The walk will follow paved and unpaved paths and ungroomed grassy areas. Parts of the route will be difficult for wheelchairs and scooters.
To mark World Town Planning Day, professional planners and the general public are invited to a walking tour along part of the route of Ottawa's new light rail transit (LRT) Confederation line, presently under construction. The focus of this walk will be on the various effects this mega-project is expected to have on city life. Matthew will share what he has learned from his experience of walking the east-west LRT route, and talking to city planners, engineers and construction workers (in particular the local contractors who are working on the project), and ordinary citizens. We will also be joined by Dennis Gratton from the City’s Rail Implementation Office who can speak to technical and historical details.
Participants are encouraged to share their thoughts on how the LRT will change life for them and how it may affect future development in the city.
The walk will begin at the VIA Station, where we will take a look at the architecture of the station and consider how the LRT and the pedestrian bridge across the Queensway will help tie together different levels of transportation. Then we'll walk west along the bike path toward the new Hurdman Station, where we’ll climb a small knoll to get a better look at the station and guideway construction. Then, we’ll return eastward to look at where the LRT ducks under the VIA line and see the massive new plant where LRT vehicles are currently assembled.
Participants are advised to wear sturdy, comfortable walking shoes and warm jackets, as most of the route is exposed. The walk will proceed rain or shine, but the forecast is for sunny and cool. Bring binoculars if you have some.
The walk is free to attend, but we are asking that people sign up so we can estimate attendance. You can sign up through Eventbrite, here.
Video: Here is some video of Matthew reporting on the progress of the LRT near Belfast Rd and St Laurent Station.
Meet in VIA’s Ottawa Station on Tremblay Road, on the east side of the lobby near the front doors. From the station, we'll walk west toward the eventual Hurdman Station for a look at the nearby construction, and then we'll double back to go east along Tremblay Road to Belfast, finishing up at the White Horse Restaurant, where participants can continue the discussion over coffee.
There is parking available behind the White Horse Restaurant (enter off Avenue L, one block east of Belfast). You can also park at the VIA station, where parking is $3.00/hr (first 30 min free).
Walk leader Matthew Pearson is a reporter for the Ottawa Citizen. He recently walked the entire length of the LRT Confederation Line, and described his observations of the construction of the line in a series of four articles entitled "Walk The Line."
Read Matthew's articles here: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4
Dennis Gratton, is a Business Partner in the Rail Implementation Office of the City of Ottawa. He is responsible for oversight of planning and design, mobility, sustainability, public art and geographic information systems.
This walk is co-hosted by the Ontario Professional Planners Institute and Jane's Walk Ottawa-Gatineau to mark World Town Planning Day, which is Tuesday, Nov 8. Find out more about the OPPI here. Find out more about World Town Planning Day here.