Rideau Canal (rēdōˈ, rēˈdō) [key], 126 mi (203 km) long, S Ont., Canada, connecting the Ottawa River at Ottawa with Lake Ontario at Kingston. The canal, which has 47 locks, follows the course of the Rideau River. It was built (1826–32) by army engineers under the direction of Col. John By to provide access from the St. Lawrence to Lake Ontario without exposure to attack by American forces on the U.S. shore of the St. Lawrence. Little used as a commercial waterway, the canal system has become a popular recreation area and scenic attraction.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.