History / Rideau Canal / Rideau Valley / Smiths Falls / The Wedge

Resurrection of the Rideau Moving Quickly

Glorious Hotel Rideau, early 1900s, Smiths Falls, Ontario

Hotel Rideau, the former jewel and focal point of Beckwith Street, Smiths Falls, is coming to life again. There was a previous thwarted attempt to restore her; however, that effort failed. Now, under the ownership and watchful eyes of the Cinnamon brothers, Andrew and Tim, also Founders of Parkview Homes, the Rideau is buzzing with activity.

No doubt, our heritage ambassadors will have their say about preserving history. It appears all parties share this passion; however, the Rideau will not be a hotel in its latest iteration.

“The main floors will have a few businesses; but, above will be apartments,” states Tim Cinnamon. The commitment and passion of the Cinnamons is clear and audible–what a blessing these men are to Smiths Falls. They remember it fondly, speaking of their ice cream escapades as youths.

The Cinnamons are in this project for the whole nine yards. Ribbon-cutting is anticipated for early Fall, 2017.

The new Rideau will add a beautiful focal point to downtown Smiths Falls. It sits on the town’s 100 ft. wide main road, edged with angled parking, a rarity in Canada. The whole effect will be charming.

The Rideau Hotel before restoration began Winter 2016 PHOTO BY thewedge.LIVE

The building is in continuous transformation daily. I poked my head in to view the progress on the ground floor. It is ostensibly cleared for new materials and construction.


Hotel Rideau was opened to the public on January 20, 1902. She is 115 years old today. I have enjoyed hearing reports of young ladies dressing to the nines and driven to the Hotel under the supervision of their parents, a “coming out” of sorts. There are many tales yet to be captured and enjoyed–a human heritage, if you will.

Mr. Charles O’Reilly was its Founder. He is reported to have run a “first class hotel,” rivaling the world’s finest. In the early 1900s, Smiths Falls was a booming town, with a population of 7,000, connecting waterways from Toronto to Montreal ports.

The Rideau is just one more piece in Smiths Falls’ transformation. The County Fair Mall, Southwest of Town, now in Saumure hands, is being transformed into a unique, multi-experience, shopping destination location. This is a development to watch.

There’s more behind-the-scenes brewing; but, it’s all very hush-hush for now. Stay-tuned.

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