Sample Tours: Central Canada

Canadian Canoe Route

Combine the adventure and adrenalin of a 5-7 day Canadian Canoe Route tour with a touch of heritage along the Rideau Canal Route and you have the perfect recipe for a fun-filled RV vacation in Southern Ontario.

Duration: 12-15 Days
Total Distance: Approx. 1200 km/750 mi
Trip Type: Soft Adventure for all the Family

Tour Map Small   view larger map
Lift Lock - Peterborough
Toronto to Peterborough - 151 km/95 mi
Pick up your RV at our depot in Toronto and get your Canadian Canoe Route passport at the nearest Hudson's Bay Company before driving north-east to Peterborough.full details

The first five days of your tour is "all things" canoe and Peterborough is home to the Canadian Canoe Museum which explores the canoe's enduring significance to the peoples of Canada. Visit the Canadian Canoe Museum, take a tour and learn to make your own canoe paddle. The Museum's collection includes more than 600 canoes, kayaks and paddled watercraft, from the great dugouts of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest to bark canoes, skin-on-frame kayaks and all-wood and canvas covered craft. The museum is open daily until 5.00pm. You may need to return for another day to see everything here on offer.

Overnight at Beavermead Campground

Kayaking on the Makawaska River
Peterborough to Barry's Bay (Madawaska Kanu Centre) - 166 km/104 mi
Travel further north to Madawaska Kanu Centre, on the east edge of Algonquin Park, where you can learn how to use your own ‘paddle’ and paddle a canoe to prepare for the following day's canoeing trip down the River or sign up for Zero-to-Hero in a kayak.  Enjoy a freshly roasted cup of Madawaska Coffee at the Riverside Cafe which also serves fresh pastries, sandwiches and paninis.full details
Barry's Bay is located south east of Algonquin Park, approx. 55 km from the east entrance. Overnight at Chippawa Cottage Resort on the eastern shore of Kimaniskeg Lake or at Sunny Hill Resort on the eastern shore of Bark Lake.
Family rafting at Madawaska Kanu Centre
Day Trip with Madawaska Kanu Centre
Return to Madawaska Kanu Centre for your full-day guided canoe trip. For those looking for a shorter, softer adventure, try a two-hour family rafting trip on the Madawaska River. This trip winds its way through 5 fun-filled kilometres of tumbling waters and beautiful scenery and is suitable for all ages.full details

Before the York River flows into the Madawaska River, it traverses Conroy Marsh, one of the most diverse wetlands on the continent. Enjoy paddling your own canoe on this full-day guided day trip which starts in the York narrows. Here the river meanders quite aggressively around sandy S-bends before it opens up in Conroy Marsh where the only sound is the dipping of your own paddle.

If you elected to take the Family Rafting trip on the Madawaska River, you'll have the opportunity for an optional body-surf en route. Dress to get wet! Ability to swim is not mandatory as life jackets and helmets are worn at all time.

Stay another night at Chippawa Cottage Resort or Sunny Hill Resort.

CanaDream Club partners on today's itinerary:

OWL Rafting on the Madawaska River

Barry's Bay to the Algonquins of the Pikwàkanagàn and OWL Rafting - 110 km/69 mi
As today's journey will take only two hours, you might like to first travel into Algonquin Park and learn first hand why this park is the jewel in the crown of Ontario's provincial parks.full details

While most of the park is accessible only by canoe or on foot, there is a 56 km stretch of Highway 60 running through the park from which you can hike one of 14 trails, take part in education programs or call in at the Visitor Centre. The park also offers excellent trout fishing and the opportunity to view moose along the highway.   Continue along the Canadian Canoe Route, stopping at Golden Lake to visit the Algonquins of the Pikwàkanagàn. It was here that the building of the last birch-bark canoe took place. Continue further east to Forrester’s Falls for an overnight stay at Owl Rafting on the Ottawa River.

CanaDream Club partners on today's itinerary:

OWL Rafting on the Ottawa River

Enjoy rafting on the Ottawa River with OWL Rafting
Rafting on the Ottawa River with OWL Rafting then on to Ottawa - 123 km/77 mi
Immerse yourself in the 'current sensation' of whitewater rafting with OWL Rafting, down the world-famous rapids of the Rocher Fendu, before continuing on to the Nation's Capital, Ottawa.full details
Trips run daily between May and September. OWL Rafting's day trip includes a full day of Whitewater rafting as well as a BBQ meal on their river pontoon cruise bacl to the resort at the end of the day. Once back at the resort, your guides will show a video presentation where you can relive your day's adventure! Hot showers are also available.
Spend another night at OWL Rafting or continue on to Ottawa for an overnight stay at Wesley Clover Parks Campground.

CanaDream Club partners on today's itinerary are:

OWL Rafting on the Ottawa River
Wesley Clover Parks Campground

Rideau Canal Ottawa
In and Around Ottawa
Leave your RV at the campground and take public transport downtown to explore the inner city. Once downtown, the city is very walkable.full details

Visit Parliament Hill, perhaps take a land-sea tour with Lady Dive, or travel to various attractions on the Hop On Hop Off bus. While downtown in the City of Ottawa, stop by the Hudson's Bay Company to collect your Canadian Canoe Route original.

