The first time we heard about Le Boat was also the first time we found out that a houseboat rental in Ontario was even possible. I honestly didn’t know this was a thing before two summers ago.
Our friends raved — I mean the hooting and hollering kind of raving — about their experience with Le Boat Canada, and they’re a well-travelled, discerning bunch. Now that our own Le Boat vacation is in the rearview mirror, I totally get all the hooting and hollering.
As Europe and Canada’s No. 1 boating vacation company, Le Boat’s 50 years of expertise — along with Parks Canada’s stellar lock staff along the way — meant we were in excellent hands from start to finish. With the world’s largest fleet of canal boats, lovely boating holidays are no longer just for those who have the means to jet off to Europe.
Let’s talk about a houseboat rental in Ontario
Renting a houseboat in Ontario presents you with a couple of key locations to explore: the Trent-Severn Waterway or the Rideau Canal. We live within such easy driving distance of so much of the Trent-Severn that we often do half-day trips just to see the locks and putter around.
So, for this summer’s big adventure, we wanted to dig into the Rideau Canal. And with Le Boat Canada‘s HQ smack dab in the middle of it at the Smiths Falls Lock, it was the perfect choice. The bonus: Le Boat doesn’t require guests to have any boating experience — or even a boat license.
This was by far the biggest question I got in my DMs as I shared our trip in real time on Instagram Stories: how much boating experience is needed? The answer, in short, is none.
Zip. Zilch. Zero. Nada.
And to put that claim to the test, we purposely did no more than Le Boat absolutely required ahead of time, which was to watch some safety videos online.
Could I have gotten my boat license for the occasion? Sure. It’s fairly inexpensive and only takes about four hours to complete. But that doesn’t make for the better story now, does it?
Nope. And I’m all about the story.
So let me assure you, dear reader, I went into this as a captain with zero hours on the water behind the wheel and absolutely no understanding of what it takes to read marine charts. Heck — I didn’t even know what a cleat was or how to tie onto one to prevent a boat from floating away from a dock.
To say I was a newb is a gross understatement. I was as green as a shamrock from the Emerald Isle itself.
Not all houseboat rentals in Ontario will let you put your captain’s hat on without a license but Le Boat does and they spend a lot of time with guests at the beginning of every charter to instil confidence and ensure everyone stays safe. It was a good two hours before we were let loose into the canal system, actually, because Le Boat spent so much time teaching us what navigation charts do; helping us learn to steer, use thrusters and change direction; and even going through our first lock with us.
Once they were sure we weren’t going to crash their luxury Horizon 2 houseboat, we were on our way.
(This is probably a good time to mention damage insurance. Le Boat offers it and that kind of peace of mind is an excellent way to kick off your houseboat holiday.)
The grand tour of a houseboat rental in Ontario
Not all houseboat rentals in Ontario are created equal. Le Boat’s fleet stands out in the waterways and other houseboat renters asked us about our gorgeous yacht at every lock and port.
There are five houseboats in Le Boat’s Horizon fleet: Horizon 1 has two cabins and one bathroom, Horizon 2 has two cabins and two bathrooms, Horizon 3 has three cabins and three bathrooms…you get the picture. There are also Horizon 4 and 5 boats available to rent, meaning that whether you’re a couple, a big family or a group of friends, there’s probably a Horizon houseboat that’ll work for you.
We had the Horizon 2 and, truth be told, I was pretty nervous about the sleeping arrangements. Because y’all know Big B is, well, big. We sleep on a king-sized bed at home and the photos online of the primary cabin in the Horizon 2 made it look like a double. Good news — it’s somewhere between a queen and a king and turned out to be spacious enough that we weren’t uncomfortable.
The kids, who are spoiled with large beds at home, took two nights to accept that sleeping in super-singles in a shared cabin was fun. Night one was a tad rough but the remaining nights were a breeze.
