Government of Canada welcomes new eco-friendly electric boat service on the Rideau Canal National Historic Site

OTTAWA, June 9, 2016 /CNW/ - For the 2016 season, Ottawa Boat Cruises will be offering a new, eco-friendly and unique cruising experience on the downtown Ottawa portion of the Rideau Canal National Historic Site. The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Minister responsible for Parks Canada and Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre, Catherine McKenna, officially launched the tour boat today.

Two new state-of-the-art, purpose-built, electric boats will host visitors and locals alike for day-time tours and other special events.

The locally built boats are the largest certified fully-electric passenger boats in Canada. The first boat, The Queen Elizabeth dr., will commence operations in time for Canada Day. The second boat, The Colonel By, will be launched in time for the 2017 season. 

This new service is the successful result of Parks Canada's 2015 Request for Proposal for the downtown Ottawa portion of the Rideau Canal. This is one way that Parks Canada is working with partners and communities to help the Rideau Canal be a premier tourism destination, foster recreation and support economic development along its whole length, from Ottawa to Kingston.

As we near the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, the Government invites all Canadians to experience Canada's remarkable natural heritage and rich history at national parks and national historic sites this summer.


"I am very pleased that this new, innovative and eco-friendly service will provide visitors and residents with yet another way to experience and enjoy the history and beauty of the Rideau Canal Historic Site. This new boat cruise will also support local tourism, jobs and our economy"

- The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Centre

Quick facts

  • Tourism is the single most important economic activity in the Canal corridor. Whether walking, paddling, cycling, or boating, Parks Canada welcomes over a million visitors to the Rideau Canal each year.
  • The Rideau Canal is one of the most visited national historic sites in Canada and one of Eastern Ontario's top attractions serving over 50,000 boats each year and welcoming over 80,000 cyclists that that use its pathways each month during the summer season.
  • Minister McKenna recently announced over $57 million in additional funding for infrastructure work on the Rideau Canal National Historic Site. The largest investment of its kind in the 184-year history of the Rideau Canal will be used to rehabilitate and repair bridges, dams, locks and historic masonry structures in communities along the Canal.

Associated links

Rideau Canal National Historic Site – Paddling the Rideau Canal 

Ottawa Boat Cruises


SOURCE Parks Canada

For further information: Caitlin Workman, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 819-938-9436; Media Relations, Parks Canada, 855-862-1812,

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