There are many activities to choose from in this wonderful city.

  • Paul's Boat Lines offer cruises along the historic Rideau Canal.
  • Spend a couple of hours with the bi-lingual guides at Ottawa Walking Tours and discover how the capital came to be.
  • Visit the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum and take an open cockpit bi-plane ride! (early May to mid November)
  • Take a stroll through Byward Market, one of the oldest and largest public markets in Canada, built in 1826. Enjoy specialty food shops, boutiques, galleries, cafes and more in an area spanning roughly four blocks square.
  • Go amphibious with Lady Dive Tours on a city tour both on land and water
  • Plan your own itinerary and use the Gray Line Hop-on Hop-off bus to get around

Museums are plentiful here.

  • The Canadian Museum of History houses the world's largest indoor collection of totem poles
  • The Canadian Museum of Nature has a mind-blowing collection of natural wonders
  • The Canadian War Museum pays tribute to the country's military past
  • The Canada Science and Tecnhology Museum offers a look at the tech that shapes our world and is a truly interactive experience for all ages.

These are only a sampling of the many things available to do and see in the City of Ottawa.

CanaDream Club partners on today's itinerary are:

Lady Dive Tours
Gray Line
Haunted Walk of Ottawa
Wesley Clover Parks Campground

The Rideau Canal Heritage Route - 275 km/172 mi
The Rideau Canal was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in June 2007. This Canal remains the best preserved example of a slackwater canal in North America and is the only canal dating from the early 19th century to remain operational along its original length with most original structures intact.full details

It is also linked to a significant stage in human history – the fight to control the northern part of the North American continent. The Canal itself was built between Kingston and Ottawa during the years 1826 to 1832 for the purpose of providing safe passage to personnel and supplies during war time. It never had to fulfill its military purpose but did become an important trade route.

Begin your Riddeau Heritage Route driving tour by taking County Road 73 south to Rideau Valley Drive and on to the village of Manotick.   Visit Watson’s Mill, built in 1860, one of the best preserved mills in Ontario.  Watson’s Mill has a story of love and tragedy associated with it – be sure to ask about it.

Leaving Manotick, take the leisurely scenic route south heading to to Burritts Rapids where, in 1793, three Loyalist brothers, led by Stephen Burritt, founded the settlement of Burritts Rapids. Go into the village, which is on a small island. Stop to look at the bridge at the south end of the town.  This steel truss swing bridge dates to 1897.  It is opened by turning a crank in the pivot at one end of the bridge. Counter weights and a set of roller wheels mounted on a circular track underneath allow the bridge to be swung with little effort.

Crossing over the bridge, turn east on Cty Road 23 to River Road and follow this to the lock station about 1 km down the road. Take the opportunity to ask the Lockmaster any questions you have about the operation of the locks. Pick up a self guided tour brochure at the lock station and walk part or all of the Tip to Tip Trail which starts just across the lock and extends 2 km to the west end of the island.

Continue south west on Cty Road 23 to Merrickville. In Merrickville, look for the historic blockhouse just to the west of the main intersection in town.  Stop at The Depot located on the waterfront. Run by Friends of the Rideau, it offers a great deal of information about the area. Purchase a walking tour booklet at the Blockhouse Museum or from downtown merchants and search out 21 of the village’s outstanding 19th century heritage homes and public buildings.

Smiths Falls 

Highway 43 will take you through to Smith Falls. This was the hub of regional railroads in the first half of the 20th century.  Stop at the Railway Museum, a National Historic Site built in 1914 and now restored to its original Edwardian splendor, before continuing on to the Rideau Canal Museum.  Here lots of displays illustrating the history of the canal await.

Smiths Falls to Kilmarnock Lock

Cross over the bridge heading south and turn left at the lights onto Jasper Avenue.  Stop to visit the Heritage House Museum, a classically styled Victorian house carefully restored to 1867-75 features.  Continuing on, look for a turn to the right for Kilmarnock Lock about 8km down the road. Kilmarnock is a quiet, isolated lock.

Kilmarnock Lock to Toldeo to Forfar

This route will take you by apple orchards and T-Houses.  These T-houses were common in early time as farmhouses were expanded to make room for growing familiies. A common way of doing this was by adding an extension, going back at a 90 degree angle to the main house, forming a T shape (with the top of the T facing the road).   At Forfar, stop at the cheese factory at the west end of town.  There has been a cheese factory located in Forfar since the mid 1800s.

Forfar to The Narrows and Perth 

The lock station at the Narrows features one of the four blockhouses built in 1830-31 by Colonel By along the canal to defend it from invasion by the Americans. It was located here because of the road access to this portion of the canal. Stop for a few minutes and imagine what this area must have looked like so many years ago.  It’s a leisurely drive from here to Perth.


Perth was established as a military settlement in the spring of 1816 as part of a strategic defense plan against invasion from the south.  Today it’s a modern community with old-world charm where a wealth of Canadian history, architecture and culture can be found.  Visit http://www.beautifulperth.com/ for more information.

