July 25, 2023
The century-old heritage building is now universally accessible year-round and includes a new public dock with food and beverage amenities.
The Honourable Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament for Ottawa–Vanier, on behalf of the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, together with National Capital Commission (NCC) CEO Tobi Nussbaum and NCC Chairperson Maryse Gaudreault, announced today the official reopening of the NCC River House. After a full rehabilitation, the heritage building is now universally accessible year-round.
The NCC River House offers several new options to enjoy the shoreline along the Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway and the Capital Pathway, including newly landscaped and universally accessible shore access. A public dock with an enclosed supervised swimming area will be open from 10 am to 7 pm on July 25 and from 7 am to 7 pm beginning July 26. An outdoor patio with river views, a rentable event space as well as food and beverage amenities are also available.
The NCC River House required extensive renovations to preserve the heritage character of the pavilion, as well as to modernize access to the site. The four-year project included:
- conservation, repainting and reinstatement of the existing wood siding;
- major site service upgrades and universal accessibility improvements to the building;
- replacement of the pedestrian bridge;
- conversion of an existing parking lot into universally accessible parking;
- provision of a new safe crossing on the Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway for all users; and,
- implementation of new, universally accessible public dock infrastructure.
The NCC River House is a landmark asset in the NCC’s portfolio. Designed by architect C.P. Meredith, it was constructed between 1914 and 1925 for the Ottawa New Edinburgh Club (ONEC). For nearly a century, it has been the site of canoeing, boating and recreational activities along the Ottawa River.
In 2010, the boathouse was designated a Recognized Federal Heritage Building due to its longstanding links to the history of canoeing in Canada. Its architecture is a rare example of early boathouse design, and its unique setting on the river gives it special historical significance. Thank you to our tenants Bytown Catering, Ottawa Riverkeeper and Ottawa New Edinburgh Club (ONEC).
- Work began in summer 2019 and was completed in July 2023.
- River House is a three-story building located on a water lot; and the lowest “occupied” floor, the club level, rests below the 100-year flood plain.
- This work falls under the NCC’s major infrastructure projects, and is funded by the Government of Canada’s $55-million investment (announced in the 2018 federal budget).
"The River House stands as a cornerstone for the National Capital Region, adding to the overall charm and beauty of the NCC’s assets. With its symbolic and historical character, we commend the NCC for its leadership in protecting this heritage building, which will continue to be a landmark site for local communities and visitors alike, and the Ottawa Riverkeeper for being key players in the success of this project.”
— The Honourable Mona Fortier, Member of Parliament for Ottawa -Vanier
"The revitalization of the NCC River House is consistent with our vision to provide and facilitate new public access to the Ottawa River shoreline. Like the redevelopment of Kìwekì Point and Westboro Beach, the renewal of this heritage building to make it universally accessible year-round will provide new opportunities for public access and enhance people’s recreational experience along the river.”
— Tobi Nussbaum, Chief Executive Officer, National Capital Commission
NCC Media Relations