Westboro - Flooding of the OC Transpo Transitway trench that runs from Westboro Station to Bayview Station began yesterday after residents of the area successfully lobbied City Hall to convert the 4 km stretch of trench into a kayak commuting canal. A popular form of transportation with Westboro residents, kayaks can now now commute freely from the Westboro station to the downtown core via the new waterway. Using a lock system similar to the Rideau Canal, the new kayak canal allows kayaking commuters to paddle safely and efficiently downtown during morning rush hour and home again in the late afternoon. Flooding of the trench takes place daily between 6am and 8am, with kayakers permitted to use the waterway between 8am-6pm, after which the trench is drained for evening bus route use.
"This new kayak canal is a step in the right direction towards a greener and more eco-friendly form of commuting within the city of Ottawa." announced Mayor Jim Watson at a press conference held earlier Monday afternoon. "Using an innovative flooding and draining system, we will successfully allow the eco-conscious residents of Westboro to kayak freely and safely along the Transitway trench, drastically reducing carbon-emissions within the city." exclaimed Watson. Westboro Community President Diane Horgan-Smith applauded the decision to allow Westborians to kayak in the trench and looks forward to many others using it as viable form of commuting transport. "The trench makes a great kayak route for us to get into our government jobs downtown while at the same time providing a tranquil and fitness-oriented means of transportation." Horgan-Smith remarked.
The kayak canal will use water pumped in from the nearby Ottawa river, and is expected to be closed for most of the summer due to high counts of E.Coli that occurs during that time. Kayakers can use the trench waterway free of charge but will have to pay for storage of their kayaks and/or parking of their Subarus that carry the kayaks at either end zone. At a cost of $1.00 an hour to park their vehicle and kayaks, many residents are excited about the prospect of using the trench and hope to see man-made rapids installed in the coming years. "I can't wait to traverse the Tunney's chute to work!" exclaimed one enthusiastic kayaker, Drew Slandros, 34, from Westboro. "The commute should be even more fun when they stock the canal with koi fish next week."