City lifts 'no sledding' advisory on toboggan hills

People get ready to toboggan down Carlington Hill in Ottawa after an overnight snowfall, on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021. (Justin Tang/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Monday's winter storm has put a fresh layer of snow on the city's toboggan hills and a no sledding advisory issued earlier this month has now been lifted.

Sledding hills in Ottawa remained open, but in early January, the city recommended against using them because of unsafe and icy conditions.

On Tuesday, the city said it was lifting the advisory.

"Sled only at hills designated for sledding," the city said in a media release. "While other hills and large snowbanks are enticing to sledders, they possess hazards that could cause injuries. In addition, some non-sanctioned hills may have protective measures, but these do not make them safe sledding areas. The City has a list of its sanctioned sledding hills on ottawa.ca."

An 11-year-old girl died following a sledding accident at Mooney's Bay in December, prompting staff to install some safety measures such as hay bales around metal posts. The hill is frequently used for sledding in the winter, but the city says it is not a sanctioned sledding hill.

The city issued the following safety tips:

  • Always wear a CSA-certified helmet to protect yourself.
  • Allow safe spacing – around 15 metres -- between you and the other sleds going down the hill.
  • A parent or guardian should accompany children.
  • Sled only during daylight. If you are out at night, don’t slide unless the hill is well lit.
  • Always sit or kneel facing forward on the sled.
  • Walk up the side of the hill, not the middle.
  • Keep your hands, arms and legs inside the sled to prevent injury.
  • Alert (shout) if you observe another slider headed for danger.
  • Do not leave sleds or other obstacles on the hill.
  • Construction of snow jumps and other obstacles is not permitted.