Brittania Access issues

I Spoke with Councillor Kolbus in regards to the potential development at Brittania. I informed him about the concerns windsurfers have with the development (water access and wind obstruction) and I feel that he has a good understanding of the issues.

The potential plan consisted of a wood boardwalk leading out on top of the long rock jetty with a deck (30x40? feet) built at the end, with a gazebo at the end (20x30? feet). There was also talk of building a dock and having a tour boat anchored there giving tourists rides on the river similar to what is currently done on the Canal.

Due to the potential cost of this development, as well as concerns that were raised, Councillor Kolbus assured me that the plan will not be proceeding in the near future.

I would suggest everyone keep an ear open, in case the this potential development comes to the forefront again, so that we
can get involved in the process.

Pier still in 'the dream phase'

(taken from The West End Chronicle, April 2000 from Issue 4, Vol 22)
By Dylan Nose

Plans are being discussed for new addition to the Britannia Park.

City Councillor Ron Kolbus and Lakeside Gardens Director Judy McDonald are dreaming up a way of bringing a little bit of our heritage back. They hope to see contrsuction on a new pier, one that echoes what the Ottaw electric Company built in the early 20th centry.

t his March 22 Ward Advisory Council meeting, Kolbus explained that the idea of building a pier is "still in the dream phase," but he seemed very excited and determined to make this dream a reality.

They ahve been promoting the idea by showing an artist's rendition of what the pier will look like. Theses pictures raised a few concerngs such as the fact that the pier as it appears in the sketches doesn't have culverts under it to allow water to flow though.

One concern is the problem of water stagnating - without proper water flow, there could be a build up of algae and pollution.  The beach is sometimes closed to swimmers due to high bacteria counts.

Kolbus didn't seem too worried that a culvertless pier might cause a problem. He addressed the pollution problem by blaming birds saying the City of Ottawa has put up nets to prevent seagulls from polluting the water.

Funding for this project could be divided three ways, Kolbus suggested.  The price tag could range from $1.5 million to $6.3 million.  "We hope to get money from the deferal government, the private sector and the local municipality," he sai.

In 1998 and 1989 proposals for developping Britannia Park into what became known as "Coney Island North" created controversy.

Those plans were defeated after a petition from local residents.

Possibility of new pier births old-fashioned merriment

(taken from "The News" - 6, March, 2000)

The rocky base of the original Britannia Pier can still be seen in Britannia Park, although its old-fashioned charm is now replaced with earth and asphalt. Constructed by the Ottawa Electric Company 100 years ago, the Britannia Pier was a popular destination for community socializing. It was also home to the Britannia Yacht Club, which was erected at its end. Fire destroyed the club in 1918 and the land around the pier has since gone through continuous changes. By 1960, the entire north side of the pier was filled in to create the park and beach front enjoyed today. After several signs of interest, City Coun. Ron Kolbus says he's very excited to see the possibility of a new pier become reality."We're basically planting the seed to see what people think," said Coun. Kolbus who has received many positive phone calls on the subject. "I'd like this to become an effort of the community. It's a concept plan. It's something that might just take off."With two phases in its architecture, the new pier would start where the original pier used to lie and extend onto the existing rock break-water wall that protrudes into the Ottawa River and Lake Deschenes. "The community bas always had an interest in the heritage of Britannia Park," said Coun. Kolbus. "It's a great place to watch the windsurfers. It's a fabulous place for pictures (and) a great place for sunsets."

He adds some type of boat tour, or a tall ship display, as well as an annual pioneer festival would add to the historic aspect of a new pier.

"We have the largest seniors population in that area and a lot of those people would have known (the original pier)," said Coun. Kolbus. "This provides an opportunity for seniors, who arenít quite as agile as they use to be, to get out there and children and people in wheelchairs."

Judy McDonald, director of Lakeside Gardens in Britannia Park, has done her own research on the original pier. She says a new pier would be very nostalgic. (The pier) is the thing that's repeatedly talked about in the community," said Ms. McDonald. "You talk to people and there's a glimmer in their eyes. The stories are endless."

She says Britannia Park is already a beautiful area and reconstructing the pier "just enhances what used to be here in a heritage perspective." "It's a-simple yet expensive idea," said Ms. McDonald. "But it's a simple concept that will generate all kinds of activity." Terence Brown, a senior architect for the City of Ottawa, says the pier's preliminary design is a way of estimating cost and structure feasibility. "We have to work with what's there now using the existing break-water wall as a base with a modern structure," said Mr. Brown. "We haven't gotten into that stage of detail. There's a lot more work to be done (but) we would like to regain the style of what was there a hundred years ago,"

The idea of a new pier has not been presented to council, nor been approved for construction. Should the pier be approved, it is estimated to cost roughly $1.5 million, part of which Coun. Kolbus hopes could be acquired through federal funding and private sponsorship. Anyone wishing to show their support for building a new pier in Britannia Park can contact Coun. Ron Kolbus at xxx-xxxx. 

Last Updated: April 15, 2000


Latest NewsOttawa Windsurfing discussion groupWindsurfing gear for sale/wanted/lost/foundWind forecast / actualsWindsurfing PicturesWindsurfing EventsMy Windsurfing session logWindsurfing Instruction / TipsWindsurfing sitesWindsurfing Access issuesStores and servicesLocal accomodationsTrip accomodationsWindsurfing related links