The flooding of 2019 significantly damaged the toe of the escarpment behind Parliament Hill immediately next to the Ottawa River Pathway. This erosion has reduced the stability of the slope, which is now vulnerable to further erosion and has exposed potentially contaminated soils.

The NCC is currently in the process of rehabilitating the escarpment.

About the project

The NCC did a preliminary inspection following the 2019 flooding, and removed hazardous trees that were no longer stable. In the fall of 2019, we installed fencing and signage to secure the area and restrict public access to the exposed soil. In late fall 2019, we temporarily reinforced a small section of heavily damaged escarpment with rip-rap to make it resilient in the event of flooding in spring 2020.


The goal of this project is to address the issues related to the erosion and ensure public safety for the users of the pathway and the areas next to the escarpment, as well as to protect the forested slope. The project involves the following:

  • Repairing the damage to the escarpment caused by the 2019 flooding, while providing resiliency in the event of future floods.
  • Restoring slope stability in the affected area.
  • Addressing any environmental concerns related to exposed contaminated soils.
  • Reinstating the site and removing the fencing to restore public use of land.

Process and timeline

Phase 1 (completed)
December 2020

Installation of concrete barriers to prevent rock from potentially falling from a low stone wall along the pathway. This was priority work to secure a section of the pathway.

Phase 2
Summer/fall 2021

Parliament Hill escarpment rehabilitation work.

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.