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Beryl Gaffney Park

What is it?

  • Located in the southern edge of the (former) City of Nepean, along the shores of the Rideau River, Beryl Gaffney Park, formerly Rideau Bend Park, consists of 39 hectares (96 acres) of pasture and woodlands, stretching from the north bank of the Jock River to Barnsdale Road, between Prince of Wales Drive and the Rideau River, excepting two small housing areas off Lockview and Maplehill Way and several private dwellings.

  • The Park was re-named Beryl Gaffney Park in 1998 in honour of Nepean resident Beryl Gaffney who not only worked in the Parks and Recreation Department for more than a decade but served on Nepean Council for 9 years, on Regional Council for 6, and as a federal Member of Parliament for two terms.  Beryl Gaffney took an avid interest and strongly supported community-based, family-oriented initiatives, especially as they pertained to the healthy city concept, recreation services, and historical amenities.

  • Land in this southern part of the City was acquired over several decades.  The goal of establishing a southern destination point on the Rideau was recognized as early as 1974 with the City of Nepean’s acquisition of the Richardson property at the northwest corner of the Hwy 16 bridge.

Where is it?

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  • Ten years later, on July 5, 2018, the City hosted an Open House seeking input and ‘any new ideas that would improve the plan…’ Manotick Culture, Parks and Recreation Association applauded the City’s commitment to the Beryl Gaffney Master Park Plan; suggested potential updates to the Plan; and recommended several immediate priorities as outlined in the attached document. Read the 2018 Community Consultation Submission.

  • June 24, 2019 the City held another Public Meeting and put forward two proposed actions:

    • Buy adjacent land to create a fenced, off-leash dog park area (adjacent to Rideau Valley Drive) - $400,000

    • Install a traffic light and parking lot off Prince of Wales, across from Capital Memorial Gardens - $600,000.


  • ​July 19, 2019, the following letter was submitted to the Manotick Messenger

  • August 30, 2019, MCPRA provided the following input, suggesting that the City work the community to leverage existing funds for the park, construct a foot bridge in proximity to the rock crossing (accessibility issue), construct the Picnic Area and Adventure Playground as immediate priorities.  Further that the $400K NOT be taken from the Park Development budget but from the City’s park acquisition funds. 

  • In August 2019 the City purchased an adjacent parcel, 1.695 ha, 3931
    Rideau Valley Drive, for about $375,000.


  • On July 24, 2020 MCPRA became aware that the City was soliciting input on a proposed design for a Fenced 1 ha (2.47 acre), Off-Leash Dog Park and a modest Picnic Area (60m x 25m), at an estimated cost of $600,000-800,000.  Comments due by August 7, 2020. 

  • Further, staff clarified that the current Off-Leash Dog Designations for both Beryl Gaffney Park and David Bartlett Park (35 acres) would remain for now and the future.

  • MCPRA submitted the following comments to the City regarding the proposed Off-Leash Dog Park.

  • The attached article was submitted to the Manotick Messenger.

  • A Manotick Messenger article of September 11, 2020, indicated that the Fenced Dog Park initiative was ‘OFF the table’ and further, the acquisition funds for the 1.695 ha would come from a citywide cash-in-lieu account, and not the Beryl Gaffney Development Fund.

  • In October 2020, MCPRA suggested that a Task Force be created of representatives from a broad group of stakeholder groups, to refresh the Master Plan and create a 10-year Park Development Schedule. 

Progress to Date

  • No evidence that the City is working to implement the Beryl Gaffney Park Master Plan

  • No Park Project Priority Plan or Financial Plan (especially leveraging community/ private funding)

  • No construction progress

  • No partnership progress

Next Steps


Contact your local Councilor or staff person:  Planner, Project Lead  Manager, Park Planning  Councilor, Ward 22  Councilor, Ward 3  Councilor, Ward 21  Mayor, City of Ottawa

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