We often hear people joke that there are two seasons in Ottawa: winter and construction season. Well, they’re not wrong! This year, the City will invest approximately $702 million in city infrastructure in order to continue to provide vital services to residents, businesses and visitors – everything from safe drinking water, to the roads, bridges, sidewalks, pathways used to get around the city, to the stormwater ponds collecting rainwater, to the underground pipe network effectively transporting wastewater, to the City’s sewage treatment facility.
Keep reading to get the scoop on how this year’s construction projects may affect you or how you get around in our beautiful city this summer.
Cycling in the city
The number of people cycling continues to grow every year in Ottawa. The City’s cycling vision is to develop a citywide, connected network of cycling facilities for all types and ages of cyclists to help establish Ottawa as one of the best cycling networks in North America.
When construction for the Stage 2 Light Rail Transit (LRT) project is complete, it will deliver approximately 25 kilometres of new active transportation facilities for both pedestrians and cyclists.
Upon its completion, the enhanced cycling facilities for the Laurier Avenue improvements (Nicholas to Waller streets) project will separate cyclists from mixed traffic, greatly improving the level of comfort and safety for all users. This project will integrate cycling connections with the Mackenzie King Bridge via the Rideau Canal Eastern Pathway. It will also include safety measures such as separated signal phasing and protected intersection crossings.
Cycle tracks will also be built this year on other projects, including the Montreal Road revitalization, Albert, Queen, Slater, Bronson reconstruction, Dovercourt Avenue sidewalk and bike lanes implementation and more.
Stage 2 LRT (O-Train construction)
Work is well underway on the Stage 2 LRT project, transforming our city’s future transit system. This year, the City will continue construction to extend the O-Train to more communities farther east, west and south.
The O-Train East Extension will link Blair Station to Trim Road. This work will add 12 kilometres of rail and five new stations to the O-Train network at Montreal Road, Jeanne d’Arc Boulevard, Convent Glen, Place d’Orléans and Trim Road.
This year, crews will continue work in the Highway 174 median as they install track, connecting five new stations. Station construction has started on all new stations, and residents will see them take shape throughout the year. Crews will also install three new pedestrian bridges to enhance connectivity to the O-Train network.
The O-Train West Line will extend from Westboro Station to Moodie Drive and Algonquin Station. The extension will add over 15 kilometres of new rail and 11 new stations. It also includes a light maintenance and storage facility, 10 new bridges, 14 rehabilitated bridges and two cut and cover tunnels.
This year, cut and cover tunnel construction of the Parkway and Connaught tunnels will continue, including excavation starting the cover work, which is a major milestone of the project.
The O-Train South Extension will run 12 kilometres through 11 stations, both new and existing, from Bayview Station to Limebank Road, and include 12 kilometres of new rail. An additional Airport Link will run from South Keys to the Ottawa International Airport.
This year will see station construction advance, more rail installed and the testing and commissioning of the new Stadler FLIRT vehicles!
Integrated road, sewer, water projects
Investment: approximately $37.9 million
This is a multi-year project to replace aging combined sewers with separate storm and sanitary sewers, sections of older watermains and reconstruct the roadways, including the implementation of Complete Street features. Work is ongoing and is expected to be completed in 2024.
Work this year includes road, sewer, watermain and some utility relocation work on Hawthorne Avenue, Echo Drive/Colonel By Drive and Greenfield Avenue.
Investment: approximately $43.7 million
This is also a multi-year project to rehabilitate Albert Street (from Empress to Bay), Queen Street (from Bronson to Bay), Slater Street (from Empress to Bay) and Bronson Avenue (from Queen to Laurier). Work is ongoing and is expected to be completed in 2024.
Work this year includes road, sewer, watermain work on Albert and Slater streets between Bronson Avenue and Bay Street, and on Bronson Avenue between Albert and Slater streets.
Investment: approximately $64 million
Work to reconstruct Montreal Road from Vanier Parkway to St. Laurent Boulevard, and a section of North River Road from Montreal Road to the North River Road cul-de-sac, began in 2019 and is expected to be completed this fall.
