Ottawa’s Phase 2 LRT project delayed again
While it’s not surprising news, the Phase 2 Trillium line has been delayed until at least April 2024.
I hope you all had a nice weekend. Ottawa is on track for some summer-like temperatures this week. Enjoy it while it lasts! My friend in Calgary said they are getting snow this week.
On this Monday morning, we have the latest on LRT delays which will prevent the Trillium line from launching until at least April 2024. No clear timelines are being announced. And the Kichi Zibi Mikan Parkway officially bears its new name.
A quick correction from the last newsletter: The former Speaker of the House of Commons name is spelled Anthony Rota. We apologise for the error.
— Charlie Senack, [email protected]
Monday: 25 🌡️ 16 | 🌤️
Tuesday: 27 🌡️ 15 | ☀️
Wednesday: 28 🌡️ 18 | ☀️
Ottawa’s LRT Trillium line now delayed until the spring
The issue: The Trillium Line won’t be launched until at least April 2024, according to CTV. While the news isn’t entirely surprising, it’s still a blow to Ottawa’s problem-plagued LRT system.
Originally planned to open in summer 2022, the project was delayed until at least November this year. OC Transpo’s top boss said they won’t launch the system until it’s fully operational.
“In order to be as cautious and prudent as possible, we believe it's in the public interest to target a handover from the contractor as soon as possible, but to plan for opening the system to the public in spring 2024," Renée Amilcar said, according to CTV.
In order to launch the Phase 2 service, nine of the Alstom and Stadler diesel trains in its fleet need to be properly tested and drivers will need to be trained, according to the Ottawa Citizen. Neither of those steps are possible right now.
The benefit: While the train testing will begin later than expected, it does mean it will be done through the winter. This is important since the Confederation line was launched in the fall and faced multiple breakdowns.
“As the handover time has slipped it gets us closer and closer to the middle of winter,” said Michael Morgan, manager of rail construction. “Absent sufficient time for training. Absent sufficient demonstration of running the system before winter, we didn’t feel it was appropriate to push this thing to open on Jan. 15 in the middle of a winter snowstorm. Let’s make sure we’re 100% on training. Let’s make sure we’re 100% on the system.”
While the train won’t run this year, a pedestrian bridge from Carleton University to Vincent Massey Park could open as soon as November.
Connectivity: Once the Trillium Line is up and running, it will take commuters from Riverside South to Bayview Station, where they can also catch a train on the Confederation line. The trains will also travel south to the airport, passing through Carleton University and South Keys.
Confederation Line delays: Phase 2 of the Confederation Line east to Trim Road isn’t expected to be completed until 2025. The western extensions to Moodie Drive and Algonquin College won’t be ready until 2026.
While tentative plans have been in the works to get the Confederation line to extend further out to Barrhaven, Kanata, and Stittsville within the next decade, those plans have been shelved for now. Amilcar said those communities won’t get light rail transit service for another 25 years, if at all. She said other ideas are being looked at instead, such as bus rapid transit.
Looking ahead: Given the delays experienced already, it would not be surprising if the target dates for Phase 2 and the extensions, are pushed back further.
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OTTAWA BY THE NUMBERS
✅ 42: The number of years Reach Canada has been recognized for helping those with disabilities find free legal services. [Ottawa Business Journal]
🍊 3: It was the third annual Truth and Reconciliation Day on Saturday. [CTV]
💰 $16.55: The amount Ontario’s minimum wage was raised to on Sunday, up $1. [CBC]
Kichi Zibi Mikan Parkway officially opens
Charlie Senack/Ottawa Lookout
Changing history: The Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway is officially no more. The popular traffic thoroughfare has officially been named the Kichi Zībī Mīkan Parkway which officially means “Great River Road” in Algonquin.
According to CTV News, a ceremony was held to unveil the new signage on Friday, a day before Truth and Reconciliation Day.
