Rideau River

The Rideau River (French: Rivière Rideau), (Anishinàbemowin name: Pasapkedjinawong) is a river in Eastern Ontario, Canada. The river flows north from Upper Rideau Lake and empties into the Ottawa River at the Rideau Falls in Ottawa, Ontario. Its length is 146 kilometres (91 mi).

Rideau River
Rivière Rideau
The Rideau River in Ottawa flowing between Carleton University and Vincent Massey Park
RegionEastern Ontario
Physical characteristics
SourceUpper Rideau Lake
  locationUnited Counties of Leeds and Grenville, Ontario, Canada
  coordinates44.682°N 76.336°W / 44.682; -76.336
MouthOttawa River
City of Ottawa
45.441405°N 75.69623°W / 45.441405; -75.69623
Length100 km (62 mi)
Basin size4,000 km2 (1,500 sq mi)
  locationRideau Falls
  average35 m3/s (1,200 cu ft/s)

The river was given the name "Rideau" (curtain) by Champlain, as he wrote in 1613, because of the appearance of the Rideau Falls. The Anishinàbemowin name for the river is "Pasapkedjinawong", meaning "the river that passes between the rocks."[1]

The Rideau Canal, which allows travel from Ottawa to the city of Kingston, Ontario on Lake Ontario, was formed by joining the Rideau River with the Cataraqui River. The river diverges from the Canal at Hog's Back Falls in Ottawa.

In early spring, to reduce flooding on the lower section of the river, workers from the city of Ottawa use ice blasting to clear the ice which covers the river from Billings Bridge to Rideau Falls by cutting "keys" through the ice and using explosives to break off large sheets of ice. This practice has been going on for more than 100 years.[2]

The regulatory authority charged with protecting the Rideau River and its tributaries is the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority.



  • Adrians Creek
  • Duck Creek
  • Tay River
  • Black Creek
  • Otter Creek
  • Rosedale Creek
  • Irish Creek
  • Babers Creek
  • Atkinsons Creek
  • Rideau Creek
  • Dales Creek
  • Brassils Creek
  • Murphy Drain
  • Kemptville Creek
  • McDermott Drain
  • Cranberry Creek
  • Steven Creek
  • Mud Creek
  • Jock River
  • Black Rapids Creek
  • Nepean Creek
  • Sawmill Creek


Communities along the Rideau include:

See also


  • Lawrence, Bonita (2012). Fractured Homeland: Federal Recognition and Algonquin Identity in Ontario. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: UBC Press. ISBN 9780774822893.
  1. Lawrence 2012, p. 178.
  2. Leblanc, Daniel (28 February 2011). "Why Ottawa needs to blow up the Rideau River every year". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 1 March 2011.

Further reading

  • Legget, Robert Ferguson (1986). Rideau Waterway. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-2573-0 via Google Books.
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