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Elgin Street Renewal

Project Status: 

Elgin Street is re-opening to traffic on Monday, December 16

Elgin Street has been closed to vehicular traffic through 2019. On Monday, December 16, Elgin Street, from Laurier Avenue to Catherine Street, will re-open to two-way traffic. OC Transpo routes 5, 14 and 114 that were temporarily detoured during the closure will return to Elgin Street on December 16 as well.

Work will resume in early 2020 with utility upgrades, including underground connections to properties and the removal of the existing wooden hydro poles along the west side of Elgin Street. This will be followed by landscaping, sidewalks, streetlights, public art installation and top lift of asphalt, so that all construction will be complete by the end of the 2020 construction season, as planned.

We will be communicating more details on what to expect in the lead up to the 2020 construction season.

Stay informed! Sign up for the Elgin Street Renewal e-newsletter.

Free parking at City Hall

Free parking is available at the City Hall garage at 110 Laurier Avenue West on weekday evenings after 6 pm and all day on weekends. Offering free parking at City Hall will assist residents and businesses during the renewal of Elgin Street, which is seeing a road closure and reduced parking continuing into next year. Free parking is expected to be in place until the end of 2019.

Businesses remain open on Elgin Street during construction and pedestrian access to businesses will be maintained at all times.

Project overview

Integrated road, sewer and water project

Project description

The City of Ottawa is undertaking the construction for the renewal of Elgin Street from Gloucester Street to Isabella Street. This project also includes the renewal of Waverley Street from Elgin Street to Metcalfe Street through Jack Purcell Park, as well as roadway renewal on Isabella Street from Elgin Street to Queen Elizabeth Driveway. The existing underground linear infrastructure, some of which dates back to 1874, has reached the end of its useful lifecycle and is in need of reconstruction. 

Specifically, the works proposed include:

  • Wider sidewalks, shared use lanes (for cycling and vehicles), and transit facilities (bus stops, bus pads and shelters)
  • Traffic control signal system and traffic calming measures including raised intersections, narrowing lanes and reduced speed limit (30 km/h from Lisgar Street to McLeod Street)
  • Flexible space to accommodate on-street parking, patios or other seasonal uses
  • Streetscape enhancements and street amenities including landscaping (such as tree planting, and hardscape features), public art and street furniture (including benches, waste receptacles, and bicycle racks)
  • Watermains, sanitary, storm and combined sewers
  • Utility reconstruction (Hydro Ottawa, Bell, Rogers, Enbridge)
  • Street lighting and signage
  • Road structure and pavement

The proposed project limits are as outlined in the Key Map [ PDF – 206 KB ].

This project will be guided by the work completed as part of the Elgin Street functional design plan which was approved by City of Ottawa Council in May 2017.

The approved functional design for Elgin Street was a product of an extensive study process, which included consultation with the public.

Project purpose

The purpose of the project is to prepare drawings and specifications for the reconstruction of the aforementioned streets. This includes the layout of the surface elements including sidewalk, cycling, transit and vehicle provisions, street lighting and streetscape improvements, and solutions for underground linear municipal infrastructure and affected overhead and underground utilities. Construction staging and traffic (pedestrian, transit, and vehicular) management methods are also to be investigated to minimize disruption during the construction period. For Elgin Street, the project limits will be subject to a full road closure for all of 2019, and lane reductions in 2018 and 2020.

Anticipated project schedule

  • Site investigations (soils, field surveys, condition assessments, investigations of existing sewers) : Winter 2018
  • Utility relocations: Early 2018 – Fall 2018
  • Design completion: Fall 2018
  • Construction commencement: Early 2019
  • Primary construction season: January to December 2019 (full road closure for all of 2019 to complete underground works and roadway)
  • Final Construction Season: Spring to Fall 2020 (partial/periodic road closures or lane reductions, to complete final asphalt lift, landscaping, streetscaping, street lighting, public art installation, and additional required reinstatements)


Project funds approved to date is approximately $40 million.

Public involvement and engagement

Public Information Sessions were held throughout 2017 and 2018 to present and get feedback from the public on the preliminary design drawings and more. Information from these sessions can be found on the Public Information Sessions page.

For further information or to provide comments, please contact

Background information (Elgin Street and Hawthorne Avenue functional design study)

For background information please visit the Elgin Street and Hawthorne Avenue Functional Design Study page.

Traffic impacts

Current traffic impacts

The Somerset Street at Elgin Street intersection is planned to re-open on Monday, September 30. As a result, the MacLaren and Cooper crossings that were open in its place will close again and buses will revert back to using Somerset.

Traffic detour map showing north and south detours, as well as designated street crossings across Elgin.

Bus detour map showing routes 5 and 14 detouring around Elgin Street, down Somerset and Cartier to access Queen Elizabeth Drive.

Cyclist detour map showing the shared north and south route options along the Queen Elizabeth Drive pathway.


Copies of Notice to Resident letters sent to impacted area.

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Public Information Sessions

Information from past events.

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Elgin Street and Hawthorne Avenue Functional Design Study

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