My grandparents had a house on a canal in southern Louisiana and my father-in-law lives on one in Florida. Both are locations where I would rather not live on the water. ("Come on in, Mr. Alligator.") However, I do find them to be a rather romantic place to live.
I watched the fabulous movie Hope and Glory a few weeks back. It's about a young boy growing up during WWII. His grandfather lived on a shallow river. Since gas (petrol) was rationed, they traveled to and from the house via the water. Such a lovely way to live.
I absolutely love the gondola. They had a rowboat for practicality, but the gondola is pure heaven.
Too bad canal-living is a bit scarce in central Texas where we are almost constantly in drought conditions. But a girl can dream.