Project Overview

November 2014


The City of Ottawa is in the process of completing the detailed designs for the renewal of Main Street and portions of Rideau River Drive. Construction of the Lees Avenue portion of the overall project began this past summer.

The recommended design concept was approved by City Council on July 17, 2013. The City has planned this project under Schedule C of the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA) process. The EA process was finalized in September 2013 after the completion of an Environmental Study Report. On this basis, Main Street will be renewed as a “complete street” featuring cycle tracks, wider sidewalks, and space for streetscaping. To accomplish this, vehicle lane reductions will be implemented in some locations. The street design varies along its approximately 2 km length.

Project is expected to be ready for tendering process in January 2015. Construction of the project is planned to begin in 2015. Early utility reconstruction work has already begun.

A final Public Open House is planned for the Spring of 2015, near the start of construction, to present final traffic management and construction plans.

Information relating to the project will be posted on the City of Ottawa's project specific website.


Study Process

The Main Street Renewal study area includes:

  • Main Street from Echo Drive to the Mcllraith Bridge
  • Lees Avenue from Main Street to Chestnut Avenue
  • A portion of Rideau River Drive

In 2013, the City of Ottawa completed an Environmental Assessment for the Main Street Renewal project. In July 2013, City Council approved the complete street design for Main Street recommended in the EA process.

The subsequent design process resulted in draft detailed designs to enable the reconstruction of the study area streets. Construction on the Lees Avenue portion of the project began in 2014, and is substantially complete at this point.

Draft detailed designs for Main Street and Rideau River Drive have been completed to enable construction to commence in Spring 2015. The draft plans are now available for review.


Consultation Activities

Designs for the street have been prepared by the City and its consulting team (led by Parsons), with guidance provided by a street design "Working Group". This committee includes representation from various City branches, businesses, residents, and community organizations. The Working Group has been meeting regularly to help the City make key design decisions, and address community concerns.

The first Public Open House for this project was held on October 17th, 2012. Information presented included existing conditions, the need for the project, and the general "solution" for the street being a renewal of the street infrastructure. Subsequently, Public Open Houses were held on June 17 and 18, 2013, to present the EA evaluation results, the preliminary preferred design, and its implications for travel and streetscaping.

The City of Ottawa Transportation Committee meeting on July 5th, 2013 provided a further opportunity for stakeholder input. The City has also continued to meet with the Working Group and individual land owners during the subsequent detailed design process. Six Working Group meetings have been held since July 2013, and consultation with individual stakeholders is ongoing.


Street Design Vision – Complete Street

The overall objective for Main Street is to link the street together as a unified corridor, creating memorable places along it, while recognizing and supporting the character of its various parts.

Principles include:

  • As a 'complete street', strike an appropriate balance for all modes using the street, with an emphasis on better provisions for walking, cycling, and transit use in keeping with Official Plan objectives for the street
  • Provide 'cycle tracks' to implement the Transportation Master Plan's vision for the corridor as a 'spine route'
  • Create as much space as possible for wide sidewalks, by minimizing the amount of required roadway/asphalt used by vehicles
  • Use an integrated family of streetscaping elements such as street lighting, street furniture, trees and plantings, public art, parking solutions, signage, and surface treatments to act as the glue that bonds the corridor together and reinforces character and history while also inspiring renewal
  • Seek opportunities to enhance and add visual interest to the streetscape
  • Reclaim lands for public use within the Right-of-Way (ROW) that currently have encroachments, and recommend improvements to front or side yards on private lands adjacent to the corridor
  • Have regard for the planning and design principles discussed in the Old Ottawa East Community Design Plan and reconstruct the street in a manner that supports them


Planned Function

The street is designated in the Official Plan as an Arterial Road, and as such is to "not only accommodate car and truck traffic, but also serve pedestrians, public utilities, cyclists, and public transit buses".

North of Clegg Street, the corridor is also designated in the Official Plan as a Traditional Mainstreet. The Official Plan requires the City to consider changes such as "lane reductions" when the City is proposing public works in this corridor, to create space within the right-of-way that can assist in the pursuit of community design and transportation planning objectives for these special design-controlled sectors of the City.


Underground Services and Renewal

  • The Main Street corridor accommodates a range of municipal services and utilities. Watermains and sanitary sewers require replacement due to their age and condition. The project creates an opportunity to replace the services at one time and to improve their level of service.
  • The services will be sized to enable the corridor's planned land use intensification.
  • The existing combined sewer system is being replaced with a separated sanitary and storm system in an effort to redirect flows.
  • Stormwater retention within the roadway will be provided to improve the system's level of service.
  • There are some older, flat roof buildings located along the corridor that may have roof drains that are connected to the combined sewers in the street. Opportunities to separate roof drains from the sanitary sewer will be explored in an effort to reduce the likelihood of downstream combined sewer system overflows.

Advance Utility Work Program – Main Street Renewal (briefing report, Nov. 5, 2014)


Private Lands Streetscape Integration

The City's objective is to improve the visual quality of the street and provide a seamless streetscape along both sides of the street lot line.

  • Minor modifications to private lands may be completed by the City in order to tie in grades and surfaces along the street lot line, provided that landowner consent is provided.
  • Street trees will be proposed on adjacent private lots in some locations subject to landowners' consent.
  • Where private land uses encroach on the City's right-of-way, the City will take this reconstruction opportunity to reclaim the right-of-way for sidewalk purposes and streetscaping.
  • Once designs are finalized, the City's Real Property Asset Management (RPAM) department staff will be contacting landowners to discuss property improvements and to obtain consents where required.


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