“I think it's about time that it happens," said Jenny Buckshot Tenasco, a residential school survivor. "Kichi Zibi is where all the Anishinaabe people met. Our ancestors. And so it should have been named that right from the beginning."
Controversy: Since the Parkway first opened, it’s had multiple names. Originally known as the Western Parkway or Ottawa River Parkway, it was named after Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, in 2012 by the then-Conservative government, which wanted to “reflect” more of Canada’s history, according to the Kitchissippi Times.
Public outcry started soon after and increased in recent years after the horrors of Canada’s former Indian residential school system came to light. It is estimated that more than 4,000 Indigenous children in these schools died or went missing. Macdonald has been considered the main architect behind the system.
Reconciliation: A few dozen Indigenous people joined the official naming ceremony who wanted to be there to witness a part of history.
“The renaming and the ceremony means a lot to me. It helps with the reconciliation effort, and it acknowledges the actual history of this territory, Ottawa itself and the Kichi Zibi River,” said Chief Greg Sarazin of the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation, according to the Ottawa Citizen.
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🏈 A party hosted by the University of Ottawa helped calm the chaos following Saturday’s Panda Game. Its aim was to prevent incidents from occurring in the Sandy Hill neighbourhood. Last year, cars were flipped and people were seen hanging off hydro lines. [Ottawa Citizen]
👮♂️ Ottawa police have set up three “safe-trading zones” to provide a level of security for people engaged in personal web shopping and trading. A growing number of police services have created this sort of protected zone for person-to-person online marketing. [Ottawa Citizen]
🚊 The city says Rideau Transit Maintenance (RTM) is exploring the use of anti-icing chemicals to prevent a repeat of this year's freezing rain-related shutdowns to the LRT. [CTV]
🗣️ Keith Egli returned to city hall this week, not as a politician, but as a survivor. He spoke at a fundraiser for victims of sexual violence about his own experience healing from the trauma of being sexually assaulted as a child. [CBC]
👮♂️ Ottawa police issued a caution Sunday afternoon indicating there was concern that potential vehicle-based protests could be headed to Ottawa in the coming days. Few details, including timeline or date, were mentioned. [Ottawa Citizen]
🖼️ Joke-a-Oke, until Oct. 9: Join the FREE Fun at Joke-a-oke! Prepare for an unforgettable evening filled with laughter, good vibes, and a dash of silliness. Introducing Joke-a-oke, the ultimate twist on Karaoke. At Art House, 555 Somerset Street W. Free.
🎤 Comedy Night in Manotick, Wednesday: Join them every first Wednesday of the month, featuring local and Canadian comics. At the Mill Tavern, 5544 Manotick Main St. Tickets are $17.31.
🥕 Carrot Fest, Saturday: There is no better place to be on October 7th! There will be carrot picking, live music, food, a mobile book store, u-pick pumpkins. At Ottawa Farm Fresh Inc, 2811 Ramsayville Rd. Free.
🐶 Dogs do Magic, Friday: Bark by popular demand, it’s “Dogs do Magic” an unforgettable evening of magic, comedy, & canine hijinks featuring some of Canada’s top variety entertainers! At Shenkman Art Centre, 245 Centrum Blvd. Tickets are $30 to $50.
🍺 Ottawa on Tap Beer Fest, Saturday: Get ready for a hoppy extravaganza at Ottawa On Tap Beerfest on October 7, 2023, where they’re serving up the best brews in town! At Hintonburg Park, 49 Fairmont Ave. Tickets are $12 to $20.
The Kichi Sibi Winter Trail is becoming its own charitable entity thanks to its recent success. [Kitchissippi Times]
New research suggests an Ottawa-area freshwater turtle is under threat of extinction in the west end of Ottawa within the next few years due to the mass urban growth [CBC]
🌅 Kickstart your day the smart way! See why over 4 million trust Morning Brew for free daily updates from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. [Sponsored]
Ottawa firefighters put out an apartment fire in Vanier Saturday evening. [CTV]
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