All I can say is thank goodness for that second bathroom! I’m not a deep sleeper nor do I get up to use the facilities at night, so if all three of my family members were disrupting my sleep with mid-night lavatory visits, I might have jumped into the canal. And never returned.
I’ll share some photos of the Horizon 2’s interior below, but my video tour of the vessel is the best way to get a feel for everything this houseboat offers:
Houseboat rental in Ontario: The Le Boat Horizon 2 — inside and out
Here she is — all 37 feet of the Horizon 2 houseboat:
The main deck is cozy but comfortable. There’s a microwave, kettle and French press coffeemaker, gas-powered stove and oven and that seating area on the left can be converted into an extra bed for a fifth guest:
The second cabin:
The floating cottage: houseboat rentals in Ontario
It’s always been expensive and challenging to book the best cottages in Ontario during prime summer months and you’re usually forced to do so by the week.
A houseboat is essentially a floating cottage. But if you don’t like where you are or the weather looks better a couple of hours away, you simply float away to a better location. Cabin fever never has a chance to set in.
Le Boat doesn’t require a seven-day commitment, either. (Though, in hindsight, I wish we’d done a full week.)
We loved getting opportunities every day to stretch our legs somewhere new and take in the charm of ports and towns along the Rideau Canal.
The UNESCO-designated Rideau Canal stretches from Lake Ontario in Kingston to the Ottawa River, following the Cataraqui and Rideau Rivers. It winds its way through historic sites, adorable villages, quaint attractions and outstanding recreational areas. There’s no shortage of heritage moments here.
At an incredible 202 kilometres long — of which about 19 km is man-made thanks to the many locks and canal cuts — it’s simply a wonder that the vast majority of the canal is natural, untouched waters. With 47 locks and 24 lock stations through the main route of the Rideau, the canal is begging for exploration.
The best way to do it is, of course, by boat.
Highlights from our Le Boat Canada houseboat rental in Ontario
Laced together by the sparkling St. Lawrence River, Rideau Canal, Bay of Quinte and Lake Ontario, the South Eastern Ontario region has something for everyone’s idea of the perfect getaway.
While it would take weeks to do the canal from tip to tail since the Horizon cruisers max out at 6 knots (about 11 km per hour), Le Boat’s Smiths Falls starting location means you can head northeast towards Ottawa, west to Perth or southwest towards Kingston.
In six days, we managed to make it as far as Jones Falls — doing about a quarter of the Rideau Canal and focusing on its midsection. Of course, you could certainly turn the itinerary I’m about to share into a road trip if a boat trip isn’t in the budget and — as you’ll see — we did add a road trip to the 1000 Islands and Kingston onto the back end of our Le Boat vacation.
South Eastern Ontario by land & sea
It took me a full 10 hours to wade through six days’ worth of footage to edit down the very best of the best snippets and create this video of our trip. So although a 10.5-minute travel video might seem long, it would be criminal to have cut out any more than I already did.
Watching this back makes me want to get a houseboat rental in Ontario all over again — as soon as possible. This will give you a good idea of what you can do, eat and see on a six-day houseboat vacation through the Rideau Canal:
Too long; didn’t watch? Need more deets? Here’s more than just the quick highlights of our South Eastern Ontario summer adventure:
Houseboat rental in Ontario: DAY 1
- Drove and walked around beautiful downtown Smiths Falls before our Le Boat check-in time
- Picked up groceries and other kitchen essentials at Andress’ Your Independent Grocer
- Grabbed a quick and very delicious lunch at C’est Tout Bakery; there’s a lovely little patio beside the building if you have time to stay. The house-made lemonade is super refreshing and the smashed chickpea and sundried tomato sandwich is on some kind of angel-made bread
- Got our Le Boat key, did lots of training and set off for Beveridges Locks (sadly, there were no welcome beverages upon arrival as the name sort of implies)
- Checked out the oTENTik rustic cabins beside Upper Beveridges (each one of these car-accessible cabins sleeps six in actual beds for $100 a night — just BYO bedding!), made grilled chicken Caesar salad on the boat and ate on our upper deck as the sun set
Houseboat rental in Ontario: DAY 2
- Cruised to Westport Harbour & spent time wandering around Westport — which is equal parts adorable and essential for boaters who need groceries, free WiFi, an LCBO…and ice cream!
