On January 24, the NCC Board of Directors met to discuss recent and upcoming projects. Here are some of the highlights presented in my Report on Activities.

Voyageurs Pathway

  • The Voyageurs Pathway, which suffered severe damage in devastating flooding in spring 2017, has been rebuilt to higher standards, increasing resiliency in preparation for future extreme weather events. This work started on July 16, and was completed on December 5.
  • This is the first major infrastructure project to be completed using the $55 million over two years invested by the federal Government in its 2018 budget.

LeBreton Flats On-ramp

  • Work on the LeBreton Flats on-ramp to the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway is to begin this summer. The project team is evaluating several options, including a “rapid replacement” approach in which a new bridge would be constructed alongside the existing structure, and then moved into place after the current bridge is demolished.

Hog’s Back Bridge

  • Reconstruction of Hog’s Back Bridge will begin in the summer or fall of this year, closing the bridge for five to eight months. The NCC and its partners are working together to ensure minimal disruptions to traffic flow.

Tornado Damage

  • Repairs continue on NCC assets damaged in last falls’ tornadoes. Of the 69-acre park at the Bruce Pit, 63 acres are now open to the public.
  • The NCC is preparing a strategy to replant areas heavily damaged near the community of Arlington Woods, and will be meeting with the community to review the strategy in the spring.

Victoria Island

  • Victoria Island has been fully closed to the public since January 1. The NCC is currently engaged in preparatory work in advance of the remediation of the south slope on the western part of the island.
  • The NCC is working with the Algonquin leadership to explore opportunities for the Algonquin Nation to participate in the remediation process.

Skating Season

  • The 49th season of skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway began on December 30, the earliest start to the season in 15 years.
  • The skating season at the Rideau Hall rink and Winter Pavilion began on December 8.

Gatineau Park

  • In December the NCC invited members of the public to participate in an online survey on a number of topics relevant to the future of the Gatineau Park. More than 4,500 responses were received.
  • It is another record-breaking season for winter pass sales in Gatineau Park. As of mid-December seasons-pass sales stood at more than 9,400, almost 1,000 more than the previous record set in the 2014-2015 season.
  • Daily passes are available online this season for the first time, and the NCC has partnered with the Ottawa-Gatineau Hotel Association, Ottawa Tourism, and Outaouais Tourism to offer these passes to guests at several area hotels at a reduced rate.
  • The NCC recently held its first volunteer recognition event to celebrate the successes of the Responsible Trail Management Project.
  • Thanks to the volunteers two new trails opened last year, and more are expected to open in the spring.
  • This winter there are 64 trail patrollers, a new record. For the first time, some are patrolling on fatbikes.

Cross-country Skiing

  • This is the third season for the Sir John A. Macdonald Winter Trail on the west side of the Canal, and the first full season for Ski Heritage East on the east side.
  • The NCC was very pleased to contribute a fire pit to the Nordic Village rest area along the Sir John A. Macdonald Trail at Remic Rapids.

Educational Programming

  • Last fall 65 different schools participated in the NCC’s in-class educational programming, in which NCC nature interpreters visit area schools to offer presentations that align with school curricula.
  • This month NCC representatives are leading snowshoe outings for students.
  • Thirty groups of New Canadians have had the chance to try snowshoeing this winter through NCC programming.

Sustainability

  • The NCC’s new sustainable development strategy calls for 75% of the NCC’s light-duty fleet to be zero-emission or hybrid vehicles by 2023. With the recent addition of two more electric vehicles, 11% of the fleet is now hybrid or electric.

Urban Wildlife

  • The NCC has attended meetings with the City of Ottawa and Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources with regard to a collaborative approach to Large Mammal Emergency Response efforts.

Christmas Market

  • In December the NCC partnered with Alpha Art Gallery and the ByWard Market to host a Christmas Market in the Heritage Courtyards in the Market. More than 20 local vendors participated.

Café Altern

  • The NCC partnered with le Conseil des ecoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario to offer Café Altern, a café program for high school students at 459 Sussex Drive. The program teaches students about running a business and being self-employed. It will be extended to the end of May.

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