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Houseboating in Canada

Houseboating in Canada is the ideal family vacation, romantic getaway, or a gathering of friends enjoying the open water in a houseboat rental. With hundreds of thousands of lakes dotting the countryside there are a multitude of houseboating destinations to choose from. Canadian houseboating offers the perfect vehicle to explore the hidden treasures of this sparsely populated country. Read on and see if renting a houseboat is the vacation for you.

History of Canadian Houseboating

Houseboating began in England as canals that were built in the 1700's for shipping cargo throughout the country fell into disuse due to alternative shipping methods. People began to use the canals for recreation and the houseboat was born. With Canada being a commonwealth country, the novelty of Canadian houseboating began to catch on as an exciting vacation...a home away from home…on the water!

The canals and waterways in Canada provided the perfect environment for houseboating. In Canada, there are several waterways that are a perfect setting for Canadian boating including the Rideau Waterway, the Trent-Severn Waterway, the 1000 Islands, the St. Lawrence River, and Shuswap Lake. Canada is well-known for its quality manufacturing of houseboats for American and Canadian clients.

Canadian Houseboating Tips
  • Marine Charts, maps, compass, and GPS are important items to have when navigating through various waterways. You can't just pull into a gas station, in most cases, and ask for directions. There will be some instances where you will be in complete wilderness areas when you are houseboating in Canada. When you are deciding on a houseboat rental company, be sure that their boats include navigation equipment.
  • A life jacket or other recognized personal flotation device (PFD) is required to be on board for each individual who is houseboating in Canada. Children should always be wearing a life jacket on a houseboat and it is highly recommended that adults do so as well. If you are renting a houseboat, these should be provided with your houseboat rental.
  • Effective in 2009, all individuals operating a motor-powered boat in Canada will require a Pleasure Craft Operators Card. The exception is American citizens who will be pleasure boating or houseboating in Canada for less than 45 days. The Pleasure Craft Operators Card is available from Transport Canada accredited vendors such as
Canadian Houseboating Destinations

Sicamous, British Columbia is designated as the "Houseboat Capital of Canada" in many circles. One of the most favoured houseboating destinations it has over 200 houseboat rentals available for your cruising pleasure. Sicamous is located at the northern end of the Okanagan Valley…a world-famous wine region. Shuswap Lake in Sicamous is halfway between Calgary, Alberta and Vancouver along the Trans Canada Highway.

There are many recreational Canadian summer activities to enhance your vacation in British Columbia while on the water including swimming, water skiing, and fishing in Canada. Dock your houseboat rental and enjoy ATV riding, hiking, backpacking, and golfing in Canada. Rent a car and take a trip through this spectacular countryside with towering mountains sloping down into lush valleys and wine country.

Ontario Houseboating Destinations

Ontario is a boating enthusiasts "dream come true" with hundreds of thousands of freshwater lakes to explore. Whether you enjoy cruising, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, houseboating, or sailing in Canada...Ontario has the ideal spot for your dream vacation on the water.

Northwestern Ontario's Sunset Country contains over 70,000 lakes to explore and discover. Take a swim off the deck of your houseboat rental into the crystal clear waters of a northern Canadian lake. Drop a line in the water for some of the best walleye fishing in Canada. Enjoy the wildlife going about their day including loons, pelicans, otters, beavers and if you're lucky...timber wolf, moose, black bear, and whitetail deer will appear on the shoreline. The main lakes of this region are:
  • Lake of the Woods
  • Lac Seul
  • Dog Lake
  • Rainy Lake
Renting a houseboat along the Rideau Canal & Waterway is a perfect way to explore Canada's historical roots. The Rideau was declared a Canadian Heritage River in 2000 and a World Heritage Site by the U.N. in 2007. As you take your houseboat rental along the oldest, continuously operating canal in North America you'll pass through 45 locks that take you by small villages and stretches of wilderness to Kingston, Ontario where you can then venture into the St. Lawrence River and the Thousand Islands.

The St. Lawrence River and the Thousand Islands provides some of the most scenic houseboating in Canada. With numerous protected anchorages and marinas, you'll be able to explore the island beaches, riverside villages, and the St. Lawrence National Park. From there you can set your sights on the Chaudiere-Appalaches region of Quebec along the St. Lawrence River and explore 350 year villages along the way.

Another National Historic Site of Canada is the Trent-Severn Waterway which is ideal for Canadian Houseboating. This waterway links Lake Ontario with Georgian Bay in Lake Huron with 44 locks and countless lakes and rivers for you to enjoy. You'll travel through the Kawartha Lakes region where cottage rentals in Canada are its main industry.
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