Friends of Petrie Island

The Friends of Petrie Island are a volunteer, nonprofit group formed in 1998 to ensure that the islands are managed in an environmentally sound manner.  Under an agreement with the City of Ottawa, the group maintains the walking trails and picnic area and operates the Nature Interpretive Centre, as well as providing excellent and affordable educational day programs for youth.  Wednesday volunteer workdays are from April until October, but members work throughout the year. New volunteers are always welcome along with impromptu clean-ups when you visit.  Garbage bags are available in the centre – just tell us where you’ve cleaned up! Please contact for more information. Membership is $10 for individuals, $25 for families. Donations are always appreciated; they can be made at the Nature Centre (when open) or sent to the Chair of FOPI (address is at the bottom of the Membership page).  Thank you for your support!

Drone Flyover of Petrie Island

by Tom Seguin 

Petrie Island Highlights  2015

18th year of operation, 11th year of beach operation

Weather:  an early spring with no flooding, as well as a warm summer through September

  • Record attendance, over 370,000 despite Canada Day being held in Navan
  • 76 days with temperatures 25 degrees and above compared with 59 last year
  • There were 4 days when both beaches were closed out of 58 days
  • There was extensive flooding over the winter, covering the islands with a deep layer of solid ice. Water receded by early April.


  • Attendance increased for school tours and Youth and Junior Naturalist programs
  • Schools, 944; Youth and Junior naturalist 441
  • Rideau Canoe club held 3 two week ½ day camps with 11 or 12 youths per program


  • Completed 2nd year of Trillium grant which provided a Native plant coordinator
  • Bio diversity workdays, invasive species removal workdays, and plantings for the wildflower garden and erosion control along the river (with the RVCA agreement) were held along with two wildflower garden days
  • 4 paid adult tours were held, led by local experts on local plants and edible plants.
  • 10 special work days were held on bio diversity projects


  • 6 Free adult tours were held with approx. 80 attending
  • 12th Turtle Day was held with Little Ray’s Reptiles presentation


  • Revised Membership structure with discounts for tent rentals and events
  • Increased membership revenue to $475


  • Wednesday workdays replaced the old storage shed at the second site, 717 Trim road, and built a new one along with maintenance of the trails and repairs to the structure at the end of Bill Holland trail


  • Continued with turtle basking and nesting counts
  • We also protected some turtle nests and recovered some eggs from predated nests which we replanted and protected, this resulted in approximately 30 hatchlings being born in early September which were checked and released into the water
  • On the negative side there were an increasing number of events with extremely loud music which destroys the peaceful, natural setting, in addition to Carivibe and the Haitian days there were events at the Bananas canteen which featured loud music which continued after the curfew and consumption of alcoholic beverages beyond the licensed area and along the beach were noted. There may also have been detrimental effects to the hatchling turtles.


  • FOPI Plans to continue the above activities including further development of the plant nursery and new nature trails west of the nature centre
  • Continuation of program to remove invasive species, control shoreline erosion, protecting trees from Beaver damage, planting Butternut trees

We will continue our youth programs and are now booking schools and other youth tours. We are looking forward to cooperation with the newly formed Petrie Island Canoe Club.


  • Looking for a fun and educational end of year trip? Take your class on an adventure to Petrie Island to enjoy a morning or  afternoon of the great outdoors! We offer tours of the island and nature centre, scavenger hunts and ecological games. We can accommodate  topics in your curriculum and we usually handle groups up to 25 students.  Any time from mid May  to end of  June.  3$ per student.
  • For information contact:
  • Thank you to last year’s workers, Eva Kasanda, Rachel Winter-Harstone, Kayla Marie Rolland, Jocelyne Veevers and Katherine Forster.
  • We are also hiring 2 summer staff for this year: for students who are in school and returning to school in the fall.
  • High school students in need of volunteer hours? Interested in the environment, education, biology, or conservation? Complete your 40 hours this summer in an outdoor environment! Contact:


The Nature centre can be opened anytime during the season, (May 1 to end of Sept)  for interested groups.  It is normally open daily from Victoria weekend till Labour Day, 10 to  8 p.m. and on weekends from early May to Thanksgiving.

Tours of the Island are available for Youth groups, Seniors, Home Schoolers  – approximately ½ hour to 1 ½ hours. For inquiries re: opening up the nature centre or for arranging a tour please contact us at:

Event details can be found on the Events page and will be updated when more information is available.

Visitor-contributed Photos on Website

We welcome photographs provided by visitors to Petrie Island.  We can now offer to publish them on our website.  Click here to visit the contributed photos page.  The first album contains instructions on how to submit photos.  If it all seems like too much work for you, just email your photos and we will do all the work for you.

2015 Water Quality

Using the water quality statistics provided by the City of Ottawa, we show below the number of days for which the beach was officially closed.  We also show the number of days on which the E. coli count exceeded 100.  This is not the same as when the beaches are officially closed, which is 200 counts.

For water quality statistics from previous years, click here.

Beach Red Flag Days Days over 100 E. coli
Britannia 7 6
Mooneys Bay 4 4
Westboro 7 8
Petrie Island River Beach 7 10
Petrie Island East Beach 5 7


FOPI LOGO 2015.large 2

Friends of Petrie Island Donor 2015:


 17 Tristan Court  – Website Link

                         Get Involved

Want to know more about FOPI membership and volunteering? Find out more here: Get Involved

We gratefully acknowledge funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation

February 21st to 27th is Invasive Species Awareness Week! Invasive species are a serious threat for most Canadian ecosystems, including our own.

Here at Petrie Island, we're particularly concerned about Purple Loosestrife and Emerald Ash Borer. To help us out, you can keep an eye out for invasive species in your garden!
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Today is World Wetlands Day!

Did you know that Canada is home to 25% of the world's wetlands?

To learn more check out:
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Don't forget our End of Year Celebration and AGM is tomorrow night! Come on out and meet other members, share your suggestions and learn about volunteering.

Tuesday October 20th at 7 pm

Queenswoods Heights Community Centre, 1485 Duford Drive
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Thanks again to Jesse Vermaire for leading out last Nature Walk of the season: Aquatic Plants of Petrie Island. The tour explored many parts of the island including both the beach side and the wetland side of Bill Holland trail and over to the Amphibian Pond at the end of Muskrat Trail. Jesse showed the participants many submerged aquatic plants and also talked about some floating and emergent flora including cat tail. It was a great walk and the weather was perfect. ... See MoreSee Less

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