About US

Looking for an affordable, safe, and entertaining activity this summer? You got it!
At Niknaks Paddle Shack, we believe our visitors should be able to access the Rideau Canal and the Smiths Falls region in whichever way they feel most comfortable.

How do we do this? It’s simple. We offer equipment rentals and tour services that cater towards the unique interests of our clients. Whether you’re looking for a chance to escape the busyness of the city, spend some quality time with that special someone, or simply entertain the kids during those long summer months, Niknaks can help.

Our Story

Niknaks Paddle Shack was created by Nicola Thomson, former Coordinator of the Smiths Falls Downtown Business Association (DBA) and her husband, Chris Thomson. The couple was inspired to create a venture that would provide visitors and residents with the unforgettable experience of locking-through the Rideau Canal’s historic locks.

“We are so fortunate to have the Rideau Canal right in our own backyard, yet many locals have yet to truly experience it.” – Nicola Thomson, Director

Through Niknaks, Nicola and Chris are living their dreams: providing an affordable, family-friendly activity that encourages health and wellness in their community.

Our Location

Whether viewed by land or water, the Rideau Canal offers an abundance of experiences that are unique to our community. Niknaks Paddle Shack is conveniently located between two of the Rideau Canal’s 45 operational locks, allowing visitors to witness and experience two very different kinds of lock, both within 400m of our home base.

Our home base is located at 1 Park Avenue between Murphy Park and Centennial Park “under the water tower” in Smiths Falls.

Detached Lock – One of the Rideau Canal’s original locks, built between 1826-1832. The Detached Lock is manually operated by the staff of Parks Canada each season, using 19th-century technology to facilitate the flow of both water and boat-traffic through the canal.

Combined Lock – A fully automated hydraulic lock, built between 1973-74. The Combined lock was built to replace three original locks (lock #’s 27-29) in order to save time and space. With a lift of 26ft, the Combined Lock is the tallest lift along the canal.