- Enjoyed a seriously phenomenal affogato from Vanilla Bean’s Cafe &
Creamery (34 Main St)
- Picked up some micro-brewed beer (that earned two Big B thumbs up) from Westport Brewing Company
- Went shopping (loved Pinecone for its cottage chic vibe and the only place I’ve been able to find a specific bug repellant from the East Coast here in Ontario; and Village Green is a must-visit if you need basically anything for your travels — books, shoes, swimwear, outdoorsy stuff, you name it)
- Grabbed more groceries at Kudrinko’s — including some tasty pre-made kebabs
- Ate a beautiful dinner at the gorgeous Scheuermann Vineyard & Winery — a spectacular patio serving the best oysters I’ve had in years, including pre-pandemic years, plus killer pizza and steak that’s super-upscale-fine-dining-steakhouse-good. Oh, and don’t forget the vin rouge!
- Walked out to Foley Mountain Conservation Area‘s Spy Rock scenic lookout — a granite ridge that overlooks the Upper Rideau waterway and probably offers stellar sunset views from atop on clear nights (alas, ours was too cloudy for sunset hues but the view was stunning enough on its own)
- Collapsed in our cabins and enjoyed the Horizon 2’s built-in air-cooling all night thanks to the shore power at Westport Harbour (no wonder it’s so popular and you need reservations to moor here)
Houseboat rental in Ontario: DAY 3
- Early-morning standup paddleboarding sesh on our new tandem board, teaching the kids and Big B how to balance and use their paddles to turn or pivot (lucky me, I’ve had lessons!)
- Homemade breakfast on the upper deck, overlooking the hustle and bustle of a busy morning at this municipal marina
- Cruised to Newboro where we spent hours weaving our way through the department store maze that is Kilborn’s (so-named because of Col. John Kilborn, a prisoner of the United States in the War of 1812, who later escaped and then settled in Newboro) — just when you think you’ve seen it all, you haven’t. There is yet another room or hallway and an entirely new category of goods to behold. Think outrageous shoes (bunny rabbits for heels or duck heads adorning a pair of slides), bedazzled cowboy boots, a massive selection of country store-style decor, clothes for every member of your family, artisan foods, locally roasted coffee — and even furniture. I’m still missing things, I’m sure!
- Got back onboard to cruise to Chaffey’s Lock in Elgin, where we went for a swim and ultimately stayed for the night
- Meandered up to The Opinicon, a resort that’s currently finishing up a 40-something-million-dollar restoration and will re-open in spring 2022 if all goes according to plan. In the meantime, it’s worth ordering takeout from here ahead of time just so you have an excuse to go inside and gawk at the sweeping staircase. The 120-year-old property has been a private residence, rooming house, private fishing club and family resort; when it opens next year, I expect it will best the JW Marriott in Muskoka or the Drake Devonshire in PEC. (This one’s going on my 2022 must-visit list!) And the food is simply excellent — especially considering it’s restaurant food that’s been reinvented for takeout, which doesn’t always translate well. Everything was divine (burrata, short rib tacos, smoked duck pizza and a house salad that kicks every other house salad’s ass thanks to a sprinkling of crispy chickpeas and Peruvian peppers)
- Went to sleep with full, satisfied bellies and the sound of loons in the distance
Houseboat rental in Ontario: DAY 4
- Went for a quick morning paddle to take in the rising sun before making a fresh carafe of French press coffee — something we adjusted to quickly aboard Le Boat and made us feel very European
- Cruised to Jones Falls, though we moored at the public dock well before the locks since we didn’t want to chance the descent. It can take more than 2.5 hours one way to get through the four locks that make up Jones Falls, and since this was our turning-around point, five or more hours in a series of locks didn’t seem like the best way to spend our day
- Wandering up and down Locks 39 to 42 was a good history lesson and you have to stop yourself and remember that this feat of engineering was dreamed up in the 1800s and still essentially operates the same way today. There’s a defensible stone house here, one of only four along the Rideau Canal (we saw another in Newboro), which helped protect what was then Upper and Lower Canada; the original blacksmith house is also accessible at Jones Falls if you cross over the lock (don’t look down if you have a fear of heights — it’s a 60-foot drop!); and then you can cross the waterway to take in what feels like a ghost town…complete with broken eavestroughs swinging in the wind. Rumour has it this lakefront property will undergo a multimillion dollar renovation soon, and it’s impossible not to imagine its potential
