Welcome aboard TF
You have one big plus in your favor - location!
The 1,000 Is provides some of the best boating IMHO as well as access to several other great boating locations.
I agree w/ the idea of renting - if your time available is in the 1-2 week range you might consider renting a cruiser on the Rideau Canal as a start - short travel and a few good opportunities to experience cruising -
I'd say skip the more common house boat rentals as they are not a good comparison to a larger cruising boat.
Aylings Boatyard in Merrickville rents ~ 30 ft cruisers - not a bad way for a couple to start to experience cruising.
Le Boat has a couple boats available - one about 37 ft that should be pretty comfy for a couple.
(our first serious extended cruise was a month - from NY Finger Lakes to Ottawa on the Rideau - we quickly learned we liked the cruising life style but our then current 24 ft'r wasn't going to make either of us happy.
You are in a perfect location to learn as well - visit marinas & boat yards - talk to owners about their cruising style, what they like / dislike about their boat. Keep a written list of musts / wants you think will suit your
style of cruising.
You might also consider joining & taking a few courses from the St Lawrence Sail & Power Squadron see:http://www.uspsd6.org/Documents/Publ...ornMay2018.pdf
You will not only be able to take some well done courses but will expand your network of knowledgeable folks with similar interests.
The Antique Boat Museum in Clayton will likely have many members / volunteers that may have / had boats like what you are thinking about.
Find ways to make the search fun along the way - boat shows, Trawlerfest etc make for great learning experiences and a fun wkend excursion.