The Great Waterway offers historic main streets, inspired dining, boutique shopping, unique theatre, breathtaking cruises and unforgettable natural beauty for every traveller.
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True to its name, The Great Waterway includes some of Canada’s most legendary bodies of water, the mighty St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario (including the warm and inviting Bay of Quinte) and the locks, rivers and inland lakes of the historic Rideau Canal system. Today they offer visitors countless opportunities for aquatic exploration — whether on a boat cruise of the 1000 Islands, a kayaking trek through the back country, or a world-class freshwater fishing expedition.
If you love the great outdoors, you’ll enjoy hiking and cycling the many trails that criss-cross the region, through tranquil forests and fields. Sun-seekers will adore the famous white sand beaches, while golfers of all skill levels have more than 60 scenic courses to choose from.
All of that fun is bound to make you hungry (and thirsty!). The Great Waterway is a foodie’s paradise. An abundance of excellent restaurants serving local and exotic fare, award-winning wineries, microbreweries, artisanal food producers and farmers’ markets are all waiting to welcome your taste buds.
Looking for a dash of culture? Sample the performing arts at venues all along The Great Waterway: . Enjoy fresh new theatre experiences such as The Inaugural Kick & Push Festival in Kingston, or take in a live musical performance at one of the many festivals held throughout the summer.
You can also unleash your inner history buff with the area’s heritage sites, which played key roles in Canada’s history. Experience 1860’s pioneer living at Upper Canada Village. Join the red-coated Guard at historic Fort Henry in Kingston, and witness the firing of cannons at the Sunset Ceremony. Or learn about the amazing Rideau Canal, a man-made connection between Kingston and Ottawa.
There’s so much to see and do, you’ll want to return again and again, year-round. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself sharing this year’s vacation photos of The Great Waterway with the caption “This is my happy place!”
SEVEN DESTINATIONS IN THE GREAT WATERWAY
- Settled along the water, boating and fishing are ways of life in the Bay of Quinte region, but this oasis is also known for its cheddar & ale and chocolate & apple trails.
- Canada’s newest VQA wine region, Prince Edward County, is recognized for its taste and arts trails, guiding you to the County’s best chefs and winemakers, artists, and artisans.
- Land O’Lakes is the perfect place to relax, on the water or the golf course. You can also catch the excitement at PGA TOUR Canada’s Great Waterway Classic at Loyalist Golf & Country Club.
- Kingston is a cultural hub bursting with old-world charm. Among eclectic boutiques, restaurants and galleries, you’ll find a bounty of historical sites, including Fort Henry.
- Stretching along the UNESCO World Heritage-designated Rideau Canal, the Rideau Heritage Route winds through natural beauty and historic villages. Enjoy sightseeing, fishing, and travelling back in time by navigating the locks.
- 1000 Islands – Gananoque and Brockville are famous for island cruises, through historic mansions and castles. It’s also a world-class diving destination, with centuries old shipwrecks just below the surface.
- Cornwall and the Counties are a must-see while cycling along the Waterfront Recreational Trail or Long Sault Parkway, promising unique experiences like the Glengarry Highland Games.