Play + Promotions
Experience the best of Smiths Falls with these iconic local activities.
Watch a Movie Under the Stars
You don’t need to go indoors to enjoy the big screen, you can have a theatrical experience under the stars in the beautiful setting of Centennial Park. Bring a lawnchair, some popcorn, and a blanket to wrap up in when the night gets cool, and watch as the big screen comes to life with new and vintage releases. This free community event takes place Thursday evenings in July and August and is fun for the whole family.
Discover Smiths Falls’ Railway History
So much of Smiths Falls has been shaped by our rich railway history. Here, the Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario is housed in an Edwardian-era, former Canadian National Railway Station that is now a National Historic Site. Visit the museum and take a hand-car ride, see a grand steam engine and a telegram office, and take a peek inside the only remaining dental car in North America. Finish the day with an overnight stay in an authentic, vintage caboose, and new this year, dine in a vintage dining car.
Experience the Rideau Canal
As Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal is an experience unto itself. Visit the Rideau Canal Visitor Centre to learn all about how this fantastic architectural marvel was built, nearly 200 years ago. Stop by one of the three lockstations to watch the boats lock up and down the Rideau Canal and chat with the friendly Parks Canada staff. Bring a canoe, kayak, or SUP (or rent one nearby) and get out on the water for the full Rideau experience.
Splash in the Canal
Who doesn’t enjoy a good, old-fashioned afternoon of sun, sand, and water play? Lounge at the beach that overlooks one of Canada’s greatest treasures, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal. Play in the clear waters of the river, bounce on the water trampoline, or relax on a smooth, sandy beach to while away the long summer hours. Pack a picnic lunch and spend the day outdoors, exploring the islands and bridges, and basking in the beauty of the waterway.
Bring on the Cocktail Hour
Newly opened in 2019, Bowie’s has since become a fun spot to enjoy a yummy, creative cocktail, local craft beer or glass of wine while listening to up-and-coming musical talent. Enjoy the fresh air in Bowie’s outdoor sitting area and make yourself at home with good food and good music, together.
Chill on a Patio
When you live in a community surrounded by stunning natural scenery, of course you are looking for any excuse to spend time outdoors! Stop for a bite to eat at a downtown eatery or pub, many of which have created fabulous outdoor spaces to dine in, some with a view of the water. Visit Rob Roy’s on the ground floor of the Econolodge where you can dine on a patio overlooking the Rideau Canal, or grab a sweet treat at C’est Tout Bakery for a streetside view. Matty O’Shea’s patio overlooks historic Chamber Street and is the perfect spot for people watching. Stop for a bite to eat on Harvest Social’s patio at the Davidson Courtyard, or savour gastropub fare at The Vault on a bustling Russell Street.
Visit 4 Degrees Brewing
Learn more about Smiths Falls’ history, not at a museum, but at the local craft brewery! Visit 4 Degrees Brewing and sample locally crafted brews served in a delightful open-concept space, complete with outdoor patio. You’ll find 4 Degrees’ brews have unique names like Old Slys ’69, Frost & Wood ’55 or Hill 70 – ask how they came up with their names and immerse yourself in local history and frothy beer at the same time.
Take a Step Back in Time
Visit the Heritage House Museum and experience Smiths Falls as it would have been more than 100 years ago. Built in 1862 as a private mill-owner’s home, the museum now showcases the history and culture of the Smiths Falls’ community. Wander through the period rooms, check out the two-story privy, or stroll the scenic grounds where you can enjoy a picnic in the Victorian gazebo. The grounds are located on the picturesque Rideau Canal waterway, offering a unique glimpse at the remaining rapids in Smiths Falls and the Old Slys Lockstation.
Explore our Trails
Smiths Falls is home to three trail systems: The Rideau Trail is a 387-kilometre trail that runs between Kingston and Ottawa; the Cataraqui Trailhead and the Ottawa Valley Rail Trailhead (OVRT) are former railway lines and are ideal for foot, bike, cross country skiing, snow machines or horse back riding; the Cataraqui Trail will take you toward Kingston while the OVRT travels north to Carleton Place and beyond. There is also a network of waterside trails that run alongside tree-lined streets and scenic rural areas in and around Smiths Falls that are perfect for exploring on foot or by bike.