Ottawa canal wall demolition

March 14, 2019 – Parks Canada’s replacement of 262 metres of Rideau Canal wall at Echo Drive is progressing well. This rehabilitation work in downtown Ottawa is part of Parks Canada’s unprecedented $3 billion dollar investment over 5 years, which will mitigate health and safety risks, halt the deterioration of nationally significant built heritage and stimulate the economy in communities across the country.

The contractor has finished installing steel piles for the shoring wall, to stabilize the soil behind the canal wall for demolition, and is now completing its construction. Concurrently, the top half of the canal wall has been undergoing demolition and excavation.

The base of the cofferdam – a temporary dam that creates a dry in-water work space – has been installed to create a contained area around the construction. The remainder of the cofferdam will be finished this month so that work can continue throughout the navigation season. Once completed, the cofferdam will be approximately the same height as the existing canal walls. When the canal is refilled with water for navigation, the cofferdam will allow the contractor to continue working on the wall reconstruction in a relatively dry space. Any water that may seep into the work area will be pumped out, filtered to remove potential sediments, and returned to the canal. Pumps will be operating onsite as of next week.

Soon, the contractor will begin excavating and removing the lower section of canal wall to allow for the installation of anchors for the new wall. Once foundation level of the new wall is reached, the contractor will install steel piles to construct the new concrete wall. This project is expected to be completed in spring 2020.

Rideau Canal Eastern Pathway Detour Map

For the duration of the project, the following pedestrian and cyclist detour will be in place.

Infrastructure investment into the Rideau Canal walls in Ottawa

Since 2015, Parks Canada has completed:

  • Re-facing 500 metres of the canal wall on the Queen Elizabeth Driveway side near the Bronson Bridge
  • Repair of sections of the Rideau Canal Western Pathway near Bronson Bridge and Pig Island
  • Repair of approximately 500 meters of walls between the Bank Street bridge and Pig Island on the east side of the Rideau Canal and the replacement of light posts and handrails

For More Information:

For up-to-date news on infrastructure work along the Rideau Canal, please visit our website: If you would like to be added to our community engagement list to receive updates on this project, please e-mail and include “Rideau Canal walls” in the subject heading.