Goulbourn Wetlands Boundary Update


I would like to take a moment to provide an update to residents on the Goulbourn Wetland Boundaries which were recently reviewed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF).


This is an important file which affects the protection of Provincially Significant Wetlands (PSW) by municipalities. The Goulbourn Wetland Complex was re-evaluated by the City of Ottawa in 2016, as required under the Flewellyn Special Study Area policy in Section 3.2.5 of the Ottawa Official Plan.

Wetlands – which include marshes, seasonally flooded forests and bogs can prevent flood damage, improve water quality, provide valuable economic products and recreational opportunities, and give wildlife a home.


Provincially Significant Wetlands (PSW) are areas identified by the Ontario government as providing the most valuable wetland functions and societal value. They are determined by a science-based ranking system. Each PSW has a wetland evaluation file. Wetland evaluation files are considered open files, meaning they can be amended from time to time as new information becomes available (e.g., adjustment of the wetland boundary).


The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) has notified affected residents in the Goulbourn area of changes to the boundaries of the provincially significant Goulbourn Wetland Complex.  The City of Ottawa has also sent a notice and status update to residents in the vicinity of Flewellyn Special Study and the Goulbourn Wetland Boundary Re-evaluation, informing them of the results of the study, and the next steps.


The designation of a significant wetland on a property does not affect existing, permitted land uses. Residents still have the right to enjoy and use their properties.  It simply protects wetlands from development, draining or filling.


Property owners who have received a notification from the MNRF and disagree with the new wetland boundaries can solicit the services of a qualified wetland evaluator to conduct a re-evaluation on their behalf and submit the results to the MNRF.

For a reference map of the revised boundary, please click here.

As things progress, I will be certain to update the community in my weekly newsletter to residents.


The City of Ottawa is committed to supporting residents who may have questions on the designation. For more information, residents are encouraged to reach out to City staff at: goulbournwetlandreview@ottawa.ca.