April 10, 2007 at 1:02 pm #3627
Here’s another example on restricting accessibility.
City of Ottawa wants to put up a 6 foot fence everywhere around the site. ” title=”Sad” /> They are having a decision hearing open to the public today at City Hall on Elgin and Laurier in the Champlain Room at about 10 am.
This may be the way of the future unless we make a voice heard. If you can make it please attend!
Whitewater OntarioApril 10, 2007 at 1:30 pm #25229April 10, 2007 at 1:44 pm #25230thomsonianParticipant
I sent the following letter to my city councillor. I suggest everyone sends a similar one to their councillor or the mayor. Here’s the link to their contact info: <http://ottawa.ca/city_hall/mayor_council/councillors/index_en.html>
Feel free to modify my letter to suit your specific concerns.
Dear Mr. El-Chantiry,
I am a constituent of West Carleton, living in Galetta. I was a member of the Canadian National Freestyle Kayak team for many years. Iâ€™ve competed internationally and I was National C1 Champion in 1997. I bring to you an issue that is outside of our ward, yet it affects many constituents here and is of national significance. It has come to my attention that the city plans to build a 2 metre fence around the pumphouse slalom racecourse at LeBreton Flats, thereby restricting access to the public. This site, which I helped to develop many years ago has hosted many whitewater slalom events including the Canadian Championships. It is an excellent venue and could potentially bring World Cup events to Ottawa. There are many examples of modified racecourses around the World including Olympic sites in Barcelona, Nottingham, Augsberg, Penrith, Australia and the Ocoee River site built for the Atlanta Olympics. Why is it that while other cities erect stadiums around whitewater racecourses, Ottawa erects fences?
The Ottawa site has the potential to be a world class venue in the same league as those Iâ€™ve mentioned. It is a Mecca for any Canadian interested in becoming involved in this sport. Instead of encouraging this course, there is committee which is trying to effectively shut it down. The concern is over liability due to the â€˜industrial nature` of the site and the fast moving water. The Ottawa River Runners Kayak Club has held insurance for years and has never had a claim from an incident at this site. There is whitewater everywhere in Ottawa. There is, thankfully, industry everywhere in Ottawa. It is insane to think we can bar public access from these areas.
I am an Ottawa Firefighter at Station 13. In addition to the recreational and athletic potential of the pumphouse facility, it has served the water rescue units of Ottawa with an ideal location to train and hone their skills. Even the Fire crews have been denied access to this site!
Please address my concerns to the committee overseeing this issue and make a stand for amateur sport in Ottawa. We need this site- not just for elite paddlers, but for amateur kayaking development and water rescue training as well.
Ian ThomsonApril 10, 2007 at 3:02 pm #25231thomsonianParticipant
I just perused my letter- It should have indicated 1999 instead of 1997 for C1 Championship. I was waxing poetic about the 97 Worlds in Ottawa when I wrote that letter. My apologies to whoever won the Nationals in 97.
Ian.April 10, 2007 at 10:04 pm #25232
The City has been vetoed!!
The pumphouse will be getting the shorter spectator-friendly fencing.
Thanks to all who supported!!
CaroleApril 11, 2007 at 2:01 am #25233espritParticipant
We are glad to hear that the city was vetoed. Just out of curiosity….. how can we stay more alert to decisions like today’s. By the time I read your post it was too late for us to make city hall.
jim&erinApril 11, 2007 at 3:16 pm #25234
This is an Ottawa River Runners initiative and got to me just prior firing off the emails and notices.
Their website is one way to get some news, but sadly it get trickled down only as fast as one person can send it.
