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Main Street Renewal

Construction Updates

Construction on Main Street began on Monday, May 25, 2015. City staff are publishing periodic construction update newsletters, listed below:


  • If you have concerns about the impact of construction activity on your home or property, check out our Main Street Renewal Construction Survival Guide.
  • If you see illegal traffic activity, don’t hesitate to contact Ottawa Policy Services. 613-236-1222 extension 7300 or report it electronically.
  • The city has created “Please slow down” lawn signs. If you would like a lawn sign, contact

Below are maps highlighting where to expect street closures and detours available:

Background Information

Main street concept drawing
At the Ottawa City Council meeting held on July 17, 2013, council voted 18-6 in favour of a “complete street” design for Main Street. This is great news for both Old Ottawa East and the City of Ottawa. The “complete street” design for Main Street will transform our community by reducing and slowing car traffic, providing safer and wider sidewalks for pedestrians, a safe cycle track for cyclists, and an improved streetscape for businesses and future development. Overall, in recommending a complete street, city staff argued that it, “Strikes an appropriate balance in meeting the City’s objectives identified in the OP, TMP, and the Old Ottawa East CDP.” See a map of the main street project for details on the affected area. To read an excellent summary of the debate at council about Main Street as a complete street, please read this blog post by Lana Stewart.

The original five options presented at a public open house in June 2013 at Saint Paul University are available to view here. City staff’s recommendation for a “complete street” to the city’s Transportation Committee at the July 5, 2013, meeting is available here.
Main street concept drawing
The Main Street Renewal Working Group met on October 17, 2013, to discuss streetscaping and public art elements. Read the meeting minutes for more details. A presentation on street furnishing selections was also given. See the working group meeting schedule for a list of other meetings.

The City of Ottawa has selected Delcan as their engineering consultant for the project. Representatives from the OECA will serve on the Public Advisory Group (PAG) and provided input on the reconstruction on behalf of the working group noted above. The city has also created a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) composed of technical experts of the city and other agencies. Minutes from TAG and PAG meetings can be found here:

Further background documents on the project are available here:

Undergrounding Hydro Wires

Despite indications that the undergrounding of hydro wires during Main Street Renewal would have positive benefits, the City of Ottawa is proceeding with a detailed design based on removing the existing poles and installing overhead wiring on new poles. Read the OOECA Main Street Renewal working group’s brief to persuade the city to bury the hydro wires on at least one side of a three block stretch of Main Street, and the OOECA’s recommendations as of June 16, 2014.

Main Street-McIlraith Bridge Redesign

McIlraith bridge front view
The McIlraith Bridge (Main/Smyth bridge) is scheduled to undergo a major reconstruction, including widening the bridge to allow for bike lanes. The OECA is urging city staff to ensure that the bike lanes added to McIlraith Bridge are integrated into the existing and future bike lanes along the Rideau River, in Alta Vista and Old Ottawa East. It is expected that the work will take two years, and will see the elimination of the existing median and the installation of bike lanes. The work will require the closure of one side of the bridge at a time, with traffic reduced to one lane in each direction on the other side (similar to the procedure recently followed on the Billings Bridge on Bank Street).

Priorities during this reconstruction for the OECA include safe cycling, safe sidewalks, improvements to the Main Street/Riverdale Avenue intersection, buried overhead hydro wires, the elimination of vibrations affecting houses in the vicinity of Main Street, and that the reconstruction supports the Community Design Plan (CDP).