Ottawa's first complete street almost done

on .

The city began reconstruction in 2015 and the plans called for a radical change that reduced vehicle lanes from four to two to make way for dedicated cycling tracks, wider sidewalks and dedicated on-street parking.Although it appears as most of the hard work is done, construction is expected to be “truly" complete by Spring 2017, when landscaping will be added, but the councillor said it will be functional complete by Christmas.

Michelle Nash Baker, Ottawa Community News

Main Street is starting to look pretty good.

The street in Old Ottawa East is undergoing a major transformation and from the looks of things, it is starting to shape up.

As Ottawa's first "complete street” the change has given cyclists and pedestrians the same priority as cars.

The city began reconstruction  in 2015 and the plans called for a radical change that reduced vehicle lanes from four to two to make way for dedicated cycling tracks, wider sidewalks and dedicated on-street parking.

Living only steps from the construction chaos, resident and past president of the Ottawa East Community Association John Dance said the result has been worth waiting for.

"The two plus years of dust, noise and expense have been more than worth it,” Dance said. "Now you can safely and pleasantly walk and cycle along Main."

Instead of simply a painted line to mark a cycling lane, the city put raised cycling tracks along Main Street. The tracks are meant to provide more separation between bikes and vehicles. The city is currently installing Ottawa's first cycling tracks on Churchill Avenue. The cycling tracks would run from McIlraith Bridge to Harvey Street in the northbound direction, with sharrow markings completing the cycling connection on Main Street to the canal. From west of the canal and Pretoria Bridge, the proposed cycling connection is  to use the counter-directional lane that already exists, of Graham Avenue to bypass Hawthorne Avenue. Treatments for future cycling connections down Clegg are in the plans which will connect the upcoming footbridge over the Rideau Canal at Clegg Street and Fifth Avenue to both Main Street.

Dance said the side benefits from the road construction has also made the community better.

“The restoration of the historic Brantwood Gates war memorial, public art celebrating the community and a beautifully re-landscaped  Main Street frontage for Saint Paul University,” he said.

Main Street business owners relieved as road partially reopens

on .

Major road revitalization began May 2015

The Main Street revitalization included widened sidewalks and separated bike paths, seen here in front of the Green Door Restaurant in Old Ottawa East. (CBC)

By Matthew Kupfer, CBC News

Business owners on Ottawa's Main Street are relieved a section of the road has reopened to car, bicycle and pedestrian traffic after more than a year of construction and traffic chaos.

Main Street was shut down in stages, including the stretch from Clegg Street to Lees Avenue, while the major redesign took place.

Café Qui Pense, at the corner of Main and Hazel streets, was right in the middle of the construction. Owner Gabriel Houle said he had fewer customers last summer as crews dug up the sidewalk in front of his coffee shop.

"At some point there was a big hole right here, 30 feet deep, and so you had to walk on pieces of wood to get in the coffee shop," he said.​ "So that, obviously, is not helpful."

Houle said the redesigned street is bringing more potential customers by his café and it was worth last summer's strain.

"We're really happy about the current situation. If you look at the sidewalks, they're almost double the size they used to be. There's a great cycling path."

The Green Door owner Ron Farmer says his vegetarian restaurant is a destination for customers, who managed to navigate the dusty road and changing traffic restrictions.

"Now that it's over, you can look at it like the city has spent millions of dollars improving the area right in front of our business," Farmer said. "We had to put up with some difficulty, but it's over and it's going to great for years and years."

'A brave face'

Capital ward Coun. David Chernushenko said Main Street shops are a good example for other businesses caught in the construction crunch.

"The businesses had to keep up a brave face," he said. "The message had to be: we're open, it's dusty, it's noisy, but we're here, please come down."

There wasn't much fanfare when the section of the street reopened on Aug. 16 because work isn't quite finished, Chernushenko said. He recommends commuters stick to the alternate routes they've been using to avoid the road, at least for now.

Main Street is reduced to a single southbound lane between Clegg Street and the McIllraith Bridge. Chernushenko says construction is on schedule and he expects the road to reopen completely in late fall.

On time, on budget: End in sight for Main Street reconstruction

on .

The long-awaited end to Main Street's reconstruction is close enough that David Chernushenko is starting to think about planning a grand reopeningparty. WAYNE CUDDINGTON / POSTMEDIA

Matthew Pearson, Ottawa Citizen

The long-awaited end to Main Street’s reconstruction is close enough that David Chernushenko is starting to think about planning a grand reopening party.

“We’re definitely past half way,” the Capital councillor said Thursday of the multi-year, multimillion-dollar project, which he said is about two-thirds finished.

Main Street’s infrastructure was at the end of its life cycle, so the city ordered up a top-to-bottom facelift from Echo Drive to the Rideau River. Wider sidewalks, cycletracks, new trees, public art, street lighting and signage are above ground; new water mains and sewers run underground.

The reconstruction also presented a chance to narrow the street in an effort to reduce speeding along a stretch of road that’s a popular choice for north-south commuters.

The total budget is $39 million, plus another $16.3 million to fix up the McIlraith Bridge.

Preliminary work began early last year, but the big shovels didn’t come out until the end of May, which is also when the major traffic detours kicked in. It’s expected to be completed next summer, and is on time and on budget, the councillor said.

“We have no reason to expect it won’t open on time.”

In fact, a short stretch between Lees and Hawthorne avenues reopened to traffic in both directions on Thursday.

A key stretch between Lees and Clegg Street is scheduled to open to traffic in both directions on Aug. 16, according to Chernushenko, although the new cycletracks are already popular with many cyclists.

“We’re in the last stretch,” said Helen Weaver, owner of 3 Trees, an eclectic shop that sells clothing, jewelry and handicrafts. “The progress they’ve made is amazing.”

She was anticipating a rough couple of years as detours and dust drove customers away, but her sales are actually up, she said.

Weaver also praised the city’s efforts to keep the community up to speed on the project, including more than 20 public working group meetings, which she said were invaluable. “If you’re there the whole time, you understand the process.”

Main St. closure from Hawthorne to Lees

on .

City of Ottawa

Starting on Monday, July 25, Main Street will be completely closed to traffic from Hawthorne Ave. to Lees Ave. for the construction of the concrete crosswalks. The closure will remain in effect through Friday, August 5.

During that period, the section of Main Street from Hawthorne Ave. to Greenfield Ave. will be open to both northbound and southbound traffic.

The intersections of Main Street/Hawthorne Ave. (eastbound to northbound and southbound to westbound movements) and Main Street/Lees Ave. (westbound to southbound movement) will remain open to traffic.

The recommended detour is via Greenfield Ave. and Lees Ave. (see map below).

Detour information for OC Transpo buses is available at

We thank you for your continued patience and support during construction. For further information or to provide comments, please contact the City’s project manager at the addresses below.

Josée Vallée, P. Eng.
Infrastructure Services Department
Design and Construction Municipal East Branch City of Ottawa
100 Constellation Crescent, 6th Floor
Ottawa, ON K2G 6J8
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel.:613-580-2424 x 21805
Fax: 613-560-6064


DetourMap MainStreet July2016

Download a PDF of the map

If you don’t find the information you need on these pages, visit or contact the project managers directly:

City Project Manager
Josée Vallée, P. Eng.
Infrastructure Services Department
Design & Construction Municipal – East Branch
City of Ottawa | 613-580-2424 x 21805

Contractor Representative
Alphonse Blank
Karson Konstruction
24-hour emergency number: 613-839-2816


Contract Administrator
Robert McKay
Cell: (613) 883-7590

Senior Inspector
Greg Choquette
Cell: (613) 327-7404