Main Street rebuild to cause major traffic disruptions

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Northbound traffic to be detoured during two-year reconstruction project

Laura Mueller, Ottawa Community News

Motorists can expect significant traffic impacts when Main Street is reconstructed over the next two years to replace century-old water and sewer infrastructure.

Plans revealed at an open house on Nov. 20 show the main artery in Old Ottawa East will be closed to northbound traffic between Greenfield and Riverdale avenues in the first phase of construction starting next spring. There will be one northbound lane available for local traffic only from Riverdale to Clegg Street.

In the second construction phase, no northbound traffic at all will be allowed on Main between Greenfield and Riverdale.

The open house on Nov. 20 was well-attended and people had a lot of questions, said John Dance, president of the Old Ottawa East Community Association.

“The construction will be very disruptive but it's the price we have to pay to have modern water and sewer lines and a safe, friendly street,” Dance said.

The construction will lead to a host of important and long-awaited improvements for the neighbourhood, Dance said. Main Street itself will get the addition of bicycle lanes in the form of raised cycle tracks – a useful addition as the community just outside the downtown swells with the development of 10 hectares of institutional land formerly occupied by the Oblate fathers, Dance said.

Glebe, Lansdowne Park businesses could benefit from each other

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Opening of Whole Foods Market, Sporting Life this week begins battle for customers

Sporting Life, left, and Whole Foods open on the same week, creating immediate competition for smaller businesses along Bank Street.

 Sporting Life, left, and Whole Foods open on the same week, creating immediate competition for smaller businesses along Bank Street. (Julie Ireton/CBC)


CBC News

At times tense and heated, the relationship between small businesses in the Glebe neighbourhood and those settling in at Lansdowne Park will be one of reciprocity, according to retail experts and local businesses.

"All families fight," said Gilbert Russell, vice-chairman of the Glebe Business Improvement Area, "Both parties have realized that we are going to be better if we work together."

Some businesses have already opened at the rebuilt Lansdowne Park.

But this week is important as key entities Whole Foods Market and Sporting Life open for the public this week — Wednesday and Thursday respectively — leading to major competition for smaller Glebe operations like McKeen’s Metro, Kunstadt Sports and others.

Retail expert Darren Fleming believes the businesses will rely on each other to bring shoppers to the area. The smaller Glebe stores have the history and the clientele, while the larger stores have the uniqueness and newness.

Also, Lansdowne is not your typical retail site, said Fleming, a managing principal at Cresa Ottawa.

"There aren’t acres and acres of parking that people can pull up to in front of the store," he said. "Whole Foods has a lot of experience in these types of developments."

Lansdowne Park office space slow to fill up

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'The parking at that site is tricky and it's not easy,' says commercial tenant representative

The commercial office space available at Lansdowne Park hasn't attracted much interest so far, a broker says.

The commercial office space available at Lansdowne Park hasn't attracted much interest so far, a broker says. (Julie Ireton/CBC)

CBC News

Commercial office space being built at the new Lansdowne Park isn't attracting much interest so far due to site challenges including parking, says a commercial tenant representative.

Construction work continues at Lansdowne on condominiums, restaurants and offices and two major retailers are opening this week: Whole Foods Market and Sporting Life.

But so far, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, or CIRA, has been the only organization to announce it will be relocating to Lansdowne. 

CIRA's corporate headquarters are expected to move in during spring 2015.

Several floors of commercial office space at Lansdowne remain without a tenant.

'It's really challenging,' broker says

The lack of interest mainly comes down to parking, said the man who helped broker the CIRA deal.

"From the office market, it's really challenging. The parking at that site is tricky and it's not easy," said Darren Fleming, a managing principal at Cresa Ottawa, which represents commercial tenants.

"There's probably going to be 10 to 20 days a year where parking is going to be really challenged because people are coming for a game or a concert, and that just doesn't work for a lot of organizations."

Fleming said CIRA chose Lansdowne to "make a statement."

"It's a very visible site, there's a lot of attention and activity around it, so they're choosing to be there in spite of some of the challenges because of where and what it is," Fleming said.

'People want to be in this area,' BIA chair argues

Greg Best — chair of the Glebe Business Improvement Area, which includes Lansdowne — agrees parking is a major issue. But he thinks the new park will still attract commercial tenants to the office tower.

"People want to be in this area," Best said.

"You're close to the canal, everything's within walking distance, you're two minutes to the Queensway... It's a heavily treed area, there's a lot of parks, a lot of bikeways. So you don't get that in downtown Ottawa."

Bernie Ashe, the CEO of the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, said there are no new announcements about office tenants.

Leasing activity is underway and progress is being made, Ashe said.

Public art to be chosen for the Glebe Parking Garage

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The City of Ottawa invites residents to have their say about the public art to be commissioned for the new Glebe Parking Garage. Share your comments online and in person!

The public can meet the five shortlisted artists and view their proposals on:

Monday, November 24, 4 - 7 p.m.
St. Giles Presbyterian Church,
174 First Ave. (please use First Ave. door)

Or have your say online! Click here to see previews of the proposals and fill in our online survey, anytime before midnight November 25.

Comments from the public will help the Art Selection Committee choose the winning proposal.

The five shortlisted artists are:

  • Karl Ciesluk
  • Christopher Griffin
  • Michael Kinghorn
  • Erin Robertson and Anna Williams
  • Amy Thompson

The City of Ottawa commissions local artists’ works for display in public spaces from a percentage of funds set aside for municipal development projects. For more information, please call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401), email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

Glebe Parking Garage
The four-storey public parking garage will be located at 170 Second Avenue, with vehicular access from both Second Avenue and Third Avenue. In addition to streetscape landscaping, the ground-floor level will have an open concept design with multi-use parking. Construction is scheduled to begin in winter 2015 and be complete by the end of October 2015.