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Risk assessment specialist to examine Mooney's Bay hill, among other Ottawa sledding locations

River Ward City Councillor Riley Brockington wants to see the city sanction Mooney's Bay hill and then develop some sort of flag or symbol system for sledding conditions. 
USED 2021-03-01 Mooney's Bay Park MV1
Mooney's Bay hill, Ottawa. Mike Vlasveld/ CityNews

The City of Ottawa has hired a risk assessment consultant to look at several local sledding hills, including the one at Mooney's Bay, which remains unsanctioned.

River Ward City Councillor Riley Brockington tells CityNews' The Rob Snow Show on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, that the city has been looking at tobogganing hills much more closely after Josée Abi, 11, died at Mooney's Bay in December.

This winter, after the Abi tragedy, the city issued a 'no sledding advisory' due to icy conditions on its 55 sanctioned hills. Brockington believes the city will continue to use the public service announcement (PSA) method in an attempt to keep residents off its hills when sledding conditions are not safe.

But he says more still needs to be done, and it starts with this risk assessment.

"[The city agreed] that, despite the hill being unsanctioned, people have been tobogganing here for years and will continue to toboggan," explained the councillor. "It's not realistic that the city is going to put a giant fence up or block access to the hill."

Safety measures have been taken at Mooney's Bay hill in the past. Brockington says, on the hill's north side, facing the Terry Fox Centre, people would slide down and hit a fence, causing injuries. A berm was then built between the hill and fence to slow people down, and it has been effective. The west side, facing the water is steepest, however, and more dangerous when conditions are icy.

The councillor says the city will establish what risks exist at Mooney's Bay and other popular toboggan hills and work to mitigate those risks, plus improve overall safety measures. He has suggested the city consider some kind of universally-recognized flag system, or other symbols that can be used at local sledding hills, to communicate whether or not they are safe.

Listen to Brockington's full conversation with Derick Fage, who was filling in as host of The Rob Snow Show, Wednesday:


Mike Vlasveld

About the Author: Mike Vlasveld

Mike Vlasveld, Digital Editor, CityNews Ottawa & the Valley
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