Councillor disappointed after toboggan hill closed on short notice

·2 min read

The councillor whose ward encompasses Mooney's Bay says he's disappointed with the City of Ottawa for banning sledding on the park's toboggan hill on short notice, as other plans had been discussed to limit crowds.

The city announced late Friday afternoon — ahead of a sunny weekend — that people would no longer be allowed to sled down the hill.

"This is one of the few amenities, outdoor winter amenities, that's free for families to go to," said River Ward Coun. Riley Brockington on Saturday.

"Yes, it's popular. There have been capacity concerns in past weekends, but there really hasn't been a reservation system implemented or anything else."

Brockington said he'd spoken with the city's bylaw department earlier in the week about problems with crowding, after a 25-person cap was put on toboggan hills and outdoor skating rinks earlier this month to try to limit the spread of COVID-19.

He said he thought he'd come to an agreement with the city to implement parking restrictions, increase bylaw enforcement and install more signage to let people know about capacity limits.


'A two-sentence email'

"I heard nothing throughout the week from anyone else. And late [Friday] afternoon, I get a two-sentence email that says we're closing the hill."

Brockington said it was the city's parks and recreation department that decided to close the toboggan hill. He's reached out to city staff to discuss other options, especially considering the hill is not nearly as busy during weekdays, and hopes it can reopen.

He also said it would be interesting to see what happens once the Rideau Canal Skateway opens.

"The canal is much longer than a toboggan hill. I get that you can spread out more," he said. "But on weekends of very nice weather, in past years, the canal has been elbow-to-elbow in some spots."