Pumphouse scheduled to open at the end of summer. See story …
CaroleApril 11, 2007 at 3:23 pm #25235
where abouts in ottawa is the punp house?
i’ve never heard of it before and would love to check it outApril 11, 2007 at 3:44 pm #25236
kind of tricky to describe location , but ,go down the STEEP hill at (north)end of bronson, turn left then immidiatly right., and its right there , you’ll see a path & little bridge. , you have to park and look down as its in a valley ,
You can also see it from the other side , on the ottawa river parkway as you pass by the mill resturant , its on the opposite side of the mill resturant.
fun little holes for playboaters , depending on levels ,April 11, 2007 at 3:57 pm #25237
awesome, going to check it out this aft..
anything to worry about there or is it generally pretty safe?April 11, 2007 at 4:03 pm #25238
safe , just don’t hop the fence, you cant paddle there now , it is completly fenced , and under heavy construction,
there will be paddlers at champlain today if your itching to get out .April 11, 2007 at 4:15 pm #25239Open GateParticipant"CrazyDave":3rzesln8 wrote:awesome, going to check it out this aft..
anything to worry about there or is it generally pretty safe?[/quote:3rzesln8]
Very safe and easy class II, just that if for some reason you would not roll your boat and get washed down in that big pipe that goes under the Ottawa pkwy, you won’t see a thing after a couple of bends in the pipe and get washed out in the Ottawa after the dam at ChaudiÃ¨res Bridge. Never been there(wash downed) but I can only assume you’d be taking out on Victoria Island, portaging back up on Du Portage bridge(I guess that’s adequate ” title=”Very Happy” /> ) and walking + or – 2 km to get back up…
Nothing in that pipe though but monsters and boogy menApril 11, 2007 at 4:27 pm #25240
yeah i wasnt goin to paddle today, just lookin to scout it to see if it or deschenes or anywhere else around here would be better at certain times..
for anyone who is going to paddle today at champlain, my gf and i will be there around 5..
thanks for the info everyoneApril 11, 2007 at 4:39 pm #25241ceilidhkeParticipant
Nope, nothing to worry about! This was an essential part of our pitch to city hall: the pump house is a technical water course, with the many eddies providing easy, quick access to the shore in the event someone does flip and swim, or fall in.
There are a variety of features that are good for playboaters – waves and holes.
As Carole mentioned, the new obstacle is the fact that the city will not open the ph til September (in fact likely much later) which blows yet another training season for slalom paddlers who must continue to make trips between 4 and 36 hours to access white water slalom courses. Particularly irksome when we have a very good one not 2 minutes from down town!!!
The city staff has now said that an emergency has arisen with the pumphouse channels that must be repaired which is why they are saying there will be such a lengthy delay. This was actually mentioned after the Committee meeting. By the way, the Planning and Environment Committee was overwhelmingly in favour of the ORR and NCC’s fence plan. I imagine that staffers didn’t mention the issue of the "emergency" as they had already raised the ire of the Committee.
We understand the apparent "emergency" was discovered last fall, yet city staff did nothing about it! To facilitate reasonable access to the ph, I suggest the city wait until the fall to commence work on the ph. They clearly have done a risk analysis and felt that the "emergency" could wait. They are required by Fisheries Canada to keep the water in the ph flowing during spawning season (the spring) and the ph provides a significant source of power for the city which it will need through the summer. With the water flowing for these reasons, paddlers should be permitted access [b:33h9anfr]immediately[/b:33h9anfr]. There is presently a 6 foot plus high indusrial fence around the perimetre. The only way to access the ph at the moment is to attain up through the tunnel, thus the issue of public safety is overwhelmingly addressed. (Attaining may be very difficult for playboats however)
Presently the members of the ORR train after 4:30 pm (later in the spring, in the am too), therefore the paddlers would not be in the way of any ongoing landscaping work (fencing/installation of gate posts) nor interfere with any construction on the ph itself. The kids and coaches could simply attain up and do their training during off construction hours.
Once the water is shut down, there is no issue, but while there is water flowing, we should have access as the Committee has clearly agreed that this is not a dangerous site, particularly for skilled paddlers.
The decision on the fence still has to be approved by city counsel. I think it would be prudent to contact councillors in the next week or so to voice your support for opening the ph to paddlers immediately.
Thank you for your support! Members of the ORR will be out in strength supporting/participating in the Level 6 cup.
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