Is Ottawa Getting a Tramway?

Traffic calming major streets and having a tramway or streetcar operate on the route is standard practice in Europe, so why not here?

Politics aside, a modern tramway in Ottawa would, I believe, catch on with other major Canadian cities for providing an affordable quality public transit service.

With “Global Warming” and associated climate change, the country must adopt proven and affordable transit solutions instead of the current flavour of hugely expensive subways, exotic battery buses and other gadgetbahnen.

The modern tram is one of the most flexible and successful transit modes in the world and for Canada, it is time to build for the future and not the next election cycle.


A modern tramway in Ottawa, could lead the way for more affordable and user-friendly public transit in Canada.

A modern tramway in Ottawa, could lead the way for more affordable and user-friendly public transit in Canada.


Build a tramway to avoid a truck protest on Wellington in the future


3 Responses to “Is Ottawa Getting a Tramway?”
  1. Haveacow says:

    This “Tramway Loop” is an old idea to loop both downtown’s (Ottawa’s and Gatineau, aka: Old downtown Hull). What is propelling the idea is;

    1.The near constant security threat that Parliament finds itself in because of various demonstrations (not just the Covid Spreading Truckers), 2014, various violent foreign conflict based demonstrations, leading to fire bombs and embassy attacks, kidnapping of people, hostage instances involving tourist buses, various threats and demonstrations because of G20, G8, NATO Meetings, threats because someone is visiting, the list is endless. The is something you have to expect in Ottawa to a certain extent. The current protest is bad because they are spreading Covid (which has been confirmed through area specfic sewage testing). Businesses are struggling because of property damage, threats to locals (my girlfriend and I included because of critically important trip to the Irish Embassy ), causing customers to stay away, huge amounts of extreme noise at all hours of the day and night and most of all, they just won’t leave.

    Locals have resorted to photographing the trucks in obvious civil and traffic infractions as well as their license plates and other identification marks and sending these pictures to their insurance companies through the National lnsurance Bureau of Canada database. A little, long-lasting gift, from the residents of Ottawa to the truckers, higher Insurance rates.

    2. The planned Gatineau West (Alymer) LRT. This line is planned to end in downtown Ottawa in a tunnel under Sparks Street, which is parallel to the current Confederation Line Tunnel under Queen Street. Since both are approximately 55 to 60 meters apart a connection between the two tunnels is very easy. Due to the high cost of a tunnel (both the City of Ottawa and the NCC: National Capital Commission prefer a tunnel ending by the way), several surface options on Wellington Street have also been proposed. This is how the old loop idea restarted and it is getting support. The Loop and many of the surface options, really only work if you pedestrianize Wellington Street and its connection to the Gatineau bridges as well as do the same thing in old downtown Hull (for the full loop plan). Any of the surface options have serious access and traffic management issues attached to them. They are not officially popular, yet.

    3. The complete replacement of the 121 year old Royal Alexandria Interprovincial Bridge to Gatineau, a former streetcar, railway and pedestrian bridge that had its tracks removed and replaced with 2 car and truck lanes in the 1960’s. It connected to a streetcar tunnel through the Chateaux Laurier Hotel leading to the old Ottawa Union Station (now the Government Conference Centre), which still exists. Thankfully, the pedestrian part of the bridge was kept after the 1960’s redo. However, its one he’ll of a cold walk across the Ottawa River, either way, on a winter day or night.

    Zwei replies: Thank you for the update and clarification. My angle on this is; if Ottawa has an on-street tramway in the capital, then, golly gee whiz, maybe we can have one too.

    Currently in Metro Vancouver the gadgetbahnen lobby is supporting a gondola to SFU, a stand alone light-metro line from the North Shore to Surrey; extending the Canada Line to the Tsawwassen Ferry and more.

    All i write is “show me the money”.

    2022 is the civic election silly season and everyone (well almost) who is running or plan to run, promises SkyTrain here, SkyTrain there, SkyTrain every where, yet remain mute about funding.

  2. Adam Fitch says:

    I too would like to see a tram in Ottawa, but a tram cannot be justified as a ‘security solution” for Wellington Street or the Parliamentary Precinct.

    Senator Vern White may have been the Chief of Police in Ottawa in the past, but he is not a transit planner.

    Any transport truck driver or other protestor who really wants to make a scene in Ottawa would be able to set themselves up on Wellington Street, whether private vehicles are banned or not, and whether there is a tram line there or not.

    They were breaking laws from the first night that they stayed there overnight, and if they were blocking a tram line, it would be a worse situation, but placing a tram there will in no way guarantee that no protests will take place there.

    Really, this issue is that the Ottawa Police did not act fast enough to remove or impede the protest, or they did not get the direction from their overseers to do so.

    Let’s say that there is a tram line there in the future. If a truck or other protester sets up there and blocks the tram line, they are breaking a law. But are they breaking a law any more than if they blocked a regular road or street? It was a matter of police enforcement decisions, not a matter of whether there was a transit line there or not.

  3. Haveacow says:

    This is something parliament has been talking about for over 30 years, the banning of all surface vehicles on Wellington Street, starting in the west at the Wellington Street, Colonel By Drive/Sussex Street/Mackenzie Ave. intersection heading east to at least, Lyon Street and Wellington (the Supreme Court). Parliamentary precinct buses, and security vehicles would be exempt. Vehicle access would be blocked by large concrete bollards with stee accessl gates for special vehicles to enter. Similar to but hopefully way better looking than what’s in front of the U.S. Embassy.

    There have been more than a few serious vehicle related security issues and breaches during certain major protests (NATO meetings, G8, G20, pro-abortion, anti-abortion and Afghan War) not just our rolling terrorist firefight in 2014. Plus, like everyone else, parliament has to get insurance in case someone gets hurt during Canada Day festivities or the daily Changing of the Guard Ceremony, that forces people to have to walk or march along on roads that police have tried to shut the traffic off from but not always fully succeed in doing. The cost of that insurance is getting higher and higher. Yes, the federal government has to purchase insurance, in case they get sued, just like everyone else. There insurer, Confederation Life, has stated on several occasions that closing all or parts of the parliamentary precinct to vehicle traffic would make things considerably cheaper. Done right it might be prettier as well.

    The adding of a tram line, mainly because Gatineau is building an LRT from Alymer (western Gatineau) to downtown Ottawa, is just the latest add on to the desire to close off mainly Wellington Street.

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