Committee moves to reopen Wellington Street

A graphic with Ottawa City Hall is in the background. A vertical grey stripe and a horizontal turquoise stripe are in the foreground with Committee update in the centre.

The City’s Transportation Committee today received an update on the temporary closure of Wellington Street(link is external) between Bank and Elgin streets, and approved a motion to reopen the street to all traffic. The street would reopen as soon as operationally possible, but no sooner than March 1, to allow time to install traffic infrastructure in the area, including a temporary protected bike lane. 

Wellington Street was closed to traffic in late January 2022 due to the illegal occupation of the street in January and February. It has remained closed ever since, at Council’s direction. Reopening Wellington Street would make it easier for vehicles to travel in the downtown core, mitigating traffic impacts resulting both from the return of federal employees to office work and planned lane reductions due to construction in the area. 

The City would work to get the road ready for use in consultation with emergency services, and explore options to temporarily close Wellington Street in the summer for special events and community activities, or for the safety and well-being of residents. The City would also look to increase programming on Wellington, and seek out partners to help beautify and animate the street. 

The City will continue ongoing discussions with the federal government about the future of the Parliamentary Precinct. The City also will soon begin a transportation study on the future of Wellington Street in partnership with Public Services and Procurement Canada and the National Capital Commission. Staff expect to report back with a recommendation by the first quarter of 2024. 

The committee also approved its terms of reference(link is external) for the 2022-2026 Term of Council. The mandate of the committee would not change from the previous term. There are minor updates to reflect the City’s current organizational structure, to provide additional clarity and precision within the scope of the mandate, and minor formatting and grammatical changes. 

Reports considered at this meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, February 8.  

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