The flooding of 2019 significantly damaged the escarpment behind Parliament Hill. It eroded the base of the slope, which is now unstable and vulnerable to further erosion. It has also exposed soils that are possibly contaminated.

The NCC is collaborating with federal partners on these issues, and will be undertaking work in the winter 2023 and into fall 2024.

Impact of work

A section of the Ottawa River Pathway behind Parliament Hill will be closed during the work.

About the project

In 2019, after the flooding, the NCC did an initial inspection and removed dangerous and unstable trees. We then fenced off the area to restrict public access to exposed soil, and reinforced a small section of heavily damaged escarpment with rip-rap to help it withstand future flooding in spring 2020.


The aim of this project:

  • repair damage and increase resilience to future floods
  • restore slope stability
  • protect the forested slope
  • remediate contaminated soils
  • restore safe public use

Process and timeline

Phase 1

December 2020 — Complete

Installation of concrete barriers to prevent potential rockfalls from a low stone wall along the trail.

Phase 2

Winter 2023–Fall 2024

Parliament Hill escarpment rehabilitation work.

  • Remove vegetation at the base of the escarpment.
  • Plant erosion-resistant vegetative cover.
  • Build retaining walls.
  • Flatten the slope.
  • Repair and reinforce the natural exposed bedrock face.
  • Replant vegetation to restore the natural appearance of the escarpment.

This project is part of the NCC’s major infrastructure projects made possible with the Government of Canada’s $52.4-million investment from the 2020 federal budget.