Ottawa River 2020 Updates

Subject: Ottawa River 2020 – freshet updates
Date: Sun, 12 Apr 2020 12:53:21 +0000 (UTC)
From: Dan Wilcock <>

Hi all,

Happy Easter and hoping you’re all well. I wanted to provide a quick update about what’s happening along our Ottawa River…

[River Path with Water and A-Frame Barrier]

NCC parklands

The NCC has now closed all parking lots along the Riverside parks. At this stage, NCC parklands remain open for walkthrough only. There has been an associated uptick in parking in Champlain Park to access NCC lands, but not to the point of causing any issues.

Update on COVID-19

Here is the NCC’s relevant advisory: Update on COVID-19

NCC Urban Parks and Lands in Ottawa
Closed recreational amenities

  • All parking lots
  • Benches, gazebos, picnic areas and outdoor community gardens

Recreational amenities with limited access

  • Trails and multi-use pathways
  • Off-leash dog areas (dogs must now be kept on a leash)

River levels

Levels have risen early this year with the spring freshet and are now covering some portions of the multi-use pathway.

“The Ottawa River Regulating Committee cautions that levels and flows on the Ottawa River continue to rise gradually due to on-going snowmelt in the central and northern portions of the basin. Minor flood levels may be exceeded starting this Monday in flood prone areas along the river between Fort-Coulonge and the Montreal region, depending on temperatures and precipitation received over the next few days.


Weather Outlook

A Special Weather Statement issued this morning indicating significant precipitation will contribute to rising river levels:

Heavy rain tonight and Monday and strong winds Monday afternoon into Monday evening.

Rain is forecast to begin tonight north of Lake Ontario and will expand into Eastern Ontario by Monday morning. Total rainfall amounts of 25 to 35 mm are expected. The rain will taper off from west to east Monday afternoon into Monday evening.

So far, while there are already some wet areas in the woods, it appears we are on track for a more “normal” peak (fingers crossed), but precipitation levels can quickly change projections. I’ll keep you posted with any significant changes!

Take care, Dan