Work this year includes:
- Replacement of underground infrastructure, including watermain, sections of sanitary sewer, storm sewer and the roadway
- Construction of surface features, including concrete sidewalks, cycle tracks and landscaping
Investment: approximately $112 million
This major project began in 2020 and is expected to be completed in 2023. Strandherd Drive is being widened to a four-lane cross section from Maravista Drive to Jockvale Road in Barrhaven which will provide capacity for existing and future traffic volumes during peak periods. The project includes a new overpass, constructed over the VIA Rail line, to provide safe passage for all road users across the train tracks. It will also facilitate the movement of cyclists and pedestrians through the corridor and provide the underground infrastructure to support growth.
Work this year includes:
- Completing all underground work
- Constructing the westbound lanes and associated sidewalks and cycle tracks
- Opening the bridge to traffic
Investment: approximately $5.6 million
The City is constructing two new protected intersections at Nicholas Street/Laurier Avenue and at Waller Street/Laurier Avenue. This project includes resurfacing work along the northbound lanes of Nicholas Street from Laurier Avenue to Besserer Street and a new bidirectional cycling facility and transit facilities on Waller Street. Work is ongoing and is expected to be completed by the end of summer 2022.
Check out this map to see where some of these projects are located.
Investment: approximately $22.6 million
This project will see a new multi-use pathway built on the existing inactive and retained Chief William Commanda Bridge and the rehabilitation of the substructure of the bridge itself. This work will include piers work, stone masonry repairs and repointing on abutments. The multi-use pathway will connect to the City of Ottawa’s Trillium Pathway to the south and the NCC Voyageurs’ Pathway in Gatineau to the north.
Construction began in 2021 and is ongoing. The multi-use pathway portion is expected to be completed by fall 2021, with full project completion by summer 2024.
Investment: approximately $16.6 million
The City is rehabilitating the Mackenzie King Bridge from the west end of the National Arts Centre at Elgin Street to the east end of the Rideau Centre crosswalk. This includes the rehabilitation of the joints, concrete repairs and other lifecycle renewal requirements, and the reconfiguration of the roadway from a four-lane road to a two-lane road, with cycle tracks and widened sidewalks. Construction is expected to start in summer 2022 with final completion expected in fall 2024.
Ādisōke (Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility)
Investment: approximately $334 million
Work is underway for Ādisōke, the Ottawa Public Library – Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility. Ādisōke is an Anishinābemowin word that refers to the telling of stories. Set to open in 2026, the building of Ādisōke is a key part of Ottawa’s vision to be the most livable mid-size city in North America. The iconic net-zero carbon building will feature shared spaces between the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada as well as unique spaces for each.
Ādisōke represents one of the most inclusive and in-depth engagement processes for any public building in Canada. Residents, Indigenous Peoples, and Canadians from coast to coast were invited to participate in the design at every stage.
City Hall improvements
Investment: approximately $10 million
This multi-year project that started in 2018 will enhance and revitalize Ottawa City Hall. All work is expected to be completed by the end of summer 2022. Ongoing improvements include:
- Replacing various roof areas above Council Chambers and the administration building
- Expansion joint repairs to the parking garage
- Fan replacement for the Laurier Avenue administration building
- Heating and cooling work
- Improvements to air quality circulation in the parking garage
- Construction of a new Laurier Avenue after-hours entrance to provide accessible access to the parking garage elevators
Investment: approximately $16 million
The City is planning to upgrade the Carlington Heights Pump Station to improve the reliability of water supply to roughly one third of the City’s central water distribution system, and to provide additional capacity needed to accommodate future urban growth. The new pump station will be named the Morisset Avenue Pump Station.
Construction is planned to begin in fall 2022 and last for approximately two years.
Stay in the know
There are many ways that the City communicates about ongoing and upcoming construction projects in Ottawa. To stay informed, residents can:
- Visit the City’s construction page to find project webpages
- Sign up for project newsletters
- Visit the capital construction forecast map to see current and forecasted construction projects
- Visit the traffic impacts webpage for up-to-date information about upcoming major traffic impacts in Ottawa
For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca, call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) or 613-580-2400 to contact the City using Canada Video Relay Service. You can also connect with us through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.