Paramedics say a 20-year-old man is in critical condition with life threatening head injuries after falling over a small concrete barrier alongside the Rideau Canal. 

Emergency crews were called to the scene on Colonel By Drive under the Heron Road bridge  just after 8 p.m. Wednesday , Apr. 1, 2015.  

Upon arrifval firefighters discovered the man had fallen several feet, landing on dry ground at the bottom of the Canal. 

Firefighters used ladders to ferry paramedics down to the injured cyclist.  He was later transported to the Ottawa Trauma Centre, where paramedics listed his condition upon arrival as critical. 

Paramedics say the man was not wearing a helmet.

Alex DeVries of Citizens for Safe Cycling says, while he isn't familiar with this particular incident, there is a need to build better infrastructure for cyclists. "We have elaborate guard rails on highways to reduce the risk of injury if a car goes off course," he says. "Why wouldn't we install railings at such locations to reduce the risk of injury to cyclists?"