- We turned around, went back through Davis Lock en route to Newboro where we moored for the night
- After showering (hot houseboat showers for the win!) and getting into something other than swimwear and rash guards, we locked our Le Boat and walked over to Stirling Lodge for dinner on its lush wrap-around porch patio; welcoming guests from around the world for more than 120 years, the lodge is a well-known fishing enthusiast’s bass and pike holy grail. But forget those fishies and do yourself a favour by ordering the walleye fish and chips. My fish-and-chip-savvy family all agreed that they were the best thing on the menu that we tried — and might just take top prize for the best fish and chips ever — and we all had major dinner envy since only one of us ordered it!
- Chatted with our neighbouring houseboat after returning from dinner and they turned out to live not 10 minutes from us. Small world! This is a good time to mention how remarkably social boating is — from chatting with the lock staff to waving to other boaters (and I mean every.single.boater) to meeting couples and families who are moored beside or in front of you, not an hour goes by that you aren’t smiling or waving. It’s a really feel-good exercise and it’s also one that’s got built-in social distancing, especially on a boat the size of the Horizon 2. Absolutely no one is getting within six feet of you unless they physically step onto your boat. And because of that, and since you’re outside the whole time, this is a largely mask-free vacation so it feels SO NORMAL, y’all. So freaking normal! It was refreshing and we didn’t know how badly we needed this until we were living it
Houseboat rental in Ontario: DAY 5
- The forecast had been calling for rain basically every day, so we just kept ignoring it and stuck with our custom Le Boat Canada itinerary, but today…boy, did it rain. We made it to within an hour of Colonel By Island — where we’d planned to get out and hike — and could see our future as we drove directly into sheets of rain. I tried donning a rain jacket and staying up top to drive where the vantage point for steering is ideal, but it was too cold and I could no longer see my uber-essential Navionics app (more on that later), so I ended up getting some practise driving the Horizon 2 indoors from the main deck
- Col. By Island — named for one of Canada’s greatest engineers who led the Rideau Canal build, completing it in just five years — is a day trip unto itself and we were disappointed that the rain slowed us down and prevented us from really exploring everything here. But we did tie onto a mooring ball, which meant we could float near the island but out in the middle of Big Rideau Lake thanks to its tether that’s attached to a 1,200-pound weight, which was neat
- After eating All The Things (because rain), we decided to forget the downpour and go for a swim anyway. Most of the water where we were moored had depths of 60 to 80 feet so it was safe to dive off of the side steps of the boat and the kids had a blast swimming near the Horizon 2. We all agreed that on a nice day, this is the place you’d want to be
- We could have, in fact, stayed all night and moored at no charge in that very spot. Those mooring balls are first come, first served and act as individual public “docks.” If we had been blessed with great weather, we absolutely would have forfeited our evening plans and kept swimming under the stars and slept out there on the open water. How magical would that be?! Next time…
- Instead, we gave into the weather and made our way towards Poonamalie Lock, where we were supposed to moor before returning to Smiths Falls. As it turned out, both Poonamalie and Beveridges were full so we re-routed slightly to the Rideau Ferry area and, after picking up some takeout at Jimmy’s Snack Shack, parked at the Rideau Ferry Marine — thankful for its shore power and free WiFi, which meant we could stream a movie for the kids — turning this rainy day into family movie night, complete with microwave popcorn. This private, family-owned marina also has fuel pumps on the dock (not that you’ll need them if you’re in a Le Boat)
Houseboat rental in Ontario: DAY 6
The morning fog rolled through, so we had a big, leisurely final breakfast on our upper deck.
