Northern Section MUP along Confederation Line open

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Just as quietly as the new MUP along the Confederation line between Ottawa U and Lees opened, the more northern section along the Confederation line from Laurier to Ottawa U opened with any fanfare too.

pathway along LRT
The pathway drawn on top of Google Maps

Councillor Fleury had mentioned to me already in early spring that the pathway would be extended to Laurier and when I was recently in the area, I thought I should drop by and see if it had opened. Low and behold, there is a nice paved path now.

Let’s have a look. We’ll start cycling on Waller Street South from Laurier Ave in a southern direction towards Ottawa U station.

Former transitway

Start of pathway at LAurier
Waller St S where the transit way used to be

It starts just before the Conferation line tunnel comes above ground. You can see the pavement isn’t great, as remnants from the Transitway and likely abused by construction traffic. But it soon improves. There is a freshly paved pathway, passing Simard Hall. The former staging area is now (back to?) a parking lot.

Simard Hall on Confederation pathway
Simard Hall

Next, you’ll pass five other university buildings, the newer one the Faculty of Social Sciences Library. I thought the sign reminding everyone to share the pathway is much better than the irritating ‘walk your bike’ signs.

pathway along Confederation line
Nicely paved, looking south. It gives office workers something to look at, rather than a concrete wall only
pathway along confederation line
Looking north
two trains entering and leaving tunnel in Ottawa
You only need to wait a few minutes to see the Alstom trains coming out and going into the tunnel
pathway along confederation line
“Pedestrian Priority: Thank you for rolling slowly”
pathway along confederation line southend
Asphalt changes into pavers just before it meets the station plaza. Looking north here
staircase along pathway
A tad tight. Looking north from the plaza at Ottawa U

Shared space at Confederation Pathway

Arriving at the shared space plaza at Ottawa U LRT station (on the right), looking south

Before you know it, you are already at the Ottawa U station plaza. I think many people don’t really realise it as it works just fine, but shared spaces where cycling and pedestrians mix are fairly new in our city. We love our lines and curbs and flexiposts, but the spaces at the stations are a departure from separate pedestrian and cycling space.

pathway going down
The loop leading to Colonel By pathways and the Rideau Canal

Another example is at Hurdman where the space underneath the tracks is an open space where cycling and pedestrians mix. Shared spaces are already very common in Europe and I am happy to see the city is implementing it here too more and more. What causes a stir at Sparks Street and the Byward Market every time you bring up mixing cycling and pedestrians, is happening just fine in other areas.

The entire stretch of the Confederation pathway from Laurier Ave to Hurdman is now 2.4 km (8 minutes by bike) and to the Tremblay Via Rail station only 3.8 km (12 minutes by bike). Read extensive coverage of the second leg going further south to Hurdman here.


    • It is narrow in places indeed. As the light rail needs a certain width and the buildings were already there, I am guessing this is the only thing they could do. Most of the path is probably 10 ft wide though from what I estimate. It should be sufficient for here.

  1. Thanks for the update, I find cycling to the byward market from ottawa u a bit challenging, I’m hoping this simplifies things.

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