Mud Lake Trail Rehabilitation - Phase 1 - Trail and Landscape Improvements

The National Capital Commission (NCC) is planning work on the Mud Lake Trail Network to improve flood resiliency and universal accessibility. The project will take place in two separate phases. This public registry covers Phase 1 of the project. The Phase 2 of the project will be posted to the public registry and assessed cumulatively once the design is completed.

Phase 1, planned to start in the fall 2022, will include:

  • Replacing the wooden decking at the viewing platform overlooking the lake.
  • Adding bollards, new garbage and recycling bins, and landscaping improvements to three main entrances.
  • Raising and levelling sections of stone dust trails.
  • Site preparation, including tree cutting, for the installation of the new pedestrian bridge.
  • Adding an armor stone block at the lookout near Cassels Street.

Phase 2, planned for winter and spring 2023, will include:

  • Replacement of the floating bridge with a universally accessible pedestrian bridge.

Nestled along the Ottawa River, Mud Lake is a 60-hectare natural environment providing habitat for a wide diversity of animal species. Located within the Lac Deschênes–Ottawa River Important Bird Area in a major migratory corridor, it serves as an important environment for bird conservation, and is recognized as one of the most popular urban sites for birdwatching in Canada. It is also identified as a provincially significant wetland and an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest by the Government of Ontario. Mud Lake is also referred to as the Britannia Conservation Area and is publicly owned and managed by the National Capital Commission.

Mud Lake's system of trails comprises of a main official trail that circles around Mud Lake in addition to secondary official trails that connect to the surrounding Britannia area. The official trails are mainly comprised of dirt or stone dust with some small culverts, as well as boardwalks. The Mud Lake Trail Rehabilitation project is mainly focused on the main official trail around Mud Lake.

The objectives of Phase 1 of the project include the following:

  1. Improve trail network connectivity and universal accessibility.
  2. Rehabilitate assets that are part of the recreational experience.
  3. Improve the trail network resilience to flooding events and maintain year-round public access.
  4. Improve garbage and recycling collection; and
  5. Site preparation for the installation of the new pedestrian bridge.

Phase 1 construction will begin Fall 2020 and will include the following components:

  • Close portions of the trail network prior to the start of work.
  • Install alternative trail network options for park users for the duration of the work.
  • Replace the decking of the viewing platform overlooking the lake.
  • Add an armor stone block at the lookout near Cassels Street.
  • Install exclusion measures for wildlife around the existing floating bridge (preparation for phase 2, Winter 2023). 
  • Add gravel and stone dust to existing trails to improve access and connectivity during flooding events.
  • Displace rocks, stumps, and dead roots off the trail network to improve universal accessibility.
  • Add bollards, garbage and recycling bins at three main trail entrances.
  • Plant native plants to improve landscape at three main trail entrances.
  • Additional benefits to the project include management and incidental removal of non-native invasive plants. 
  • Removal of the existing pedestrian bridge.

Several trees are planned to be removed by the NCC as part of the project. The purpose of the removal is to accommodate a corridor for the new pedestrian bridge to be installed using a helicopter and to ensure the safety of trail users. The NCC will develop a landscape plan and will plant a minimum of 2 new native trees for every one tree removed. Shrubs will also be integrated into the landscape to improve the habitat.

With the help of the National Capital Commission's biologists, environmental officers and engineers, as well as external environmental consultants, the project team will develop a mitigation plan to avoid, reduce or compensate for any environmental effects caused by the project. Proposed mitigation measures will include the use of exclusion fencing for wildlife, working outside key nesting periods, working outside key fish spawning periods, installation of sediment barriers, contractor training and regular on-site inspections. Temporary closures and detours will be communicated to the public through clear signage and online platforms. 


Latest update

November 25, 2022-The assessment decision statement has been issued to the proponent.


Key documents

Key documents
Document Number Document Title File Date
4 Notice of Determination - November 25, 2022
3 Notice of Intent to Make a Determination - Start of Public Comment Period - July 18, 2022


National Capital Commission
Environmental Assessment
40 Elgin Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5A8

  • Location

    • Mud Lake Trail Rehabilitation - Phase 1 - Trail and Landscape Improvements (Ontario)
  • Nature of Activity

    • Maintenance activities (fences, walls)
  • Assessment Status

  • Start Date

  • Proponent

    The National Capital Commission
  • Authorities

    • National Capital Commission
  • Assessment Type

    Project on federal lands
  • Reference Number


This map is for illustrative purposes. The markers represent the approximate locations based on available data. More than one marker may be identified for a given assessment.


Nearby assessments

...within 200 kilometres
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