While being the nation’s capital for the entire time Canada has been a country, Ottawa is also an older city for the country, and therefore some of its great sights are pieces of old infrastructure.
Built 35 years before Canada was a nation, this sight is actually 202 km, but really, the most famous and interesting part is the end in Ottawa.
Originally it was a military asset, in case the USA decided to invade again after the War of 1812, but it became an import piece of infrastructure, kinda like the internet. Because it was an important route for supplies and communication, it’s value lasted beyond any threat the US would make.
Now it’s more a tourist attraction and heritage site, but it still plays a transportation role, as some people actually skate to work on it when it’s cold enough.
That’s just one of the many sights to see on the canal, as it also has some cool old locks, with mechanisms from over 100 years ago, beautiful vistas, and cozy spots.
Being that it’s actually a very long body of water, there are lots of ways to get there, but in Ottawa it’s pretty easy. Just slightly east of Parliament Hill, the rideau winds it’s way south from there, so really any sort of transit, walking or biking should get you to it. Vehicles are ok, but parking isn’t always simple in downtown Ottawa.
Another of the top sights in Ottawa according to TripAdvisor, it’s another essential when visiting the city. If you don’t come accross it at some point, I don’t think you were in Ottawa. Being as old, important and unique as it is, the canal is one of Canada’s UNESCO Heritage sites, and one of the few that are post-contact and cultural. Of course, that also means it’s all sorts of other heritage sites as well, including national.