Spring Freshet Weekly Update - April 14, 2023

With water levels rising on the Ottawa River, the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board issued a release last Friday announcing the onset of the spring freshet and is now providing daily updates. Today our local conservation authorities issued a joint flood watch for the Ottawa River.

The latest Rideau Valley Conservation Authority update has downgraded its flood outlook for the Rideau River for all areas within the City of Ottawa. While we did have a number of paths closed and some park assets affected by flooding over the long weekend, water levels are now receding in all those areas with updated impacted locations noted below.


Rideau River 

No flood warnings or watches remain in effect for the Rideau River within the City of Ottawa.

The list of closed or partially closed assets over the long weekend is decreasing, but there are still some to report:

  • In Ward 17, sections of the path at Brantwood Park are still underwater but the play structures and basketball courts are now accessible.
  • At Brewer Park, the lower sports field is still partially flooded but all other park assets are no longer affected.
  • The multi-use pathway at Linda Thom is still under water with barricades in place.
  • Osborne Park is still partially under water.
  • The path at Rideau Gardens Drive remains closed and partially under water.
  • The path at Windsor Park is no longer under water but barricades remain as the path is blocked by trees that fell during the ice storm.
  • In Ward 12, the lower pathway at Riverain Park remains partially under water and is closed.
  • On the Ward 12/Ward 13 border, the multi-use pathway under the St. Patrick Bridge is still under water and closed.

Ottawa River 

The Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board announced the onset of the Spring Freshet on April 7. It is now providing daily updates which indicate water levels and flows on the main stem of the Ottawa River have begun increasing due to snow melt over the southern part of the basin. With significant snow melt and rain on Sunday and Monday, the board anticipates water levels along the main stem of the Ottawa River to exceed minor flood levels, impacting streets and lawns in low-lying areas. Flood-prone areas include Chats Lake (west of Arnprior) through to Lac Deschênes, Britannia, and particularly Cumberland.

While there are currently no major flooding indicators of concern, it is still too early to forecast peak river conditions and we will continue to closely monitor conditions so that we can adjust our response accordingly.

Minor Water Courses 

While the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority upgraded its outlook to a Flood Warning on April 8, it was for localized areas outside the City of Ottawa. Inside the city, water flows within the Carp River appear to have peaked and are expected to trend downward.

The South Nation Conservation Authority updated its Flood Watch Statement on April 12. Water levels and flows are now receding but in the City of Ottawa, they do remain high in the Bear Brook watershed. Tree damage could block drains and culverts causing more flooding. Ice break-up and jams at culverts and other areas could cause localized flooding. Roads, driveways and properties in flood-prone areas could be impacted.

Along the South Castor River, the Ray Wilson Bridge and Castor Road (Ward 20) are closed. 


Sandbag-filling depots are available at 2847 March Road, 1655 Maple Grove Road, 1683 Woodward Drive, 2121 Huntley Road, 4127 John Shaw Road, 29 Hurdman Road and 2145 Roger Stevens Drive. Over the course of this weekend, more stations will be set up and as they are the list will be updated on ottawa.ca/springflooding.

We continue to work with our partners and will adjust our response as conditions warrant.  


Residents can join the City of Ottawa’s Spring Flood 2023 Facebook group to access information for those affected by spring flooding or anyone who wishes to keep up to date with any developments.   

Residents can also visit ottawa.ca/springflooding to get valuable information such as current conditions, any road, pathway or park closures, planning and prevention tips, and sandbag depot locations. 

Residents interested in the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board’s daily updates can find them here.

Residents who want to sign up for the RVCA’s flood mailing list, they can do that here.   

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