On April 7th, the NCC Board of Directors met via videoconference and in person to discuss recent and upcoming projects.
Here are the highlights presented in my Report on Activities.
For the first time in over 20 years, skaters were able to enjoy the full 7.8 kilometres of the iconic Rideau Canal Skateway on opening day. Since then, more than half a million skaters have enjoyed 41 skating days. This season also saw the return of services, including skate rentals and food and beverage concession stands.
In Gatineau Park, we sold over 16,000 winter season passes and 1500 ready-to-camp overnight stays. We also added over eight kilometers of trails for snowshoeing and winter biking.
Nature interpreters, hired through the Friends of Gatineau Park, offered roving interpretation on many winter trails. After an almost 2-year hiatus, our school programming is back, and we have visited 50 area classrooms, totaling over 1000 students.
Lac Philippe campground: Long-deferred maintenance coming soon.
LeBreton Flats: There is a great deal of interest in the process to seek destination attractions at LeBreton Flats. The work also continues on the first phase of the Building LeBreton project, the Library Parcel.
Westboro Beach: The team is moving forward with building the new pavilion and rehabilitating the existing structures, along with the landscaping plan, interpretation and pathways improvements.
Victoria Island: Remediation activities will soon restart including site grading and infrastructure removal work.
Revision of the NCC’s Core Area Sector Plan: A comprehensive Engagement Strategy is in development and stakeholder meetings will take place in the next few months.
Moore Farm: Restaurant La Commune will carry on with the NCC’s vision of establishing urban agriculture on site. Animation will include beekeeping, community gardens, a revived Farm to table Bistro, ornamental gardens as well as a Sunday farmers market with local agricultural producers.
Sir George Etienne Cartier Riverfront Park Plan: The project team held a stakeholder consultation on February 23. They presented the project and a summary of our current knowledge of the park.
Nepean Point Redevelopment: The site plan amendment was approved, including the relocation of the Champlain and Anishinabe Scout statues.
LGBTQ2+ National Monument
On March 24th, the department of Canadian Heritage announced a winning design for the LGBTQ2+ National Monument. The monument will be located near the Portage Bridge, between Library & Archives Canada and the Ottawa River. The winning design, called Thunderhead, was submitted by Team Wreford.
Launched in 2020, the Capital Culture Lives Here initiative led to the rehabilitation of the Rochon Residence and a successful partnership with the SAW Gallery. The second phase of this initiative will focus on three properties in Gatineau and Chelsea:
- Strutt House, 1220 Chemin de la Montagne (Gatineau Park)
- 108 Chemin Pine (Gatineau Park)
- McConnell House at 1055 Chemin d’Aylmer
A study has been launched to identify and evaluate significant landscapes of cultural value. This study will recommend conservation and interpretation policies and strategies for identified cultural landscapes.
The NCC will be contributing, as part of its next Sustainable Development Strategy, to the Government of Canada’s target of achieving carbon neutral operations by 2050. Work is already underway to adopt the NCC’s first climate mitigation plan, which includes the development of a Net-Zero Real Property Portfolio Plan.
We are also planning the launch of a shuttle program that will improve connectivity between the downtown core and a variety of stops within Gatineau Park. You can expect an announcement in the next few weeks.
A contribution agreement for $100,000 was confirmed with Action Chelsea for the Respect of the Environment (ACRE) to preserve in perpetuity the hundred acre forest that is located in the north-eastern ecological corridor of Gatineau Park. Parks Canada, the Fondation de la faune du Québec, the Minnes Corporation, the Municipality of La Pêche and many residents have donated towards this important conservation project.
The NCC introduced its updated Toponymy Policy that will provide a more transparent decision-making process for naming and re-naming NCC-managed assets.
Mobility in the capital
It will be a busy construction season on interprovincial bridges, parkways and roads in the downtown core. The NCC is collaborating with its municipal partners and Public Services and Procurement Canada on a clear communications plan. We encourage visitors and residents to make use of public transit or active modes of transportation.
Our Transit Office will be formed shortly, demonstrating the NCC’s leadership in planning interprovincial mobility with a regional lens.
Updates at the NCC
Once again, the NCC was recognized as a top employer in the National Capital Region in 2021.