Rideau Street Reconstruction

Please be advised that Rideau Reconstruction will restart on Monday April 15, 2013. Rideau Street will be reduced to a single westbound lane only. The following documentation was provided to the effected residents on Rideau Street as well as on Besserer (bus detour).

Besserer Bus Detour Letter Français 2013
Rideau Street Resident Property Owner Letter EN Phase 1 2013
Rideau Street Resident Property Owner Letter FR Phase 1 2013
Rideau Street Bus Detour 2013
Rideau Traffic Detour Map 2013

During 2012 and 2013 the section of Rideau St. from Dalhousie east to the Cummings bridge will be reconstructed as part of a sewer and water main replacement program. The work is expected to be carried out over 2 summers, with 2012 focused on the segment from Dalhousie to Chapel and 2013 for the remaining section to the Rideau River. During this time period we can expect considerable disruption in the community especially since this section of Rideau is a major artery for buses and inter-provincial trucks. However the end result of this initiative should be a greatly improved streetscape bringing Rideau Street into the 21st century.

The City of Ottawa has held a number of public consultations in which ASH has participated as part of a new design for the roadway and sidewalks once the sewer and water main work is completed.

This new design will include a narrower roadway in some sections, wider and improved sidewalks, new streetlights, street furnishings, public art as well as landscaping improvements. Some of the highlights include:

  • burial of overhead wires on the south side of Rideau from King Edward to Wurtemburg
  • removal of the centre left hand turn lanes from east of Nelson St to east of Chapel
  • re-allocation of that roadway to accomplish almost 50% wider sidewalks where the turn lane has been removed
  • implementation of sidewalks using brick-like pavers vs today’s concrete
  • removal of raised tree planters and replacement of trees planted at grade
  • new street furniture and street lights
  • painting of pavement sharrows to guide assist making a safer environment for cycling
  • 1% of the project cost allocated to new street art
  • re-landscaping of Besserer Park area near the Cummings Bridge

Unfortunately we were unable to successfully lobby to also have the turn lanes removed at Nelson St. This would enabled the near 50% sidewalk widening to be further extended on both sides of Rideau for an additional 120m from just east of King Edward to east of Nelson St. This was especially disappointing because throughout most of the rest of the section of Rideau east of Dalhousie, the curb-curb width of the street is being increased by about 1ft to bring the lane widths up to “standards”. This will be the amount by which the sidewalk will be narrowed on the south side of the street all the way to the Rideau R. This is compensated in the section where the centre turn lane has been removed, unfortunately that did not end up to be over as long a section as we would have hoped.

Other improvements that are under discussion but which have not yet received a final OK from City staff include:

  • removal of the westbound right hand turn lane from Rideau onto Cumberland street (in order to be able to widen the overly-narrow sidewalk in that area)
  • the installation of a bike lane on Cumberland street from Rideau southbound to Besserer (this would be a counter-directional lane allowing bikes to move against the traffic)

During 2012 meetings will be held on 2 important topics:

1. Discussion of detours and how traffic will be managed during the construction period. Initial proposals are to keep 1 lane of traffic moving in both directions. Unfortunately, for some periods of time, OC Transpo buses are planned to be routed along Besserrer St
2. Seeking community input on the public art program. This includes suggestions for a theme as well as appointment of a community representative to be a member of the jury who will select a winner from a number of submissions from artists

More detail about this project is available at the following City of Ottawa website:



Last Updated: 15-April-2013