About the NCC

The National Capital Commission (NCC) is a Crown corporation of the Government of Canada. Our goal is to ensure that Canada’s Capital Region is a source of national pride and significance.

The NCC was created by Parliament in 1959. As a Crown corporation, it is accountable to Parliament, as set out in the Financial Administration Act, and reports through the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

History

1899: Ottawa Improvement Commission (OIC)
The OIC led efforts to clean up the banks of the Rideau Canal, which were cluttered with warehouses, sheds, lumberyards and piles of construction material. The OIC also created parks and Ottawa’s first scenic parkway, Queen Elizabeth Driveway.

1903: The Todd Plan
In 1903, the OIC hired Frederick G. Todd, a landscape architect from Montréal, to produce a master plan. Todd’s plan laid the groundwork for a broad system of parks. He also proposed a ceremonial route to link the Parliament Buildings to Rideau Hall, the official residence of the governor general.

1915: The Holt Report
In 1913, the newly established Federal Plan Commission, chaired by Herbert Holt, hired American architect Edward Bennett, the main force behind a pioneering 1909 development plan for Chicago. Bennett was the chief contributor to the Holt Report, a comprehensive statement on how and where future development in the region should occur. Most of the Holt Report recommendations were temporarily shelved: the federal government needed all its resources to support Canada’s role in the First World War.

1927: Federal District Commission (FDC)
By 1927, Canada’s financial situation was sufficiently improved to allow for the creation of an agency with an expanded planning mandate and authority. The FDC’s many accomplishments included expanding the National Capital Region’s network of parks, including the south end of what is now Gatineau Park; improving and extending Queen Elizabeth Driveway alongside the Rideau Canal; rehabilitating Dows Lake; and building the Champlain Bridge across the Ottawa River to west Hull.

1950: The Gréber Plan
Beginning in 1946, French architect-planner Jacques Gréber guided a newly established National Capital Planning Committee, comprising of Canadians from across the country, in developing what came to be known as the Gréber Plan. The plan recommended large-scale works that dramatically altered the National Capital Region.

1958: The National Capital Commission
The NCC was established to implement the Gréber Plan through passage of the National Capital Act. To this end, it was authorized to develop, conserve and improve the National Capital Region in accordance with its national significance. With this planning mandate and the authority to acquire and manage lands and buildings, construct projects in the Capital, and cooperate with public and private agencies, the NCC was able in the 1960s and ’70s to realize Gréber’s vision for the National Capital Region.

1988: Amendment to the National Capital Act
Since 1988, the NCC’s mandate has included the programming of public events and activities that inspire pride and unity among Canadians, that help Canada’s Capital Region work as a national meeting place, and that communicate Canada to Canadians and to visitors from other countries.

2006: Mandate Review
The minister responsible for the NCC launched a review to assess the continuing relevance of the NCC, its activities and level of funding. An independent review panel released its report in December 2006, making a number of recommendations concerning the NCC’s governance, activities and funding.

2009 to the Present
Government bills to amend the National Capital Act, recognizing the NCC, in preambles, as an “important national institution”, were introduced in two sessions of Parliament but both bills died on the Order Paper when Parliament was prorogued and dissolved respectively. 

Horizon 2067: The 50-Year Plan for Canada's Capital