A picturesque part of the Rideau Canal running through downtown Ottawa is now on a list of contaminated federal sites, Parks Canada announced Thursday.
That dubious designation is the result of tests done on sediment from the canal bed between the Ottawa Locks and Bronson Avenue. The tests were conducted after the discovery of heavy metals such as lead and cadmium, as well as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which have been linked to various cancers.
The latest round of tests was conducted to identify the extent of the contamination, and to be able to put in place measures to protect the environment, Parks Canada said.
Parks Canada calls the discovery of contaminated sediment “not unexpected” given the long history of industrial use and the urban location of that part of the canal.