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How would you reimagine the Rideau Canal parkways?

By Apartment613 on February 1, 2022

By Erin Maher

Imagine you could do anything with Colonel By Drive and Queen Elizabeth Driveway. Would you leave these parkways as they are, primarily as space for cars? Or do you see the potential for what is arguably the most valuable urban waterfront property in Ottawa to be transformed into something game-changing for our city and community?

Perhaps you have dreams of the parkways being transformed into linear parkland. Maybe you would like to see the space transformed to allow ready access to the canal waterfront and waterways. Perhaps you see the potential for these routes to be dedicated to active transportation. The possibilities are endless.

Your dreams and visions for Colonel By Drive and Queen Elizabeth Driveway are the subject of the next Parkways for People event on Feb. 7 at 7pm.

The virtual event will be moderated by Lucy van Oldenbarneveld and feature opening remarks from local leaders including Tobi Nussbaum, CEO of the National Capital Commission (NCC), MP Yasir Naqvi, MPP Joel Harden and Councillors Shawn Menard, Catherine McKenney and Mathieu Fleury.

We will also have the chance to hear from Ian Lockwood, P. Eng., an expert in liveable transportation who has led freeway removal projects that have seen highways transformed into spaces for people. Suzanne Woo, P.Eng. will be providing commentary from the perspective of a traffic engineer and will offer ideas on how we would measure the success of the vision for the chosen canal parkways.

Finally, and most importantly, the event will feature a community discussion to hear your thoughts and dreams for what could be an important transformation for our city. See you there.

To register for the virtual event, visit For more information on Parkways for People, visit

Erin Maher is the co-lead of Parkways for People, a coalition of individuals and organizations working for transformative change on the NCC parkways.