The National Capital Commission (NCC) is undertaking a redevelopment project on their land at Westboro Beach. This project will be of significant benefit to residents as it will modernize the infrastructure at one of the four beaches supervised by the City and enhance the public amenities. The NCC has engaged the community to develop plans that include:
- rehabilitation of the existing Strutt pavilions with washrooms/changerooms to meet accessibility standards
- a renovated lifeguard space to support the municipal beach operations
- a new year-round Park Pavilion
- park landscaping improvements
- improved safety for the multi-use pathway and a new parking lot south of the parkway.
The NCC will commence construction this spring. This project will benefit our communities for years to come, but there will be several short-term disruptions to allow for the work to take place. Due to the significant staging area required by the contractor and safety considerations, Westboro Beach will be closed for the 2022 season. Recognizing the importance of beach access for residents, we have explored the possibilities of maintaining beach operations but unfortunately this cannot be accommodated during construction.
Due to all the construction work on and around the site, various detours will be in place to help the public navigate through the area. Signal staff will be on site at multiple locations to help direct traffic, as and when necessary.The property at Westboro Beach is owned by the NCC and the City’s main involvement in the site is the programming of beach operations. The NCC is leading this project and continues to engage the City as a partner.
Q & A – Westboro Beach Redevelopment Project
Will there still be washroom access for those passing by the area?
There will be no access to the site so we expect significantly fewer people to be in the area.
Can I still pass through the area on the multiuse pathway while walking or cycling?
Yes, you will still be able to pass through on the multiuse pathway. Detours may be set up to direct the multiuse pathway around the construction zone but access will be maintained. The only exception is in the first three weeks of the project, March 21 to April 8, where the multiuse pathway will be closed for tree clearing. Timing of this part of the project has been set to be completed before the pathway gets busy in the spring and bird nesting season.
Will the beach water quality still be tested?
Beach Water Quality Testing will be suspended at Westboro Beach for the season as the beach will be closed.
Why can’t we use the beach?
Due to the construction project and limited access to facilitate beach operations, servicing and maintenance, Westboro Beach will be closed to public access. The beach will be fenced and access will be restricted. In addition, portions of the beach will be used when required for construction staging. It is not safe to allow beach access while the construction project is taking place and access for operational, emergency vehicles and maintenance is limited. We have explored possibilities for partial beach access and unfortunately beach access cannot be accommodated while construction is taking place. Residents can look forward to returning to an improved site for the long term.
Will the Westboro Beach be open next summer?
The project timelines indicate the beach is anticipated to re-open for summer 2023.
Why was the project designed this way?
This is an NCC project and they did extensive public and stakeholder consultation to arrive at the designs. The property is owned by NCC and the City’s main involvement in the site is the programming of beach operations. You can learn more about the plans on the NCC’s website.
Can I still go in the water?
o, the beach area is closed and swimming in unsupervised areas is dangerous. There are strong currents and hazards in parts of the river so you should only swim in designated areas. Additionally, water quality testing is not being done so you will not know if bacteria levels are safe for swimming.
Will lifeguard hours be increased at other beaches?
Lifeguard hours are being extended this season due to a motion at Council that is not connected to this project. Lifeguards will start an hour earlier than previous seasons. The new lifeguard hours will run from 11 am – 7 pm daily.
Can I launch my boat from Westboro Beach?
No, there will not be access to Westboro Beach. Boaters should launch from Britannia Beach or another designated access point, such as a marina. Due to currents and other hazards, boaters should not use undesignated access points along the river.
Will food services still operate at Westboro Beach this summer?
No food service will be available at Westboro Beach this summer.
Will there still be a first aid station at Westboro Beach?
There will be no lifeguards on duty or public first aid station at Westboro Beach this summer. If you need help, call 9-1-1 for emergency situations and 3-1-1 for non-emergency situations.
Can I still picnic and watch the sunset at Westboro Beach?
The beach and surrounding area will be closed for the duration of the project. Please stay away from the construction site. There are many other scenic rest stops along the Ottawa River from which to watch the sunset.
What about camps that regularly use Westboro Beach?
Camps and other programs that visit Westboro Beach will need to find alternative sites for their activities for the 2022 season.