Perth to Westport 

From Perth, Highway 10 (otherwise known as Scotch Line) will take you south past Pike Lake and numerous smaller lakes to Westport.  Westport is located at the west end of Upper Rideau Lake and was first settled between 1810 and 1820.  Its situation on the Rideau Canal enabled Westport to remain a thriving commercial centre into the 20th century.  Goods were shipped north to Ottawa and south to Kingston along the canal.  Today’s it’s a quaint tourist destination with a population of around 700 people.  It’s the core for hiking and cycling enthusiasts with the 300 km Rideau Trail linking Kingston and Ottawa passing through the town.  The view of Westport from Spy Rock is truly spectacular.

Westport to Newboro

Take Highway 42 from Westport to Newboro.  The lock station here includes one of only four blockhouses built by Colonel John By along the Rideau Canal.  Newboro is a community that sprung up as a direct consequence of the building of the Canal. There are some nice restaurants here if you’d like to stop for a quiet lunch or dinner.

Newboro to Kingston

Head east on Hwy 42 until you reach the junction of Hwy 15.  A couple of diversions along this highway  will take you to Chaffeys Lock and Jones Falls.  Highway 9 will take you to  Chaffey’s Lock where you can visit the Lockmaster’s House Museum.  Return to Hwy 15 then continue on to the turn-off to Jones Falls (Hwy 11).  Some consider this to be the prettiest lock station on the canal and there’s a lot to do and see here.  Download the walking tour map of Jones Falls Lock Station  from the Parks Canada website and spend time here exploring.

If you’re not all ‘locked’ out by now, there’s a further opportunity to visit the locks at Upper and Lower Brewers. Look out for the signs leading to these two points of interest.

At Kingston Mills just north of Kingston itself, you’ll find washrooms and picnic tables and the Robert Anglin Visitor’s Centre. Download the guide to Kingston Mills from the Parks Canada website. 

Kingston is situated at the confluence of the St Lawrence River and Lake Ontario.  Plan to stay here for a couple of days as it’s a city with so much history and lots to do.

Gan Boat Line
Kingston and area - 300 km/188 mi
The 1000 Islands Parkway extends from Kingston following the St Lawrence River where it joins Hwy 401 just past Mallorytown. This is a spectacular drive and a ‘must do’ while you are in the area.full details

Download the free brochure from the 1000 Islands website to find points of interest along the route.

Around Kingston itself, the three most popular tourist attractions are Bellevue House, Fort Henry and the Correctional Service of Canada Museum. All are worthy of a visit. If you’re looking for something to do in the evening, the Haunted Walk of Kingston offers a variety of “ghost” walks including their original haunted walk of Kingston, Ghosts of Fort Henry and Ghosts and Legends of Ganaoque.

CanaDream Club partners in the Kingston/1000 Islands area are:

Grenville Park Campground
1000 Islands Ivy Lea KOA Campground
1000 Islands Helicopter Tours
Gananoque Boat Line
Haunted Walks of Kingston

Sandbanks Provincial Park - Stock photo
Kingston to Toronto - 276 km/173 mi
Take your time as you begin your journey back to Toronto today. It's a short trip if you take the 401, but a much more interesting route to take is Highway 2. Take a diversion into Prince Edward County - perhaps visit Sandbanks Provincial Park, home of the world's largest baymouth barrier dune formation and a bird migration hot spot in the spring and fall.full details
Prince Edward County is also home to more than 35 wineries, each having its own distinctive character. Leaving Prince Edward County, continue west on Highway 2 through Brighton, Grafton and Port Hope where the metropolis of Greater Toronto begins its encroachment on the landscape and farmland gives way to the city. There are opportunities to join the 401 if you prefer it to city driving. The closest RV Park to our Toronto location is Indian Line Campground, off 409 and 427. This will leave you with a short drive back to your drop-off location in the morning.

CanaDream Club partners on today's itinerary are:

North Shore RV Park
Quinte's Isle Campark

CN Tower - Toronto
Return RV in Toronto - 18 km/12 mi
Sadly, today marks the end of this Ontario RV vacation. It's time to repack your suitcases and disconnect your "home away from home" from the campground facilities for the last time, then take the short trip back to our Toronto location to say Farewell.full details

If you are planning to spend some time in the Toronto area before leaving for home, our friendly Guest Service agents will be happy to provide you with suggestions as to what to do and see during your stay here. We have a number of CanaDream Club partners in Toronto from whom you can get discounted tickets if you purchase these through us before you leave our depot.

We've enjoyed having you as our Guest and will be happy to welcome you back in the future. Check out some of our other suggested tours at www.canadream.com/TripPlanning.

CanaDream Club partners in the Toronto area are:


Mariposa Cruises
Toronto Harbour Tours
Haunted Walks of Toronto
Gray Line of Toronto
Toronto Helitours
Yorkdale Shopping Centre


For a list of CanaDream Club partner hotels in the Toronto area, click here.