This site uses JavaScript. Please enable JavaScript in your Browser and reload the page to view the full site.

Sidewalk Standards

Project Status: 


The City of Ottawa is reviewing the two adopted sidewalk standards and is seeking feedback from residents on their experiences when navigating the sidewalks. Your feedback and engagement on this initiative is important to the City of Ottawa.

The outcome of this review will be considered for the City of Ottawa’s design and construction specification documents.


Key considerations to sidewalk standards are finding a balance between accessibility, pedestrian movements, safety, parking and cycling impacts, traffic, maintenance and vehicular access.

The City is a leader in developing accessible environments for all, embracing the principles of “universal design” and is committed to identify, remove and prevent barriers as per the scope and application of the City of Ottawa’s Accessibility Design Standards.

The City of Ottawa has two adopted sidewalk standards:

Ramp style sidewalks

For sidewalks 1.8 meters or wider, the City’s standard minimum width, the City of Ottawa adopted the ramp style vehicle access to allow the flat surface to continue and facilitate pedestrian accessibility at the driveway/sidewalk interface.

The ramp style vehicle access incorporates a ramp on the roadside of the sidewalk to avoid the need to lower the sidewalk at the driveways. When this is done the flat width of the sidewalk in these areas is reduced.

For example, for 1.8 meters sidewalks the ramp is 750 millimeters, this leaves the flat surface of the sidewalk width of 1.05 meters.

This is an image of a ramp style sidewalk.

Traditional style sidewalks

Traditional style sidewalk provides a level entry for vehicles and requires sidewalk users to navigate the grade change at each vehicular entry.

Traditional style sidewalks are usually used for high-volume commercial and institutional entrances.

They may also be considered for:

  • Specific site conditions including slopes grater than 5 percent or when there are frequent driveways with a span greater than 20 meters.
  • On sidewalk only rehabilitation projects where the existing conditions are restrictive to application of the ramp style.

Traditional style vehicle accesses have a drop in sidewalk elevation at the entrances using a 2.4 metres transition taper.

This is an image of a traditional style sidewalk.


Accessibility is an important consideration for the City of Ottawa. The City makes every effort to provide access through and around construction sites. If you require special accommodation, please contact the City’s Project Manager.


COVID-19 is an unprecedented situation and the City of Ottawa is committed to protecting people and the community. The Province of Ontario has allowed certain businesses and workplaces, including all municipal construction projects, to continue operations subject to compliance with strict public health and safety protocols. The City is working closely with the industry and complying with restrictions and recommendations provided by municipal, provincial and federal health officials, as well as the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

For further information or to provide comments, please contact the City’s project manager.

Contact information

Questions can be directed to:

City Project Manager
Sandra Majkic
, Senior Engineer, Guidelines & Standards
Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department
100 Constellation Drive, Ottawa ON K2G 6L8
613-580-2424, ext. 21733

Online Engagement Opportunity (February 9 to 16, 2021)

Monday, February 8, 2021, 8:14 am
Last updated: 
Tuesday, February 9, 2021, 8:01 am

Dates & Times

Tuesday, February 9, 2021, 12:00 am to Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 11:00 pm


The City of Ottawa continues to take precautionary steps to protect members of the public. As an alternative to hosting in-person public information sessions, information is being posted to the City's website. The City remains committed to keeping the public informed of projects and initiatives occurring in the city.

An online public information session and will be held virtually on Zoom on February 9 from 7 pm to 8 pm.

This session will provide information about the two sidewalk styles – traditional and ramp and will also provide the public the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback about their experiences in the use of the two different styles.

Please email to register. If you require any accessible formats and/or communication supports to participate in this virtual event, please contact the Project Manager listed below.

Project display boards, sidewalk standards [ 4.07 MB ]

Your feedback is important. If you are not able to attend the session and you would like to submit your feedback, comments can be submitted to by February 16 2021.

Questions can be directed to:

Sandra Majkic, Senior Engineer, Guidelines & Standards
Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department
100 Constellation Drive, Ottawa ON K2G 6L8
Tel: 613-580-2424, ext. 21733