Ottawa looking at options to make Mooney’s Bay Park safe for sledding

City staff are looking to study Mooney’s Bay Park to understand how much it would cost to make the area safe for sledding.

After several accidents — including one where a child died in 2021— the City’s Community Services Committee approved a recommendation to hire an external consultant to look at options for making the hill safer.

According to a press release from the City of Ottawa, there have been “several” reviews that show the hill cannot be reopened unless the slope and the surrounding area are “physically altered.” 

The committee recommended to city council to approve up to $150,000 from City Wide Cash in Lieu of Parkland for an external engineer, landscape architecture expertise, costing modification and site and design requirements. 

Other short-term recommendations from staff include a seasonal temporary fence to be installed until safety issues are resolved, the report reads.

The National Capital Commission owns the hill so any modifications must be approved by it before the city can finalize details, staff said. 

“Until the current safety issues are resolved, the City will continue to prohibit sledding and to fence off the hill to prevent access in winter,” the press release reads. “People who continue to sled on Mooney’s Bay hill face the risk of serious injury, or injuring others.” 

The hill has been removed from the city’s list of sledding spots since 2017. After the fatal accident, the municipality added more signs and fencing to warn of the danger.

Protective measures like padding and hay bales were added to the area but the city still deemed the spot “too dangerous” due to the size, slope and collision hazards.

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