We’re packed and ready for the final leg of our six-day Le Boat houseboat holiday, but not ready to say goodbye to our new home-away-from-home. By now, we’re thriving in compact quarters, confidently upload new routes to our marine nav app, can park the 37-foot Horizon 2 in the tightest spots and come prepared with sunscreen, coverups, hats, external chargers — forgetting nothing below — ready to start the day’s voyage.
Everything is familiar now.
We pass through the red and green buoys without thinking about whether they should be on our right or left shoulders. We only use the thrusters sparingly; handling the boat is a breeze.
Then, on our right, the recognizable lineup of Le Boats — one after the next, parked side to side with their bows thrusting out towards the canal. There’s space for our Horizon 2. But barely. A Le Boat deck staff member motions to me to back in, between two other Horizons of equal or greater size, with mere inches to spare on either side.
There are bumpers on all of the boats, just in case, but I’ve got this. I know deep in my gut that I’ve got this.
I steer hard to the left, pushing forward before craning my neck behind me to ensure I’m lined up to back in thirty-effing-seven feet of boat after just six days with her. Six days EVER.
Slow and steady. In she goes.
It wasn’t perfect but I didn’t so much as brush the boats on either side of me. I did it.
And, with that, we unloaded far less than we took on with us — bursting with extraordinary memories and newfound confidence on the water — and hit the road for the rest of our South Eastern Ontario tour (yes, there’s more below!).
Hard to believe it was only noon…
The rest of day 6 played out like this:
- After the fab lunch we had in Smiths Falls six days earlier, we decided to go for round two and got some tasty takeout in town at Harvest Social (awesome smoothies; buttery grilled cheese sammies; a swoon-worthy chicken, apple and cheddar sandwich with cranberry mayo; and some award-winning Hummingbird chocolate to go) before driving straight to the airstrip at 1000 Islands Helicopter Tours for a heli-tour above the 1800+ islands that make up the so-called “1000 Islands”
- My kids had never been in a helicopter before and Big B and I not since our honeymoon in 2007 — so this was a monumental affair. Miss Q was excited from the get-go and The K Man was nervou-cited, as is often the case. Our pilot put them at ease during their safety briefing and I think talking on the headphones to each other was as much a highlight as the tour itself. We learned about the history of the 1000 Islands while soaring 1,500 feet above them, saw what can only be described as island mansions — not cottages — and even crossed into U.S. air space as we circled over Bolt Castle. Formed almost 12,000 years ago during the last Ice Age, it’s such a cool experience to see these islands from above
- A quick drive brought us to the Kingston Penitentiary, where we did the Standard Tour. My son had been looking forward to this for more than a year since we’d planned to go last summer but it was impossible to get tickets; unfortunately, he thought he’d hear more about the criminals and their crimes but the privacy act prevented that from being part of the tour. Big B and I thoroughly enjoyed the 1.5-hour tour, though, and I’ll detail it more in my road trips from Toronto post once I add Kingston
- We drove along King Street in Kingston to make our way to the Frontenac Club, where we’d rest our heads the next two nights, and I didn’t recognize a single home or landmark. I lived in Kingston for four years as a university student and had never come down to this area. I realized pretty quickly into this part of our trip that, in fact, one is rarely a tourist in one’s own backyard — and such was the case when I lived here when I went to Queen’s
- The Frontenac Club is a boutique hotel, restored beyond its former glory as a bank, featuring 20 unique rooms, a glorious back patio, decor with a nod to both art deco and Canadiana roots and the kind of service every hotel should offer. The original vaults are still part of the property and have been beautifully integrated into the foyer and a private dining space in the in-house restaurant called, appropriately, The Bank
- We had impromptu cocktails on the back patio once we saw the bar menu (and they did not disappoint — try the on-tap Empress G&T or the classic old fashioned to kickstart your night)
