I’m from a small community in the National Capital Region, so I’ve always been familiar with major attractions like the Rideau Canal Skateway, urban parks and the pathways. When I started working at the NCC as a student, I would never have dreamed that one day I would have an influence on these Capital attractions.
A varied portfolio
As manager of lands, urban parks and Confederation Boulevard, I’m responsible for the Capital core portfolio, which includes a wide variety of assets, including the following:
- Confederation Park
- Major’s Hill Park
- Garden of the Provinces and Territories
- Richmond Landing
- Victoria Island
- Portage Bridge
- Confederation Boulevard
These points of interest are indicated in orange on the map. Although it’s a small area, it’s very lively!
As land manager, I have to ensure that everything in my portfolio is integrated — whether it’s real estate transactions, maintenance work, rehabilitation projects or events. I ensure that the vocation of an asset is respected, and that its use is within the NCC’s mandate and in the greater interest of all Canadians.
Expecting the unexpected
My main challenge is to accommodate changing priorities and manage emergencies — all while long-term projects and daily activities are ongoing. Even if you do the very best you can to expect the unexpected, it’s still not always possible. My team and I often encounter surprises.
For example, in 2007, the fountain in Confederation Park turned into a bubble bath. In spring 2017, historic flooding damaged the pathway behind Parliament Hill, which I’m responsible for.
The unexpected things that I encounter on a daily basis are not always as big or dramatic as that, but they always require a certain amount of adaptability.
Working with experts on high-profile projects
The variety of work that I do is also what makes it so interesting. I’ve had the opportunity to be part of several interesting, high-profile projects and to work with experts in many different fields. It’s really exciting! I learn something every day.
Over the past few years, I’ve been a member of the team working on the project at Richmond Landing, and I participated in the design of the Capital Illumination Plan, the redevelopment of Nepean Point, the development of the Mackenzie Avenue cycling lanes, and many other projects.
One of the teams that I’ve been most proud to have contributed to is the design of Nepean Point. We’ve been working on this project for a long time, and it’s really gratifying to finally see the winning design take shape for one of the most picturesque sites in the Capital.
At the end of the day, what inspires me the most is knowing that the decisions and the projects I’m involved in have a real influence on people’s lives and on the future of parks in our nation’s capital.
Mathieu was recently promoted to senior manager, Operations and Life Cycle, at the NCC.