the canal was to expedite the transportation of troops during the early years of the colony against both native and American threats.