City of Ottawa Hazard Mapping Project

The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) is conducting several hazard mapping studies on watercourses within the City of Ottawa and the RVCA area of jurisdiction. For some watercourses, old mapping will be updated; and for others, hazards maps will be created for the first time. 

What do the studies identify?

  • Areas prone to flood risk
  • Areas prone to slope stability risk
  • Wetland boundaries as delineated by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Studies look at identifying two main types of hazards along the watercourses: flood risk and slope stability risk. 

Flood risk studies make use of contemporary methods in hydrologic and hydraulic analysis, all the available historical records of streamflow and/or water level, and the most up-to-date topographical data to produce estimates of the 1:100 year flood discharge and corresponding water surface elevations and flood lines for the watercourses under consideration. The resulting flood risk maps identify areas along the river that are vulnerable to flooding, and where new development is to be restricted or prohibited in accordance with Provincial Planning Policies. 

Slope stability studies make use of new, highly detailed topographic data to identify toe and top of slope. This information is used to create an allowance area that serve as a flag of potentially unstable slope areas. 

The mapping also identifies natural features such as wetlands — some of which are protected through designation by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Who is involved?

These studies are being done through a collaboration involving the City of Ottawa and the Mississippi Valley, Rideau Valley and South Nation Conservation Authorities.  The City recognized a need to update its zoning schedules based on up-to-date flood risk mapping, and has provided contributions enabling the Conservation Authorities to move ahead with these studies sooner than would otherwise be possible.

How do these maps get used?

When completed, the new flood risk mapping will be used by the City of Ottawa when updating its Official Plan and Zoning Schedules and in the review of development applications under the Planning Act. The RVCA will use the same mapping flood risk mapping as well as slope stability risk in the administration and enforcement of regulations made under the Conservation Authorities Act (Section 28)

What areas are being studied?

  • Becketts Creek (Sarsfield Road to Ottawa River)
  • Bilberry Creek (Innes Road to Ottawa River)
  • Cardingal Creek (Ottawa River to O’Toole Road) — Complete 
  • Flowing Creek (Flewellyn Road to Jock River)
  • Hobbs Drain (Fallowfield Road to Jock River) 
  • Kings Creek (Brunton Side Road to Jock River) — September 2017
  • Nichols Creek (Montague Boundary Road to Jock River)
  • Ottawa River (Shirley’s Bay to Cumberland) — Complete
  • Rideau River (Hogs Back to Rideau Falls) — Complete
  • Rideau River (Hogs Back to Kars) — July 2017 
  • Rideau River (Kars to Burritts Rapids) — July 2017

How can the public help?

Historical records, news clippings, photographs and local anecdotal stories and memories of past flood events can be useful in confirming the reasonableness of the calculations and resulting floodplain mapping. Local residents with this kind of information are encouraged to share their information and knowledge with RVCA’s Ferdous Ahmed  (1-800-267-3504 or 613-692-3571 ext. 1170).

How can I learn more?

Once the technical work for individual study areas is complete and hazard mapping has been prepared, a public information session will be held to collect public feedback.  Any new information or comments from the public will be taken into consideration in further refinement of the mapped hazard limits. 

You can opt-in to our media release mailing list to stay informed about these and other RVCA events.

Contact Us

Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
3889 Rideau Valley Drive
Manotick, Ontario K4M 1A5

613-692-3571, 1-800-267-3504


Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Member of: conservation ontario