Then and now – 50 years at Rideau River Provincial Park

 In 1957, it was announced that a new provincial park was to be established along the Rideau River.  The new park would feature a campground and a beach for swimming and would be established on land that had once been a forestry station.  This is Rideau River Provincial Park.

If you look closely today, you can still see rows of planted spruce and pine trees which were planted in the 40s. The park was designated as a provincial park in 1963. Today, it protects 98 hectares of land including significant shoreline vegetation, wetlands, and forests. Its location on the Rideau River is part of the Rideau Canal and is just 30 minutes away from the nation’s capital.

When the park first opened, camping fees were $1.00 per night, $0.50 for a daily vehicle permit and $3.00 for an annual permit.

The park is now in its 50th year and recently celebrated this milestone with a large community event with a nod to its past.  The celebrations included voyageur canoe trips, demonstrations by the Conservation Officers Canine Unit, Celtic music, a fishing derby and programming by park naturalists.


Then and Now: (left) at the anniversary celebration, staff wore vintage Ontario Parks’ uniforms to celebrate the park’s heritage. Also pictured (right) staff members wearing the current Ontario Parks uniform.


Rideau River features excellent camping facilities, sandy beaches, a fitness trail, and excellent canoeing and kayaking opportunities on the historic Rideau Canal.  It’s also a great place to stay to explore nearby Ottawa-only 30 minutes away!