Ottawa

Algae blooms on canal not a risk to people: Parks Canada

Parks Canada says it’s aware a green algae is growing on the city’s canals, but says the pond scum isn’t dangerous.

The blooms, identified as green filamentous algae, don’t produce toxins

While Parks Canada opened the canals to boat traffic at the start of June, it hasn’t seen the same amount of traffic as in years past. (Andrew Foote/CBC)

If you've walked along the Queen Elizabeth Driveway recently, you may have noticed some unusual greenery in full bloom. 

Parks Canada says it's aware a green algae is growing on the city's canals, but says the pond scum isn't dangerous. 

"It's a completely natural thing for algae blooms to develop on waterways," said Dale MacEachern, a spokesperson for the federal agency. "And again, there's no risk to people."

According to Parks Canada, the blooms, identified as green filamentous algae, don't produce toxins like blue-green algae. 

The canal's new look could be the result of a combination of warmer temperatures, high-nutrient deposits in the water and less boat traffic keeping the waterways still, MacEachern said. 

While Parks Canada opened the canals to boats at the start of June, it hasn't seen the same amount of traffic as in years past.

Although green filamentous algae can create environmental concerns if left isolated in a closed system, Park Canada will deploy crews to clean the canals on Monday. 

It also hopes to open the canals more often, impeding further growth as water flows through the waterway.

"There's no impediment to boat navigation. It's really an aesthetic thing," MacEachern said. "We are going to mobilize on Monday morning and start our crews removing that."

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

now