NCC to reopen parking lots, increase access to Greenbelt, Gatineau Park
Most parking lots to reopen Friday at 9 a.m., NCC says
The National Capital Commission (NCC) is broadening access to its parks and green spaces in the Ottawa-Gatineau area as governments loosen COVID-19 restrictions on both sides of the provincial border.
Starting at 9 a.m. Friday, most parking lots on the NCC's urban lands, in the Greenbelt and in Gatineau Park will be open for public use again.
The move is consistent with Ontario's recovery plan, which allowed many park amenities to reopen for public use this week (like benches and dog parks) as well as Quebec's decision to remove checkpoints and reinstate day use of its parks, the NCC said in a Thursday news release.
Along with opening most parking lots, the NCC said it's embarking on a pilot program to open parkways in Gatineau Park to cycling- and pedestrian-use only.
Pilot projects continue
Both the Gatineau Park and the Queen Elizabeth Driveway pilot projects will continue until Sunday, June 28. Closures to vehicles on the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway and Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway will also continue on weekends from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., the NCC said.
"These combined closures amount to over 50 per cent of all NCC parkways whose use is being modified to provide more and safer outdoor access to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic," the NCC said.
The NCC strongly encourages everyone to practise physical distancing whether it be on a trail, in parks or when parking a vehicle, the release said.