Story and Photos courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office
WESTPORT – Five decades ago American Barry Vuolo’s life was forever changed when he first visited the Rideau Lakes.
The early experiences as a boy turned him into an avid angler and later an experienced fishing guide. Now he has become a partner/owner of Upper Rideau Resorts, a sprawling property overlooking Upper Rideau Lake. “I’ve fished a lot of places and this is still the best, still my favourite place,” says Barry of the 3.8-acre resort southeast of Westport. “You can’t beat it and people in this area are so nice.”
Barry and his business partners first purchased the resort in 1998 and set about updating the prime location. Twenty years later, they continue to upgrade the property and its eight fully-appointed cottages and units on the water. All cottages have their own docks along the more than 300 feet of shoreline. There is a boat launch on site, a fish-cleaning station, 10 docks, a beach and playground for children and families.
“We have a lot of families that do water sports. We love fishing but this place isn’t just about fishing. It is for the whole family,” says Barry. He and his wife Sabina have clients from both the United States and Canada. Most are repeat customers but they hope to spread the word to area Rideau Canal lovers.
“We’re open from May to October. It’s such a great place to relax and take in the view, the sunrises and sunsets. In the fall we have a spectacular view of the fall colours,” says Barry.
Long-time client and friend Ron Ernest, from Pennsylvania, visits at least once a year. “My whole family comes here. Now my grandchildren are coming so that’s my legacy,” says Ron. A skilled fisherman who loves a good fish fry, Ron says he has great respect for the Rideau Lakes and admires how they are not overfished. Staying at Upper Rideau Resorts puts you right on the water and over the years he and his son R.J. have discovered many great fishing spots.
All fully-accessible, three-bedroom cottages have screened porches, six single beds, new furniture, ceiling fans, full-sized kitchen appliances, including microwaves and coffee makers, dishes, fire pits and charcoal BBQs. There is upgraded cable TV, DVD players and Wi-Fi. All you need to bring is food and bedding.
Learn more about Upper Rideau Resorts by visiting their website and Facebook page or its YouTube channel. Call them at 613-273-7224 or 1-800-216-9227 or send Barry an email.