Ottawa

Sledding banned at Mooney's Bay

Due to overcrowding, the City of Ottawa says it will increase patrols to make sure no one is sledding down the hill at Mooney's Bay Park, starting immediately.

City cites overcrowding at popular hill, enforcement starts immediately

People crowd the hilltop at Mooney's Bay Park on Jan. 3, 2021. The city says it's banning sledding there because of overcrowding. (Ashley Burke/CBC)

People are no longer allowed to toboggan down the big hill at Mooney's Bay due to crowds gathering there, the City of Ottawa announced on the eve of a cold but sunny weekend.

"It has been the scene of consistent large crowds, numbering in the hundreds, over the past two weeks," the city said in a news release Friday afternoon.

The city said those gatherings are breaking public health rules, which capped access to sledding hills and outdoor rinks to 25 people earlier this month. That 25-person rule applies to both the top and bottom of hills.

Starting Friday, the city says it will increase patrols to make sure no one is sledding down the hill. The Mooney's Bay parking lot, where the 25-person limit also applies, will now be limited to those who are cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in the park.

A 25-person limit remains in place at other hills in the city, including this one at Westboro Beach. (Andrew Lee/CBC)

Councillor disagrees with ban

In a tweet Friday afternoon, River Ward Coun. Riley Brockington disagreed with the city's approach.

"While I acknowledge Mooney's Bay hill has been a popular destination for families this winter [and] many guests have failed to adhere to capacity caps, closing one of the limited outdoor amenities available to the public, for tobogganing, is not the way to go," he tweeted. "We can safely do this."

 

The ban comes nearly two weeks into the province's stay-at-home order, which requires people to avoid venturing out except for essential reasons like buying groceries or exercising.

"Physical activity is essential to people's overall health," states the news release. "The province's stay-at-home order encourages people to stay close to their home – at their nearest trails and neighbourhood rinks – to stay active and have fun outdoors."

The National Capital Commission announced Friday that the Rideau Canal Skateway will open next week.

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