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City of Ottawa closing Britannia Beach over summer 2020 for riverbed restoration

Britannia Beach is closing this summer for a $3-million riverbed restoration project, the City of Ottawa said on Jan. 24, 2020. The beach will re-open for public swimming and "all other beach activities" in 2021, the municipality said.
Britannia Beach is closing this summer for a $3-million riverbed restoration project, the City of Ottawa said on Jan. 24, 2020. The beach will re-open for public swimming and "all other beach activities" in 2021, the municipality said. Screenshot / Google Maps

Ottawa’s Britannia Beach will be closed to public swimmers and “all other beach activities” this summer because of construction work to restore the riverbed in the swimming area, a process called dredging.

The popular west-end beach will re-open in 2021, according to a news release issued by the City of Ottawa on Friday.

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Dredging work was last done at Britannia Beach 20 years ago, according to the city.

In the two decades since, currents, waves and weather have shrunk the water depth in the swimming area to less than half a metre at the height of the swimming season, the municipality said.

To help restore the grade and proper water depth, crews will remove silt and sand that have collected on the riverbed.

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Rising riverbed is dredging up concerns for Oka ferry operators
Rising riverbed is dredging up concerns for Oka ferry operators

The project is expected to cost $3 million and the construction is scheduled from July to October this year, according to the city’s release.

The Britannia Park picnic area and pier will remain open during construction, as will the beach building, the Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre and the patio.

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The construction area and the access road will be fenced off for public safety, the city added.

The municipality said anyone who had planned to book Britannia Beach this summer should contact sports@ottawa.ca