- Fully imbibed, we raced off to dinner at Aqua Terra — which you’d never guess is part of the Delta hotel; its waterfront patio feels completely separate to the hotel and has a more elevated ambiance than you might expect from a big chain hotel restaurant. The cocktails were mostly a hit with one miss and nearly every plate that came out was plated with care. The watermelon and feta dish — which came looking like sesame-crusted sliced ahi tuna — may go down in history as one of the most inventive appetizers I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. My lobster roll was buttery perfection and I stopped myself from greedily ordering a second one. Big B’s ribeye was nothing to get excited about and I’d skip it if you’re a diehard ribeye aficionado; stick to the seafood here and you’re #winning. Oh, and get the S’Mores dessert — it comes with its own little flame to roast marshmallows at your table!
- There are no words to describe how well we slept in our beds at the Frontenac Club! No matter how comfortable we became in our houseboat, there’s nothing like a great hotel bed with pillows and thread counts fit for royalty. The Mackenzie King room is perfect for a family of four with its king bed, double pullout sofa and an added rollaway brought in if your kids are too big or old to sleep together in a sofabed
- Every guest at the Frontenac Club gets a three-course breakfast each morning of their stay, and since it was looking dreary, we ordered it to our room. So my first hotel breakfast in bed in a long, long time started day seven quite nicely, thank you very much. The menu changes each morning and my smoked salmon Benny with piping hot coffee was a welcome change from boat breakfasts because I didn’t have to make it or clean it up!
- It turned out to be a pretty rainy day from start to finish, so the activities we had planned worked out really well, starting with the Kingston Trolley Tour. Playing tourist in Kingston proved that I wasted much of my four years there by not appreciating what was all around me — this historic city has certainly become more of a foodie hub and there’s much better shopping, but riding around on that trolley helped me see more of the heritage and architecture that had totally passed me by in my early 20s. It was only about an hour long, so it was good for kids who only have patience for highlights
- We went immediately to our lunch cruise with Kingston 1000 Island Cruises, and once I got past the idea that we were going to be eating indoors with others (there are partitions but only two tiny windows above our table could open and we had only eaten on patios for 17 months before this), I relaxed a bit and decided to go with the flow. And although the hubs and I gobbled up the yummy lunch — three courses with each one a winner — enjoyed the three-hour ride and marvelled at all of the cottages (cough, cough…multimillion dollar estates), my kids weren’t impressed. It was too long for them and there was nothing on the menu that appealed to them other than the dessert; they also didn’t want to sit behind glass, which is the only option when you opt in for lunch. It probably would have helped if we could hear the host speaking, but the partitions and our open windows, small as they were, blocked most of the sound. Bottom line: book a table with a speaker inside your partition and if you’ve got younger kids in tow, my advice is to choose a shorter 1000 Islands cruise and do lunch elsewhere
- We had a bit of time to grab a java and shop in downtown Kingston before dinner and the mocha from the Kingston Coffee House was the jolt I needed for some power shopping. The kids found two Asian shops (they’re obsessed with Japanese culture) that made their entire week — BV Buy for anime-inspired drinks and Midori, which is full of All Things Cute and Kitschy
- Dinner at the Frontenac Club presented more opportunities to “test” cocktails and I assure you that the Alegria, Mule Franc, Golden Negroni, Scottish Fashion and Club Spritz are all worthy of your time. Dinner was everything I hoped it would be based on our breakfast and hotel experience by that point; the scallops on a charred carrot and onion salad were seared the way scallops should be, so I knew the coriander-crusted tuna loin I ordered for my main would come out properly seared as well — and it was, surrounded by a roasted garlic yogurt about which I will dream; Big B and the kids all had tacos, and here’s where the level of service at the Frontenac Club really shone…the server overheard our kids asking what “braised tinga” chicken was and quietly slipped into the kitchen to get a little ramekin of it for them to try. It’s little details like those that elevate one’s experience. They loved the chicken and sensing their hesitation about what else might find its way into the tacos, our server asked if they’d like to have the dish deconstructed. So, that was a big hit and both kids ultimately said that tinga chicken was their new favourite
