RIDEAU CANAL - Two Leeds Grenville Mayors and Le Boat have helped showcase the historic Rideau Canal to Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Lisa MacLeod.

Minister MacLeod learned to captain a Le Boat cruiser at the company's Smiths Falls headquarters earlier this month and then cruised the Rideau Canal to Newboro, spending two nights on the boat.

"Cruising is a phenomenal way to see the Rideau Canal, including its wide open lakes, locks and the natural beauty of the waterway," said Minister MacLeod, who travelled through Lower, Big and Upper Rideau Lakes, with stops in Rideau Ferry, Westport and Newboro. She also experienced going through Poonamalie and Narrow's Lock Stations.

"The many communities along the way, and throughout Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, is an experience that cannot be missed. I will do it again!" she said.

The Minister met with Westport Mayor Robin Jones at the Harbour Docks and later visited the downtown and Scheuermann Vineyard & Winery. The next day, she met Rideau Lakes Mayor Ari Hoogenboom in Newboro and visited Kilborn's on the Rideau.

The Rideau Canal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered one of the engineering marvels of the 19th Century. It is the oldest, continuously operated canal system in North America stretching 202 kilometres from Kingston to Ottawa.