On January 25, the NCC Board of Directors met to discuss recent and upcoming projects. Here are some of the highlights presented in my Report on Activities.
Rideau Canal Skateway
The 48th season of the Skateway launched on January 5, nine days earlier than last year.
The NCC is pleased to support the 40th edition of Winterlude by hosting events in Jacques Cartier Park, Confederation Park, and on the Rideau Canal Skateway.
The NCC has again partnered with Mosaïcultures Internationales de Montréal and the City of Gatineau to present Mosaïvernales, a winter exhibition based on the Mosaïcultures structures. Mosaïvernales opens January 26 and runs through March 4, featuring the work of sculptors from Harbin, China, and is expected to attract between 150,000 and 200,000 visitors.
Grooming of the Sir John A. Macdonald Winter Trail began on December 12. New this year is a loop to Tunney’s Pasture, as well as the extension of the grooming to the field house at Champlain Park.
The NCC is also pleased to offer the use of NCC trails to the Ski Heritage East community group, which has launched a similar initiative along the Ottawa River east of the Capital’s core.
Draft plans for the Sir John A. Macdonald Riverfront Park and the Ottawa River North Shore are being presented to the Board today for comment.
Work is continuing on the river’s north shore to stabilize the banks damaged by last year’s flooding, and work to rebuild the Voyageurs Pathway is expected to begin in the spring or summer.
The process of renewing the Gatineau Park Master Plan is under way. This has so far included the creation of public advisory committee of key stakeholders, two public consultations, an online consultation, and specific stakeholder consultations, including with elected officials.
Feedback from these sessions will be presented to the Board in April.
The Park was among NCC properties damaged by rainfall and flooding in the fall. NCC staff was able to repair the most pressing damage in time to have the ski trail network ready before the first snow. More repairs are required to fully restore all damaged assets.
Capital Pathway Network
The process of renewing the Capital Pathway Network Strategic Plan has begun, with public consultations to take place this winter.
The Rideau Hall skating rink and Winter Pavilion opened to the public on December 9. The new refrigerated ice surface means the rink can now open much earlier than in past years, and is expected to remain in operation until April.
Following the announcement at the last Board meeting of the winner of the design competition for Nepean Point, the NCC’s Advisory Committee for Planning, Design, and Realty reviewed the jury’s decision and recommendations, and provided advice. A more detailed design proposal is expected this summer.
The owners have requested permission from the NCC and the City of Ottawa to demolish the hotel’s parking garage.
The garage does not share the hotel’s heritage structure status.
The NCC will work to ensure that the demolition creates minimal intrusion on the hotel’s neighbours and nearby public spaces.
National Holocaust Monument
The Department of Canadian Heritage and the NCC have put in place a plan to allow the monument to remain partially open during the winter months.
Living Waters Christian Assembly
The NCC is working with the congregation to help them find short- and long-term accommodations following the destruction of their church, an NCC property, in a fire just before Christmas.
The NCC is removing debris from the site and backfilling the foundation.
Kanata South Link
To accommodate rapid growth in the City of Ottawa’s west end, the City is widening sections of road through the Greenbelt. The NCC is working closely with the City to ensure the least possible intrusion on Stony Swamp, an important Capital green space.
Capital Urbanism Lab
The Capital Urbanism Lab continues to foster innovative discussion about urban design. In December, the NCC partnered with Carleton University’s Forum Lecture Series to host “Imaging the City.” The NCC also convened an initial meeting with a group of stakeholders in hopes of creating a 3D model of the Capital.
More Lab sessions are planned for the winter and spring.
Imaging the City
New technologies are changing the way we imagine and understand the urban environment.