NOTEBOOK: Kanata-Stittsville LRT study will look at three route options

Artist's rendering of the Rideau LRT station downtown. Via City of Ottawa.

(PHOTO: Artist’s rendering of the Rideau LRT station downtown. Via City of Ottawa.)

It occurred to me on the drive home from Monday night’s LRT open house that we just spent a lot of time and money on consultants to tell us that the best route for LRT is along the Queensway, like we’ve been planning all along.

Still, consultants and planners will spend the next few months evaluating three options (down from 13 shortlisted routes) for the potential future Kanata-Stittsville LRT extension, from Moodie Drive to Palladium.

  1. “Corridor 5” – travels all the way up March Road to Terry Fox to Kanata’s business park, then follows Terry Fox to Tanger Outlets.
  2. “Corridor 8” – runs parallel to the Queensway on the north side of the highway. This one scored the highest of all 13 routes on every criteria.
  3. “Corridor 13” – takes the Trans Canada Trail from Bells Corners to Robert Grant Avenue in Stittsville, then north to Palladium.
Kanata-Stittsville Corridor 5: 417/March/Terry Fox
Kanata-Stittsville Corridor 5: 417/March/Terry Fox
Kanata-Stittsville Corridor 8: North Side of Highway 417
Kanata-Stittsville Corridor 8: North Side of Highway 417
Kanata-Stittsville Corridor 13: TransCanada Trail
Kanata-Stittsville Corridor 13: TransCanada Trail


About 100 people came to the consultation meeting, where large panels were set up around the room showing maps of the different routes considered. Over the past few weeks, various stakeholders including residents, businesses and government agencies were consulted to evaluate each of the options.

A lot of the routes are obvious non-starters. Some would run through the Greenbelt, including long stretches without adjacent homes or businesses.  One route has 44 grade separations where the track would have to go over, under or across a road.  Some would require land acquisitions, or major infrastructure builds.  And I can’t see residents being very supportive of a plan to convert the Trans Canada Trail back to rail, even if it is a reserved transit corridor.

Corridor 8 is the obvious pick. It’s the goldilocks route: not too far north, not too south, right in the middle.  I’d like to see the Corridor 8 route extended south from Palladium to Hazeldean Road, which would put thousands of people in the Fernbank area within a short walk from a station.

A few residents have asked why the LRT would extend to Canadian Tire Centre, if the Sens are probably moving to Lebreton Flats. The justification for LRT to Palladium was never based solely on servicing the arena, even if the Sens were staying in the west end. The Palladium stop is justified based on the number of residents and businesses nearby, who would commute daily from to and from Kanata/Stittsville and central Ottawa.  The arena was a just nice bonus to be able to add to the service.

Beyond the shared benefit of getting people out of cars and onto trains, LRT will be a massive boost to development in our area. If/when they do end up building LRT to Palladium, I would hope there’s good planning in place to encourage more employment areas and fewer parking lots around Palladium.

This is all years and years away of course. The City of Ottawa has funding for this study, but still needs federal and provincial infrastructure funds to start construction. Phase 2 of light rail is scheduled to be completed by 2023, so this project would come sometime after that.

Here’s a slide deck and presentation panels that were presented on Monday night. The deadline to send comments to the City of Ottawa is June 23.   Contact Angela Taylor, Senior Project Engineer, Transportation Planning, at 613-580-2424 Ext. 15210. There’s more info online at


7 thoughts on “NOTEBOOK: Kanata-Stittsville LRT study will look at three route options”

  1. Funny how LRT can now handle all those 90 degree angles and how a number of the alternatives would not be able to “fly over” H417 to get to the CTC. This is a total waste of time and money when the preferred corridor was already planned in the 2006 Kanata West process and when there already is a Functional Design for the preferred corridor, as well as plans for the March Road corridor, as well as land acquired by RMOC before amalgamation to support it. The map background is so unclear that it is difficult to determine where the routes are

    1. Slide 10: “An EA study requires the examination of corridor alternatives”

      So it may be seen as a waste of time and money, but is required by legislation. Also related is that policy requires consideration of existing rail corridors, which the slides show are not moving forward due to ecological impacts and feasibility.

  2. Those tracks should never have been pulled out in the first place. They could have been being used all these years. Now they want to put the tracks back in ???? Not on my dime!
    But with my luck they won’t go back in, and I’ll have the noise, smell, strangers, and everything else that goes with it only a few hundred feet from my front door! Could be a real-estate selling feature though, if people really want to live close to light rail.

    Personally I’m satisfied (but not happy) taking an over populated ‘can-o-people’ downtown, the one time a year I might to go in that direction.

  3. ..Each of the routes will discourage taxpayers from going downtown. They will all encourage people to shop and work in the Kanata / Stittsville area and further west . Is that an objective of the exercise ? If so, are the downtown businesses and government offices in favor of the plans ? . Do the politicians and their planners wish to have downtown used only by bureaucrats and their hangers-on, plus visitors ? It is mainly our grand-children who will be affected, given the time-lines . Are the current school children being given a say ? . Their opinions might produce some surprises ! Perhaps they do not wish to have a future in which they spend much of their life in a crazy mixed-up transportation system ! .

  4. For those of us living in Ottawa but still beyond the reach of current OC transpo and beyond the reach of the planned LRT it doesn’t seem to help us.

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