- We capped off our last night in K-town with a Haunted Walks of Kingston tour. It was within easy walking distance of the hotel and the tour itself was a walking tour during what turned out to be a mild and clear night. The tour guide was a history student at Queen’s and he was cloaked in an old-timey black robe and carried a lantern, which was more practical than prop once night fell. We wandered through the Sydenham area of Kingston listening to eerie stories that frequently sent chills up my spine; The K Man, who is very into this sort of thing, was spooked but eager for story after story. It was a good balance of lore with gory details and appropriate for most kids 12+
Kingston really deserves its own feature itinerary in my road trips from Toronto post, because you do need a multi-day getaway to take it all in, so keep an eye out for an update.
- Another day, another three-course breakfast at the Frontenac Club. It was a cool but bright morning, so we decided to put on our new ROOTS Rideau Canal hoodies that we bought during our Le Boat checkout and enjoy a patio breakfast. Lucky for us, the chef had freshly made croissants on the menu. Miss Q, who has claimed for years that she doesn’t like croissants after being served a grocery store variety at some point, tried to protest. I assured her that this croissant experience would be one she’d love; and I was right (obviously). These were everything croissants should be and we asked if we could buy four more to take with us that day, but the chef only makes enough for guests to have with breakfast so we savoured every bite. I had a pear and brie omelette alongside my croissant and fresh berries, and we sat on that patio for a long time, nursing our coffee, feeling grateful for being introduced to this exquisite hotel
From here, we brought our South Eastern Ontario trip to a close with a promise to return.
Maps & apps you’ll need when renting a houseboat in Ontario
I can’t in good conscience close out this post without mentioning some of the critical tools we that made our houseboat rental in Ontario a success.
Thank the Lord for this app! Navionics comes with a two-week free subscription, so don’t download and activate it until the day before your houseboat holiday, but definitely give yourself a couple of hours with it to get used to mapping out routes, changing the POV, understanding which markers to follow and so on.
This was my very best friend during our Le Boat Canada vacation and I can say with absolute certainty that we would have gotten off-course without it.
Le Boat will give you a hard-copy navigational marnine chart and review how to read it, but it’s not intuitive for someone like me who is directionally challenged. Just do yourself a favour and GET THIS APP.
Rideau Canal map
For quick reference, you can use this map to get an overview of the Rideau Canal waterways. It’ll help you get your bearings, show you where all of the locks and towns are along with some other features like Foley Mountain and Murphys Point Provincial Park.
You CANNOT use this map to navigate the canal by boat, though. If you’re not renting a houseboat from Le Boat, and you don’t get one of the big waterproof maps provided with your rental, this link will provide you with information about where to purchase these ahead of your trip.
South Eastern Ontario map
And, finally, South Eastern Ontario is a huge section of the province — distinct from southern Ontario and eastern Ontario. You’ll see on the South Eastern Ontario map here that it encompasses Trenton in the East to beyond Cornwall to the west (running right into the Quebec border), goes north toward but not including the Ottawa region and south all along Lake Ontario.
There’s a lot to discover here — and that means we still have many more adventures ahead of us.
DISCLAIMER: RTO-9 compensated me for this post, though I also incurred personal expenses to facilitate this content. All experiences, suggestions and opinions are my own.