This scenic waterway cuts diagonally across eastern Ontario, linking the lakes and rivers of Simcoe County and the forested Kawarthas. The scenic hydro-highway starts at the Bay of Quinte, near Prince Edward County on Lake Ontario, and passes 45 locks before emptying into Lake Huron. A hundred years ago, this 386km-long aboriginal canoe route bustled with commercial vessels. Today, it's the province of houseboats, cruise vessels and canoes.

In Peterborough, head to the Peterborough Lift Lock near the city museum. It's the world's largest hydraulic lift and a source of great civic pride, with a dedicated visitors center. You can rent a canoe in town and paddle to the lock across Little Lake and along the canal.