The 5.6-hectare Victoria Island — a place of special significance to the Indigenous peoples in Canada’s Capital area — is located in the Ottawa River, immediately north of Ottawa’s downtown core. The NCC acquired the majority of the property in the 1960s, and the remainder in April 2018, from Public Services and Procurement Canada.

The site historically supported mixed industrial, commercial and residential land uses dating back to the late 1800s. Soil, groundwater, sediment and surface water at the site are contaminated from these former activities.

Site Remediation

Victoria Island is closed to the general public, as well as to tenants. Soil samples taken on the island reveal an elevated level of contaminants, which requires immediate remediation work to ensure the long-term safety in terms of both human health and the environment.

A temporary capping and fencing program on the west side of Victoria Island was undertaken in spring 2018. As this temporary cap does not satisfy long-term requirements for the protection of human health or the environment, the NCC is undertaking additional environmental remediation work.

About the project

To be completed by spring 2020:

  • Remediation of the slope on the west side
  • Supplemental environmental site assessment activities on the east side
  • Development of a remedial action plan for the east and west sides

To be undertaken between 2020 and 2025:

  • Full-depth remediation or installation of an engineered cap on current commercial areas on the west side where remediation is not technically feasible
  • Installation of an engineered cap on current parkland areas on both the east and west sides

Shoreline Stabilization (work completed)

About the project

The Victoria Island shoreline was severely damaged, and incurred extensive erosion, as a result of the 2017 and 2019 spring floods. The northern shoreline of Victoria Island suffered a significant loss of land due to the flooding. The goal of the stabilization work was to establish a more resilient shoreline in the event of future flooding.

The NCC stabilized and anchored the shoreline, but did not replace loss from previous flooding events.

Scope of work

September to December 2019

  • Installation of a silt curtain, 30 cm from the water line.
  • Cleaning up of the site and removal of debris.
  • Rebuilding and reinforcing of the shoreline, using rip-rap and vegetation.
  • Excavation of the top slope to ensure stable side slopes down to the river.
  • Installation of geotextile and a small retaining wall.
  • Planting of vegetation for shoreline stabilization.

This project is part of the NCC’s major infrastructure projects made possible with the Government of Canada’s $55-million investment from the 2018 federal budget.