Reconstruction of Lady Grey Drive - Phase 2

Lady Grey Drive was constructed between 1911 and 1913 along the Ottawa River from the National Gallery of Canada to Sussex Drive, just east of the Boteler Street intersection.

Lady Grey Drive is a cultural landscape of value as it is one of the earliest scenic parkways developed in the National Capital Region.  The drive provides uninterrupted views of the Ottawa River and runs along the limestone outcrops that are typical of the Capital and are associated with the landscape of Parliament Hill.

Lady Grey Drive is supported by a limestone clad retaining wall. The wall is divided into two segments, north and south, separated by the access road to the Ottawa Rowing Club (ORC) clubhouse.

Despite multiple repairs over the years, the northern wall segment partially collapsed in 2020. Subsequent investigations determined that both the northern and southern wall segments were unstable. The wall was found to pose a safety risk to users and required full demolition and reconstruction. The NCC therefore proposes the demolition and reinstatement of the northern and southern wall segments and the complete reconstruction of Lady Grey Drive in a phased manner.

The reconstruction of Lady Grey Drive will include the urban design and landscaping of the new wall. The complete reconstruction of Lady Grey Drive is a project component of a multi-use promenade plan (Rideau to Rideau) that will connect the Rideau Canal Locks, Rideau Falls and existing public spaces overlooking the Ottawa River.

The demolition and shoring of the northern wall segment were assessed under the Impact Assessment Act (IAA) as Phase 1 of the Reconstruction of Lady Grey Drive. Phase 1 work commenced in the summer of 2023 and is expected to be complete in the winter of 2023-2024.

Phase 2 of the reconstruction work has not yet been assessed. It is the subject of this notice.

Phase 2 will involve the demolition and shoring of the southern wall segment as well as the reconstruction of both the northern and southern walls. The work will take place primarily on land owned by the NCC. As the project proponent, landowner, provider of federal funds and approver under the National Capital Act, the NCC is responsible for making a section 82 determination required under the IAA for this phase.

Phase 2 is anticipated to commence in November 2023.

The major components of the wall design include:

  • Structure: the wall will consist of a concrete structure.
  • Finish: the current wall finish is proposed to be textured concrete.
  • Alignment: the wall will follow the existing alignment, with the exception of a 1 m offset along the southern segment of the wall, which will allow for Lady Grey Drive to be slightly widened along this stretch.

 Other construction components include:

  • Removal of trees and vegetation along the base of the south wall and from an escarpment at the southernmost end of the wall to allow for access.
  • Construction of a temporary access road at the base of the wall. Along some stretches, this temporary access road will extend into the Ottawa River.
  • Dewatering of surface water and potential groundwater.
  • Removal and disposal of designated substances.
  • Excavation and removal of soil to shore and build the foundation of the south wall. The soil is contaminated and will be managed and disposed of appropriately.
  • Green demolition of the south wall, and reconstruction of the northern and southern wall segments.

A heritage recording of the wall and its environment, including existing landscaping features, has been completed. A Heritage Impact Assessment is being carried out to inform the wall design and other components of the Lady Grey Drive Reconstruction project component of the future Rideau to Rideau promenade plan such as landscaping and urban design features.

To mitigate potential adverse effects on fish and fish habitat and on the floodplain of the Ottawa River, the NCC will consult with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) for the portion of the work that will occur near or below the high water mark.

Coordination will be required with the Ottawa Rowing Club, the National Gallery of Canada, and the City of Ottawa as these stakeholders will be impacted by the construction of Phase 2 and access to some properties may be required.  Close coordination will also be required with Public Services and Procurement Canada and its contractor currently installing the Energy Services Acquisition Program (ESAP) infrastructure along Lady Grey Drive.  Other federal and non-federal stakeholders may also be consulted.

The project is scheduled to take place from January - March 2024 to mid-July - August 2026.


Latest update

November 17, 2023 – The public comment period on the project is closed. The National Capital Commission is considering comments received to help inform its determination on whether the carrying out of the project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.


Key documents

Key documents
Document Number Document Title File Date
2 Notice of Determination - June 20, 2024


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

  • Location

    • Lady Grey Drive, Ottawa (Ontario)
  • Nature of Activity

    • Other, not otherwise specified
  • Assessment Status

  • Start Date

  • Proponent

    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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