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. 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 on the island at the Nature Centre (when it is open) or sent to the Chair of FOPI (address is at the bottom of the Membership page).  Thank you for your support!

Petrie Island Water Levels

Spring  Update for Petrie, 2015:  There has been open water on the Ottawa River since April 1st. The inland waterways are also starting to melt. To determine the accessibility of the island use the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board website.  The “Gatineau” reading in the Water Level chart on the right side can be used  to estimate the conditions for Petrie Island.  All parts of Petrie are accessible if the levels are 42.0 metres about sea level, but when the numbers reach 42.5 the trails are not accessible and at 43.0 metres the road into Petrie is not accessible.

Attention Teachers

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 crafts. We can accommodate  any topic in your curriculum.  Anytime from mid May  to end of  June.  3$ per student. For information contact:


  • Junior Naturalist program, (ages 2 – 5),  approximately 2 hours
  • Youth  programs (ages 7 – 12),  approximately 2 hours
  • Home Schoolers programs May and June

More details can be found on the Children’s Nature Program webpage. For information 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: We will continue events such as: Jane’s Walk in May,  Turtle day in June,  and the self-guided Wildflower walk.  Canada Day festivities also happen on the island. Event details can be found on the Events page and will be updated when more information is available.


FOPI will also be partnering with the Rideau Canoe Club to run ½ day two week camps at Petrie Island where participants will have the opportunity to get involved in hands on stewardship projects as well as the Olympic sprint kayak program. The direct link for summer camps is: Or call the  Rideau Canoe Club: (613) 225-5546 for further information.

Friends of Petrie Island 2014 Year End Summary

2014 was a very successful season which saw  626 visits by school children from 10 schools and  715  Junior  Naturalists and parents attended 35 sessions. The nature centre had over 7000 visitors in 2014.  The Rideau Canoe and Kayak club’s second year of summer kayaking camps were a hit and we look forward to collaborating with the club again for a third summer. Over 100 volunteers contributed over 1000 hours on environmental projects for the Ontario Trillium funded Native Flora Program.   The adult nature tours were also a success with 67 people attending the four events. Full report on FOPI activities can be reviewed on the Studies and Reports page under Committee Reports. In 2015, we  will be completing our 2nd year of a Trillium grant which will include tree wrapping for protection from beavers,  removal of invasive species, planting of shrubs and trees to prevent shoreline erosion along the river and improving our wildflower garden.   If you would like to volunteer for any of these activities please email:

2014 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 4 0
Mooneys Bay 9 7
Westboro 12 9
Petrie Island River Beach 16 12
Petrie Island East Beach 8 4

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.

 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

          2015 Nature Tour Series

Join us for a nature tour this year (May until September)!  Tour dates and descriptions cam be found here: 2015 Nature Tours

                    What’s Blooming?


            Wild Strawberry             (Fragaria vesca


Brrr it's cold! Dress warm if you are coming down to @PetrieIsland to help plant trees and shrubs! See you at 10 am! #Orleans #Ottawa #nature ... See MoreSee Less

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If you have an hour or so this weekend, come down and help us plant some trees! ... See MoreSee Less

Tree & Shrub Planting

May 23, 2015, 10:00am - May 23, 2015, 12:00pm

Petrie Island

Come out and help plant some trees. We'll be receiving trees from the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority and the Greenthumb Garden Center (Nepean). We also have about 80 acorns from Champlain Oaks to bury. Bring a shovel + garden gloves if you have them - thanks for your help! (Meet at the Nature Centre) Thanks for your help!

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We will be receiving about 200 trees and shrubs next week for planting - many as part of the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority Shoreline Restoration program and a bunch from Greenthumb Garden Centre! A very generous donation from this Nepean business! We will be planting with volunteers on Wednesday (20th) and Saturday (23rd) - come out and join us! ... See MoreSee Less

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Lots happening at Petrie Island: insect hotel repairs (thanks to our #biophilic crew), Burr Oaks planted (thanks to Champlain Oaks) and new blooms: gill-over-ground, violets & strawberries! (5 photos) ... See MoreSee Less

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We gratefully acknowledge funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation