Forest and Nature School

Project summary:

The proposed two-storey 736 sq.m building will feature three childcare rooms, an office area, and a total of eight (8) parking spaces with two (2) dedicated spaces for accessible parking. The building has been designed to accommodate forty-nine (49) students, twelve (12) full-time staff members, and rotating research staff. The Canadian Centre for Outdoor Play will utilize the existing Wesley Clover Parks Campground driveway for site access and egress to minimize the overall footprint of the development.

The construction is in alignment with the long-term lease between the Wesley Clover Foundation and the NCC.  It is also in alignment with the 2013 Greenbelt Master Plan

The massing and scale will consist of a low and compact design which will conceal the proposed building within the tree canopy to ensure that it does not detract from the natural character of the surrounding area. A gravel driveway is proposed to be built off the existing driveway to provide access to the facility while also ensuring the natural drainage system for stormwater runoff is maintained. A series of stone dust pathways will allow for pedestrian connectivity to other areas throughout the site including parking areas and the adjacent Wesley Clover Parks Campground. The proposed building has been designed to be environmentally sustainable using a variety of regionally sourced and reclaimed materials and will built to adhere to industry leading green energy principles and standards. To ensure the views of the forested and treed areas are protected, the proposed building will be appropriately setback from public rights-of-way including Corkstown Road and Highway 417.  Existing mature trees and vegetation will be retained and protected as much as possible.  The areas where trees and vegetation are removed for construction will be re-planted to support re-growth of native species.  The children's play area will be naturalized.  A sustainability plan for the project has been created based on the NCC Sustainable Development Strategy as well as principles of LEED v4.1.

The siting of the proposed building was determined in conjunction with the preparation of the Environmental Effects Assessment (EEA) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) reports prepared by GEMTEC. The purpose of the studies was to demonstrate that the proposed development would not negatively impact any environmental or natural heritage features which may be present within the study area. Recommendations and mitigation measures were used to determine the siting of the proposed building which includes a 15-metre development setback from the nearest vernal pool and a tree preservation fence to establish a restricted development area.

Purpose of project:

The Canadian Centre for Outdoor Play will operate as a national centre of excellence and demonstration site for high quality and innovative practices in outdoor play in Canada. This collaborative space will exhibit and inform practice, professional learning, research and policy at a provincial and national level. The facility will demonstrate best practices and support increased knowledge and leadership on outdoor play; increase the evidence-base and research in the field of outdoor play; and establish outdoor play through a nature-based licensed childcare program.

The licensed nature-based early learning program will offer full-time early learning and care, led by Andrew Fleck Children's Services, providing a demonstration site for the professional learning led by the CNAC. The facility will promote outdoor play in Canada to enhance child wellbeing and development, and to increase children's equitable access to the outdoors, through a visionary, ecosystem approach within a licensed childcare setting. The intended impacts include but are not limited to providing opportunities for children to experience and become advocates of nature and the outdoors, train educators and leaders on providing health-enhancing programs and services promoting outdoor play and set best practice for research and evaluation.

A dedicated space for the Canadian Centre for Outdoor Play will provide staff and students with access to a sheltered structure during inclement weather conditions and where indoor space for learning is required.


Latest update

July 22, 2020 - The assessment decision statement has been issued to the proponent..


Key documents

Key documents
Document Number Document Title File Date
2 Forest and Nature School - July 22, 2020
1 Public Notice - Forest and Nature School - May 14, 2020


National Capital Commission
Environmental Assessment
40 Elgin Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5A8

  • Location

    • Ottawa (Ontario)
  • Nature of Activity

    • Building and Property Development
    • Other, not otherwise specified
  • Assessment Status

  • Start Date

  • Proponent

    Andrew Fleck Children's Services
  • Authorities

    • National Capital Commission
  • Assessment Type

    Project on federal lands
  • Reference Number


This map is for illustrative purposes. The markers represent the approximate locations based on available data. More than one marker may be identified for a given assessment.


Nearby assessments

...within 200 kilometres
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