News / Ottawa

Fish from Rideau Canal to be tested for toxins

Sections of the canal were added to the government's database of contaminated sites last week

Kieran Delamont / Metro Order this photo

Parks Canada has ordered that fish pulled from the Rideau Canal be tested for mercury, PCBs and heavy metals after the downtown stretch of the canal was designated as a contaminated area last week. 

Repairs on the canal were halted late last year when toxins were found and Parks Canada began testing the canal this spring. Those tests ultimately determined the site was contaminated, and the site was added to the federal government’s list of contaminated sites earlier this week.

The canal has had a long history adjacent to industrial activities, having had in the past a paint factory along its banks, as well as boats transporting industrial materials along the waterway. 

There is little danger to humans, though, and Parks Canada has said that recreation activity on the canal will continue—so no need to put away the skates just yet. 

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