By MAGGIE M, Editor, http://thewedge.LIVE
There are a few Lockmasters’ Houses in Smiths Falls; however, one has been unoccupied for years–until now. This historic building visible from the bridge connecting Beckwith with Brockville Street, Smiths Falls, will soon house the offices of European corporation, le Boat. In fact, it is to be its North American base.
“We are refurbishing the building for le boat,” says Cyril Cooper, Head of Economic Development. “We’re very excited about their arrival and the many advantages this brings to our Town.”
“I’m so happy for Smiths Falls,” exclaims Kari Clarke, Head of Perth BIA. “Le Boat will be an asset to the entire Rideau.” It’s a good thing other communities realize the value and great potential of such a unique driver of tourism–and awareness of the glorious Rideau Canal, globally. Cooper’s hard work in bringing this corporation to Smiths Falls will benefit every economy boosted by the Rideau.
Sixteen state-of-the-art Horizon cruisers, categorized as ‘Deluxe,’ will be docked in Smiths Falls for the start of the 2018 season. These models basically house four adults and a child or two. They are well appointed vessels with all the comforts of a luxury hotel.
Watch le boat’s video (below) to experience the quality le boat offers. This is not the Horizon model; but, very telling about the experience.
“This is not a 2-day trip; but rather, 10-14 days where people can moor and experience the towns and villages on the Rideau,” spokesperson Shannan Brennan explains.
The Rideau is 202 kms long with 47 locks between Ottawa to Kingston. The locks close at dusk; so, this will trigger evening journey’s into villages and towns.
Daytime stops at Chaffey’s Lock is an easy choice as attractions and foodservice are steps off the dock. Travelers will venture though, spending hours shopping, dining and exploring renown and historic hotspots like Perth, Portland, Westport and Merrickville (the list is long). Ottawa and Kingston truly ‘anchor’ the Rideau at each end. It is a rich journey with too many choices.
“The boats must depart from Smiths Falls and return to Smith Falls,” Brennan adds.
Smiths Falls will be visited upon by all le boat guests. They will likely arrive by train from Ottawa or Toronto airports. Some will arrive by car and park. All will immediately receive an orientation on their vessel. A venture into Smiths Falls to load up on groceries, wine, novels, Canadian souvenirs and sunscreen will likely ensue. A visit to its restaurants, museums and theatre will keep guests entertained, priming their journey. After that, it’s “Bon Voyage!”
“Another 16 boats are scheduled over 5 years; but, if the demand is greater, we will add more,” Brennan discloses. This is good news. Smiths Falls is exceptionally able to handle its growth with its extensive shores and dry-docking possibilities.
The Horizon Cruiser is so easy to handle you do not need a permit or any license. The boat is trimmed with bumpers; so, it makes for fearless mooring. Cheryl Brown, Managing Director, takes us for a tour inside and outside the Horizon in the video below, and confirms how easy it is to handle. Everyone at le boat says, “If you can drive a car, you can drive the Horizon.”
Imagine Smiths Falls’ shores, likely Victoria Bay, fringed with these beauties.
“We’ve already received 1,200 pre-registers to rent our cruisers on the Rideau,” Brannan announces. The greatest interest has come from America, followed by Germany and France. Can we say, “Oui” and “Ja.”
Shall we brush-up on our basic greetings on the Rideau?
Hello : “Hallo”
Thank you : “Vielen Dank”
Goodbye : “Auf Wiedersehen”
Yes : Ja (ph. “yah”)
Hello : Bonjour
Thank You : “Merci”
Goodbye : “Au Revoir”
“Je vous en prie,” tends to follow “thank you”
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Great article Maggie!
Coordinator, Perth BIA