On April 20, the NCC Board of Directors met to discuss recent and upcoming projects. Here are the highlights presented in my Report on Activities.
Gatineau Park Winter Overview
This year marked the return of our public programming, including our popular “Animal Tracking on Snowshoes” event. We also hosted a new event, titled, “Winter in the Park 101”.
Our guided snowshoe hikes were very popular, reaching 450 new Canadians, 620 students and 450 members of the public. We also met and presented to 900 students in their classrooms.
Gatineau Park was, once again, a very popular winter destination. We sold more than 15,000 winter season passes and over 1,300 winter night accommodations.
Next month, we will be starting abatement work at 24 Sussex. This is an important and necessary first step to stabilize the building — regardless of the federal government’s decision for the future of the Prime Minister’s Official Residence.
Infrastructure Projects and Plans
We are making progress on many major projects and plans:
- Victoria Island Remediation Project: We are now in Phase 3, which focuses on the greenspace area west of the Portage Bridge. In January, we met with members of the Algonquin Nation communities of Kitigan Zibi and Pikwakanagan, who performed a smudging ceremony on Victoria Island. This ceremony marked another milestone in the decontamination of this historic site.
- Sir George-Étienne Cartier Park Plan: This winter, we concluded a second round of consultations on the Plan. The next round is planned for the fall.
- Ruisseau de la Brasserie Public Development Plan: We are finalizing plans and have been discussing next steps with la Ville de Gatineau.
- Rideau Canal Lighting Rehabilitation: In collaboration with the City of Ottawa, we are beginning work to replace and repair electrical systems along the Rideau Canal. We will start the project this summer, with work to be completed in 2025.
- Core Area Sector Plan: We are currently updating the Core Area Sector Plan, which includes reimagining how Confederation Boulevard functions as a route that links both the Ottawa and Gatineau sides of the Capital.
- Champlain Bridge Rehabilitation: In March, our project team resumed work on the bridge, which is expected to be completed in November 2023, eight months ahead of schedule.
- Kìwekì Point: We have finished the installation of the wooden fins at Whispering Point and continue our work on the bridge piers and girders. We anticipate the new park and bridge to be completed later this year, with an official opening in 2024.
- Philippe Lake Campground Rehabilitation: We worked with students from Algonquin College on ready-to-camp units for the Philippe Lake campground. Students made use of an innovative straw clay wall typology — a first for the NCC.
- Sustainable Development Strategy 2023-2027: After much consultation, we are in the final stages of drafting our new strategy.
We are committed to achieving net-zero in our operations by 2050. To achieve this target, we have initiated the development of our first climate mitigation plan.
To strengthen our conservation goals, we have recently concluded two contribution agreements for the protection of ecological corridors next to Gatineau Park. We have also partnered with the Nature Conservancy of Canada to protect 44 acres of land in the Breckenridge Corridor.
I am delighted to report that the NCC has been recognized as a top employer in the National Capital Region.
We have developed a new Gender Based Analysis Plus reference guide to support our teams navigate this new requirement. We also working on implementing the Accessible Canada Act.