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The wards and communities of the Township of Rideau Lakes have a rich heritage. This area was used for millennia by Native Americans as a travel route and rich fishing ground. The first surveys were done in the late 1700s with settlers arriving soon thereafter.

The Township is also host to a large section of the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the only such site in Ontario.

Detailed Map

Heritage Map of The Township of Rideau Lakes PDF

Walking and Driving Tours

Be sure to check our our Heritage Driving and Walking Tours in the Trails & Tours section.


Cemetery Locations and information are found in the Cemeteries section.

Cultural Heritage Strategic Plan

Cultural Heritage Strategic Plan 2020 PDF

Rideau Lakes Local History Centre

The Rideau Lakes Local History Centre is located at 18 King Street in Delta and is open Thursday afternoons from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

Bring your collection of local photos and documents for digitization.  Research local history & genealogy.

For more information, email the Local History Centre.

Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee

MHAC is a Standing Committee of the Council of the Township of Rideau Lakes. Made up of volunteers from the community and representatives from Council, it provides advice to Council on the recognition, designation and conservation of the heritage of the Township.

MHAC has undertaken a number of projects to promote awareness and understanding of the heritage of the community. The Heritage Map, first produced as a millennium project in 1999, continues to be re-printed in updated form. “Our Best Kept Secret”, a video providing a visual overview of the history and heritage of the area, is available at the Township Office. 4 Heritage Walking Tour brochures and 3 Driving Tour brochures covering heritage points in our Township have been published and are available at most tourist outlets as well as on this website.


A number of books relating to the history of the Township of Rideau Lakes are available at our libraries, at the Municipal Office Ext 223, or online through various book sellers.

Cranworth Chronicles by Barbara Gibson. Township of South Burgess, 1994.

History of the Township of North Crosby and Westport by Neil A. Patterson.  Corporation of the Township of Rideau Lakes, Corporation of the Village of Westport, 2006. ISBN 1424318297 9781424318292

Hub of the Rideau: A History of South Crosby Township by Susan Warren.  The Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee, 1997.  ISBN 0968299105, 9780968299104

South Elmsley in the Making 1783-1983 by James R. Kennedy.  Corporation of the Township of South Elmsley, 1984.   ISBN-10: 0969162405 ISBN-13: 978-0969162407

My Own Four Walls: Heritage Buildings in Bastard and South Burgess Township by Diane Haskin.  Council of Bastard & South Burgess, 1985.  ISBN 10: 0969196806  ISBN 13: 9780969196808

Our Best-Kept Secret: A Video Celebrating the Rich Heritage of the Township of Rideau Lakes


The Ontario Festival of Small Halls has produced a number of podcasts of local people telling the stories of their communities.
The Elgin Quarries, Tree Fishing at Chaffeys Lock, and The Morton Pimple are a few of the local histories you will find on their website .