Ottawa Light Rail Transit: Light rail transit from Tunney's Pasture to Blair Station, including a downtown tunnel

The Minister of the Environment has designated this project and the environmental assessment will continue under the former Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

The City of Ottawa is proposing to build a 12.5 kilometer electric light rail transit (LRT) system across the City of Ottawa from Tunney's Pasture Station (west of downtown) to Blair Station (east of downtown), via a downtown transit tunnel running from approximately Brickhill Street to south of Laurier Avenue. The 2.4 km downtown tunnel will run from the west tunnel portal, located on the west side of Commissioner Street, approximately 100m north of Albert Street to the Waller Street east tunnel portal, located south of Laurier Avenue. The remainder of the LRT alignment (west of LeBreton Station and south/east of Laurier) will follow the existing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor (known as the Transitway). The current BRT will be converted to LRT technology. Thirteen stations are proposed along the route, three of which will be located within the tunnels (downtown core portion) of the project.

The project includes the conversion of existing Transitway segments and stations and the construction and operation of new at-grade, elevated and underground LRT segments and stations. The construction of the underground infrastructure will be carried out by one or more of the following methods: cut and cover, sequential excavation techniques and/or tunnel boring machine. Tunnel design options will be confirmed as part of the detailed design process, and the diameter of the tunnel may vary. Tunnel design and construction techniques will also determine whether a single large diameter tunnel carrying both tracks is built, or whether twin smaller diameter tunnels each carrying a single track is chosen as the final design. Downtown stations will be mined out from within the tunnels. The depth of the tunnels will be planned to avoid impacts to building foundations, utilities and the Rideau Canal. Surface conversions will be undertaken with standard construction techniques. Platforms will be widened with the tracks being placed in the center of the existing by-pass lanes or in side-platform configuration. Ballast and tracks will be placed on top of the existing BRT roadway. The project also includes the construction and operation of a Maintenance and Storage facility to house and maintain the new light rail vehicles, provide maintenance, signaling, communication and control facilities, as well as the construction of temporary infrastructure. Contaminated soils and water present on some lands of the proposed alignment will be managed as part of the project.


Latest update

July 13, 2012 - The Decision of Responsible Authorities has been taken.



Ottawa Light Rail Transit: Light rail transit from Tunney's Pasture to Blair Station, including a downtown tunnel
Surface Infrastructure Programs
Sarah Burton, Environmental Assessment Officer
330 Sparks Street
Place de Ville, Tower C
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5
Telephone: 613-991-3476
Fax: 613-990-9639

  • Location

    • Ottawa (Ontario)
  • Nature of Activity

    • Railways
  • Assessment Status

  • Start Date

  • Proponent

    City of Ottawa
  • Authorities

    • National Capital Commission
    • Parks Canada Agency
    • Public Works and Government Services Canada
    • Transport Canada
  • Assessment Type

    Screening-type assessment under CEAA 1992
  • Reference Number


This map is for illustrative purposes. The markers represent the approximate locations based on available data. More than one marker may be identified for a given assessment.


Nearby assessments

...within 200 kilometres
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