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Rideau River in Smiths Falls

Smiths Falls is a pleasant small town near Ottawa. Its population is about 10,000.

Get in

By train

Smiths Falls has long been a divisional point on the Canadian Pacific Railway, which operates a single-track mainline through Perth and Smiths Falls for freight between Canada's two largest cities, Montréal and Toronto. The town was once the crossroads for rails radiating in a half-dozen directions (Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Brockville and formerly Carleton Place and Napanee); local streets bear names of key figures like Sir William Cornelius Van Horne (February 3, 1843 - September 11, 1915), the CP line's president.

The historic 1887 CPR passenger station became the Station Theatre in 2010; modern 1 Via Rail passenger service runs from an unmanned station [1] at 46 Union Street on the rails to Ottawa. Few trains stop in Smiths Falls for passengers today; those that do follow CN's 1856 Grand Trunk line from Toronto to Brockville, then turn north through Smiths Falls to Ottawa. The historic east-west CP main line locally only hauls freight.

VIA reservations and information are available at +1-888-842-7245.

By boat

Smiths Falls serves as midpoint and de-facto headquarters of the UNESCO-listed Rideau Canal, which joins Kingston to Ottawa. Built under the direction of Colonel John By after the War of 1812, this waterway allows shipping to bypass the Saint Lawrence River between Kingston and Montréal, whose location directly on the US border leaves it perilously vulnerable to attack. From Ottawa, the Ottawa/Outaouais river is navigable to Montréal.

With the exception of one modern "combined lock" which bypasses three of the original 1800's locks in Smiths Falls itself, all of the locks on the system are original. Their historic integrity has been preserved.

By bus

  • 2 Greyhound Voyageur, Mr. Gas, 12 Union St., +1 613-283-8880. Voyageur Bus stops on Highway 15 in Smiths Falls as the midpoint of its twice-daily Kingston-Ottawa round trip, then turns onto Hwy 7 at Carleton Place.

By motorcar

Ontario 15.svg By car, Highway 15 approximately follows the Rideau Canal from Kingston through Smiths Falls. It meets Highway 7 (to Ottawa) at Carleton Place.

Ontario 29.svg Ontario 401.svg From Brockville, old Highway 29 (401 exit 696) becomes the downtown main street of Smiths Falls after a 50km (30mi) drive northward.

Ontario 43.png Ontario 416.svg From Kemptville and Merrickville, old Highway 43 extends westward through Smiths Falls to Perth. Access to Smiths Falls from the 416 is also possible from North Gower via Ottawa Regional Road 6 (Lanark 4), which meets Highway 15 in the north end of Smiths Falls.

Ontario 43.png Ontario 7.svg From Perth take CR 43 (old Highway 43) approximately 20km (12mi) eastward.

By air

There is an airstrip with no scheduled flights. The closest major airport is Ottawa-Uplands (YOW IATA).

Get around

Map of Smiths Falls


  • 1 Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario, 90 William St, +1 613-283-5696. 10AM-5PM, 7 days a week from Mid-May to Thanksgiving weekend.. One of multiple railways which once served Smiths Falls, the Canadian Northern Railway (CNoR) was a third Canadian trans-continental railway completed in 1915 and bankrupted by 1918; its 1913-era station and a line through Smiths Falls and Sydenham, which became part of CN in 1923, were abandoned by the end of the 1970's. Backers of the Smiths Falls Railway Museum Association were unable to stop CN from removing the rails to Sydenham and Napanee (which were sold for scrap or redeployed on western rail lines by 1986) but did rebuild the long-neglected station to display a collection of rolling stock, equipment and rail memorabilia. $5.
  • 2 Rideau Canal Museum, 34 Beckwith St. S, +1 613-284-0505. History of the Rideau Canal, constructed for strategic military reasons after the War of 1812 and now the preserve of recreational boaters between Kingston and Ottawa, a distance (by water) of more than 200km.


  • Cataraqui Trail. Abandoned CNoR/Bay of Quinte Railway right-of-way from Smiths Falls through Sydenham to Strathcona, near Napanee. Originally the CNoR track that served the local railway museum and crossed the Rideau Canal bascule bridge, this is now a 104km (64 mile) Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority multi-use trail. Cycling, hiking, horseback riding, snowmobile and cross-country ski.
  • 1 Lower Reach Park, Jasper Ave & Old Slys Rd. Rideau waterfront park with sunny picnic area, off-leash dog walk, sports fields.
  • 2 Smiths Falls Golf & Country Club, 125 Golf Club Rd.. Eighteen-hole course with pro shop and restaurant.
  • 3 Station Theatre, 53 Victoria Ave., +1 613-283-0300. 140-seat live theatre and cinema in restaurant area of restored former 1887 CPR station.
  • Voyageur Canoe Tours. Rideau Roundtable society hosts interpretive tours with costumed guides along the Rideau Waterway in a 34-foot replica voyageur canoe.


  • There are several craft shops downtown near the river, including one with quite nice silver work.


  • 3 Country Diner Restaurant, 23 Union St, K7A 2S3, +1 613-283-8635.
  • 4 Gerbo’s Steak House, 15 Beckwith St. S, +1 613-283-4940.
  • 5 My Place Restaurant, 2 Main St. W, K7A 1M5, +1 613-283-4696.
  • 6 Nick’s Fish & Chips, 6 Russell St. E., +1 613-284-1640.
  • 7 Norm's Restaurant, 27 Beckwith St. N, K7A 2B2, +1 613-238-1444. open 11am. Licensed, wi-fi, family meal deal. Dining in, fast food, take-out/delivery, pizza.
  • 8 Roosteraunt, 60 Lombard St., +1 613-283-7151. On Hwy 15. Breakfast/brunch, busy on weekends.
  • 9 Two Guys For Lunch, 91 Cornelia St. W, K7A 5L3, +1 613-284-2202.


  • 12 Wong's Chinese Buffet, 60 Lombard St, K7A5K2, +1 613-283-2828.



  • 18 Smiths Falls Restaurant and Deli, 17 Chambers St, K7A2Y2, +1 613-283-9577. Deli, Greek, pizza.



  • 1 Colonel By Inn (Best Western), 88 Lombard Street, K7A 4G6 (Hwy 15 South), +1 613-284-0001, toll-free: +1-866-918-9555, fax: +1 613-284-0694. Hotel with restaurant, wi-fi, breakfast, outdoor pool, refrigerators, free local calls. Business meeting space for 25 people. Some rooms have balcony, DVD player, sofabed, jacuzzi tub. Extra charge for pets, cots or rollaway beds.
  • 2 Comfort Inn, 33 Centre Street, K7A 3B8, +1 613-283-5150, fax: +1 613-283-5000. Check-in: 3pm, check-out: 11am. 64 room hotel on Rideau Canal, restaurant, wi-fi, some rooms have refrigerators or whirlpool baths. $95+.
  • 3 Victoria Park, on Rideau Canal, +1 613-283-5112. Campground and marina, 50 campsites, water/power for RVs, 30 docks, tourist info, laundry, hot showers, playground, wading pool. Wi-fi.


Wi-fi is also available at McDonald's (81 Lombard St) and at both Tim Horton's locations (76 Beckwith St. and 111 Lombard St.)

Go next

Routes through Smiths Falls
KingstonBrockville  W VIA Rail Toronto Ottawa icon.png E  OttawaEND
Arnprior ← CR 29 ← Carleton Place  N Ontario 15.svg S  KingstonEND
Perth ← CR 43 ←  W Ontario 43.png E  → CR 43 → MerrickvilleAlexandria

This city travel guide to Smiths Falls is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.