What you need to know about Elgin Street traffic closures starting Monday

As of Monday, Jan. 7, Elgin Street will be closed to cars from Somerset to Catherine streets as the City of Ottawa begins the next phase of reconstruction on the busy road. The closures are expected to last all of 2019. Google Maps

Downtown commuters, take note: Starting on Monday, Jan. 7, a large chunk of Elgin Street will be closed to vehicles as the City of Ottawa plows ahead with the street’s major reconstruction.

It’s expected Elgin Street will be closed to traffic from Somerset Street to Catherine Street for all of 2019. Detours will be set up for drivers, two bus routes and cyclists.

READ MORE: Holland Avenue bike lanes will be ready for Tuesday, city says

Sidewalks on Elgin — home to many restaurants, bars, retail stores and a couple of small parks — will remain open to pedestrians, the city says.

These traffic closures mark the next stage of a $36-million project to rehabilitate the busy downtown road — and the infrastructure underneath it — from Gloucester to Isabella streets. Infrastructure upgrades began in March 2018.

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Here’s what you need to know about the closures coming into effect this Monday.

A rendering of the City of Ottawa’s vision for a renewed Elgin Street. The $36-million reconstruction began in March 2018.
A rendering of the City of Ottawa’s vision for a renewed Elgin Street. The $36-million reconstruction began in March 2018. City of Ottawa


As mentioned above, Elgin Street will be completely closed to traffic from Somerset to Catherine streets.

Drivers also won’t be able to travel northbound from Somerset to Nepean Street. There will be a detour for vehicles in the southbound lane up until Somerset.

Alternatively, drivers can turn west onto Laurier and then onto O’Connor to travel south.

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Parking won’t be permitted southbound from Laurier Avenue to Catherine Street and northbound from Catherine to Gloucester streets.

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As has been the case since mid-July, free parking will continue at the city hall garage (110 Laurier Avenue W.) on weekday nights after 6 p.m. and all day on weekends and statutory holidays during the construction period. The exit lane from the parking garage onto Elgin Street will remain open.

Click here for a city map of traffic detours.

OC Transpo

The upcoming traffic closures will affect bus routes 5 and 14.

Starting on Monday, buses travelling these two routes will detour around the construction on Elgin using McLeod, Cartier, Somerset and Metcalfe streets, depending on the direction they’re headed. Route 5 will also use the Queen Elizabeth Driveway.

READ MORE: O-Train service down for second day after vandals cut signalling cable

Bus stops and shelters on Elgin will be moved to those detours.

Click here for a map of the transit detours. The city recommends visiting OC Transpo’s website for up-to-date route information.

Cyclists and pedestrians

The city says there will be a signed detour route for cyclists around Elgin Street. (The bike lanes on O’Connor Street and the pathways on either side of the Rideau Canal are two pre-existing options.)

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As mentioned above, pedestrians can continue to walk up and down Elgin on the sidewalks.

READ MORE: Councillor gains support for proposed ‘park-and-cycle’ pilot, staff report expected in 2019

But there will be restrictions on street crossings, meaning cyclists and pedestrians won’t be permitted to cross Elgin at certain intersections between Laurier Avenue and Catherine Street.

Here’s a list of intersections where street crossings will be allowed:

  • McLeod Street
  • Gladstone Avenue
  • Lewis Street
  • Somerset Street
  • Lisgar Street (west side only)
  • Nepean Street
  • Gloucester street
  • Laurier Avenue

Click here for a map of the detours for cyclists.

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