NCC allocates $52.4 million for safety and rehabilitation of ‘iconic assets’

Ontario Construction News staff writer

The federal government says it has allocated $52.4 million in new funding to rehabilitate and ensure the ongoing safety of what the National Capital Commission (NCC) describes as “some of the capital region’s most iconic assets.”

The funds will be used to address “critical health and safety issues” at sites including the NCC’s two interprovincial bridges, largely targeting assets that were damaged in the spring 2019 flooding, making them more resilient to the effects of climate change.

“These investments toward the rehabilitation of Nepean Point, strengthening the shorelines of the Ottawa River or securing sustainable access to our valued green spaces and much more, are about consolidating so many assets that give national significance to this region,” NCC CEO Tobi Nussbaum said in the statement. “The residents of this region will appreciate the government’s commitment to the nature and character of this capital for all Canadians.”

With these additional funds, the NCC will invest in the following for 2020–2021:

  • Flooding rehabilitation and resiliency: Approximately $13 million to address shoreline and pathway rehabilitation due to 2019 flooding, and for long-term resiliency planning.
  • Deferred maintenance:Approximately $31.5 million to address public health and safety risks associated with extreme weather and flooding impacting a variety of assets. This work also includes the rehabilitation of Nepean Point and the reconstruction of Champlain Lookout.
  • Interprovincial crossings: Approximately $8 million to rehabilitate the Portage Bridge shoreline, as well as maintain and rehabilitate the Champlain Bridge.

In the National Capital Region, the flooding in 2019 was among the worst in recorded history.

“As part of our collective efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change, the NCC has gathered climate projections to assist in planning resiliency initiatives,” said the NCC statement issued last Friday. “This work will help us understand the biggest risks to people, infrastructure, the economy and nature, and facilitate the development of a plan to manage these risks.”

“The NCC will continue to work with the Government of Canada and all of its partners and stakeholders to ensure that infrastructure and other valuable federal assets are restored, maintained and made more resilient to meet the needs of Canadians, as these assets define the symbolic, natural and cultural significance of Canada’s Capital Region.”

In detail, here are the projects outlined in the NCC statement.

Flooding rehabilitation and resiliency — approximately $13 million

Britannia wall rehabilitation
Site of the Britannia Wall rehabilitation
  • Britannia Pathway Wall:The stone retaining wall that supports a raised portion of the Capital Pathway network suffered further deterioration in the 2019 flooding and requires rehabilitation. Phase one of the project was completed in March 2020, and the second phase to advance the rehabilitation of the wall is planned for 2021.
  • Jacques-Cartier Park Restoration:The rehabilitation and cleanup to ensure that the park meets public health and safety requirements is currently ongoing. This project will be completed in fall 2020.
  • Gatineau River and Leamy Lake Shorelines:Sections of the shoreline were damaged in the 2019 flooding and require rehabilitation. Shoreline stabilization using a variety of sustainable methods will be undertaken to prevent further ecological deterioration.
  • Chaudières East Park Shoreline:Suffering major damage during the 2019 flooding, the Quebec and Ontario shorelines around Chaudières East Park must be rebuilt to withstand some of the Ottawa River’s strongest currents.
  • Parliament Hill Escarpment:To improve stability following severe erosion, a geotechnical study of the slope of the escarpment will be completed and anchors will be rebuilt, where required.
  • Hull Wharf:Damaged sections of the wharf need to be rebuilt to ensure its structural integrity, and the boardwalk needs to be stabilized along the north shore of Jacques-Cartier Park.

Deferred maintenance — approximately $31.5 million


  • Mud Lake:A new, universally accessible pathway will be built between the entrance to Pinecrest Creek and the Britannia water purification plant. This project will also include rehabilitation of the connecting boardwalk affected by the recent flooding.
  • Champlain Lookout Reconstruction: Following the collapse of part of the retaining wall at Champlain Lookout in Gatineau Park, the site was closed to the public. This historical landmark is being reconstructed to ensure that the lookout is accessible year-round.
  • Colonel By Pathway Wall: Sections of the wall are currently unstable, and need to be repaired and rehabilitated; critical sections will be replaced.
  • Maplelawn Wall: The wall is located in Maplelawn Garden, and its current condition is unstable, with some sections at risk of collapsing. Those sections will need to be rehabilitated and rebuilt.


  • Nepean Point Redevelopment: This project involves the removal of the Astrolabe Theatre and associated infrastructure, which are at the end of their life cycle and no longer meet universal accessibility standards. The redevelopment will present an opportunity to include new interpretation, innovative design, improved landscaping and enhanced public access in the heart of the Capital.

Buildings and Electrical Systems

  • Elevator Replacements:Elevators at various NCC rental properties are outdated. Upgrades are necessary to meet safety standards.
  • Electrical Systems:Necessary upgrades are needed to various electrical equipment and infrastructure to ensure that they meet current safety requirements for commercial properties.
  • Interprovincial crossings — approximately $8 million
  • Portage Bridge Shorelines: The shoreline infrastructure suffered major damage as a result of the 2019 flooding. This project will provide reinforcement to secure the Portage Bridge and repair its shoreline infrastructure.
  • Champlain Bridge: This project includes undertaking repairs to the railing infrastructure, as well as repainting and repaving sections of the bridge.


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