Ottawa

Girl dies in Mooney's Bay tobogganing accident

Emergency crews were called to Mooney's Bay, along the Rideau River, around 2:50 p.m. Monday, paramedics told CBC. The 11-year-old girl was rushed to CHEO, eastern Ontario's children's hospital, in critical condition. Ottawa police said she was pronounced dead in hospital.

City reminds residents park not designated as sledding hill

People slide down the hill at Mooney's Bay in January 2021. On Dec. 27, a young girl died in a tobogganing accident. (Ashley Burke/CBC)

An 11-year-old girl is dead after a toboggan accident at a popular hill in Ottawa.

Emergency crews were called to Mooney's Bay, along the Rideau River, around 2:50 p.m. Monday, paramedics told CBC.

They said the girl was rushed to CHEO, eastern Ontario's children's hospital in Ottawa, in critical condition. Ottawa police said she was pronounced dead in hospital.

Her next-of-kin have been notified, police said.

"We're all devastated," said Kate Cathrae, president of the Riverside Park Community Association

"I have an eight year old and a 10 year old at home and certainly we toboggan regularly, so it's a story that's absolutely tragic and our hearts are heavy. "

Hill closed until further notice

Mooney's Bay is a popular spot for people to toboggan down, but the city says it has been closed for sledding since 2017. 

"Signage was placed on site at that time advising park visitors that sledding and tobogganing on the hill are not safe," Dan Chenier, the city's head of recreation, cultural and facility services, said in an emailed statement.

The hill leads from near the parking lot to the beach beside the river.

"The city is saddened by the tragic accident at Mooney's Bay and extends its deepest condolences to the young person's family," Chenier said.

Police said the hill is closed until further notice due to safety concerns, while officers investigate and the City of Ottawa takes measures to improve safety.

Chenier said the staff will also be patrolling the hill this week "to ensure compliance and that all users of the area are participating only in recreation activities that are permitted."

The city is also removing some sign posts from the park and closing the nearby parking lot to discourage use. 

"I can only presume that more safety measures are a good idea," said Cathrae

"Certainly just knowing that the city is looking into it so that they can make an informed decision about the hill, I think that makes all of us feel like something can be done to make some kind of sense out of the tragedy."

Anyone who may have seen the accident and did not speak to officers at the time is asked to contact the Ottawa police at  613- 236-1222 ext.3566.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story said the girl was 10 years old, according to first responders. In fact, the girl was 11 years old.
    Jan 05, 2022 3:57 PM ET

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