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Historic Places to Pop the Question

Do you have a special question in mind for Valentine’s Day this year? If you’re thinking about popping the question, the historic backdrops in Rideau Lakes set the scene beautifully for a one-of-a-kind proposal.

Whether it’s a romantic woods ramble, breathtaking vistas, or even lakeside swan viewing, Rideau Lakes combines history and heart. Read on for eight places to lock in love which have stood the test of time.

The Old Stone Mill

This is a picture-perfect setting in the village of Delta. Built in 1810, the Old Stone Mill National Historic Site is rich in history and provides a beautiful backdrop for your big question. It’s lovely on a crisp, winter day or with the windows lit up under the stars at night!

old stone mill in winter by Ken Watson Delta's Old Stone Mill by Ken Watson


Foley Mountain

A stunning and memorable location! Foley Mountain is just north of Westport offering a winter walk through the woods and the perfect vista for a romantic moment at Spy Rock lookout. See the historic Upper Rideau stretching out far below and the charming village of Westport. Follow the nearby Beaver Pond trail and marvel at the stillness of a beaver lodge in winter.

Foley Mountain Bench in Winter Foley Mountain Facebook PageFoley Mountain Conservation Area Facebook Page 


Hanna Park in Portland

Pick a warmer day and head over to Hanna Park in Portland to spend some time under the gazebo, gazing out at the lake. What was once a bustling wharf of commercial trade is now a serene shoreline – appreciate the calm and tell your significant other how you feel.

Park Hanna Park Winter Portland Rob Stimpson Photography RTO9 Feb2020 Stimpson Portland 8933Photo: Hanna Park by Rob Stimpson Photography | RTO9 

The Cataraqui Trail

This trail is known as Eastern Ontario’s undiscovered path to history and nature - and that rings true along the sections that run through Rideau Lakes. Situated on a former historic rail line, some of the trail’s most scenic sections are known to be starting west of Elgin. The trail runs alongside a lake, through a beaver marsh and even crosses an elevated bridge high above the Rideau Canal for exceptional views! In between are romantic sections of woods lining the trail: perfect for a private and peaceful proposal.

Cataraqui Trail Facebook Page Winter SunsetPhoto: Cataraqui Trail Facebook Page 


Chaffeys Lock

This charming lock station on the Rideau Canal between Indian Lake and Opinicon Lake is a stunning piece of history completed in 1832. Check out the architecture, watch the water pouring through the weir, browse the memory wall, or be delighted by the swans that splash and paddle in the open water below the lock. This spot is picturesque at evening, too, as the lamps light up along the docks. Add a gentle snowfall – and you have some serious ambiance to work with.

Simmons Cottages Instagram Cross Country Skiing on the Cataraqui Trail in Chaffeys LockSimmons Cottages Instagram 


Precious Moments Carriages

Horse-drawn carriage, sleigh rides and wagon rides are ready to make your day memorable at Lombard Dale Farm. Available for private bookings, Precious Moments can help you create a Valentine’s Day proposal to remember. Rumour has it that these gorgeous Percherons also love to pose for photos – so engagement pictures are a must!

Rideau Township SleighRides ML813Photo: Precious Moments Carriages by Matthew Liteplo   


Narrows Lock

This is a sparkling scene for some romance! This is the place where two lakes meet – just like two hearts. With Upper Rideau Lake on one side of the road, and Big Rideau Lake on the other, Narrows Lock is surrounded by water views. It’s also surrounded by history. Originally only one lake, this lock station was built at a point where the lake narrowed to only 45 metres. In fact, Upper Rideau Lake was created by the construction of an on-site earth embankment dam; now, the lake is the summit of the canal. Today, The Narrows is home to one of only four Blockhouses built along the Rideau Canal, which dates back to 1832. What’s more, the swing bridge dates back to 1898. There are also sometimes swans swimming on patches of open water near the lock in winter! Go for a stroll, read about the history on the interpretive sign board, and get down on one knee.

narrows lock swansTrumpeter Swans at Narrows Lock credit: Rideau Heritage Route


Red Brick School

While proposing at a school might not seem romantic, this one is cute as a button and would offer a unique and colourful backdrop to a memorable proposal in Elgin. This one-storey brick structure was built in 1887 and is identifiable by its construction of red brick with yellow corner detailing. It was active with students from 1887 until 1964 and is known as a particularly fine example of a rare, rural, architect-designed, educational structure. The tall multi-paned windows and brick would make for some beautiful photos.

 Red Brick School Winter R37 Big Rideau Property 002

Make history with your proposal in Rideau Lakes! 

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1439 County Road 8, Delta, ON K0E 1G0

613-928-2251 or 1-800-928-2250

Fax: 613-928-3097