Ottawa

Safety railing coming to stretch of Rideau Canal

The National Capital Commission board of directors has approved spending $1.3 million to install 2.2 kilometres of railing along the Rideau Canal, from Dow's Lake to Hog's Back Falls.

NCC board OK's $1.3M barrier from Dow's Lake to Hog's Back

Currently a concrete curb is the only barrier between this 2.2-kilometre stretch of the Rideau Canal and the pathway that runs alongside it. (Google Streetview)

The National Capital Commission board of directors has approved spending $1.3 million to install 2.2 kilometres of railing along the Rideau Canal, from Dow's Lake to Hog's Back Falls.

The railing is expected to be installed in the fall of this year.

Currently there's only a concrete curb separating that section of the canal from the adjacent pathway. In the spring of 2015, two cyclists fell over the curb and into the canal.

Late last year, the NCC board approved a plan to proceed with the design for the railing. 

The board looked at three options: doing nothing, a three-rail barrier for $1.3 million and a seven-rail one for $2 milllion.

The railing is necessary to make the increasingly popular pathway safer for users, said NCC chief executive Mark Kristmanson.

The three-rail option matches the barrier along other stretches of the canal, so it's in keeping with the established look. 

Vancouver-based NCC director Norman Hotson opposed to the proposal, arguing people are more cautious and have a better "canal experience" without barriers. He also pointed out that children would be able to climb through the railings.

"It's a better place without the handrail," said Hotson who dissented on the item along with Ottawa-area board director Bob Plamondon.