“Golden Opportunity” for Bank Street O-Train

Clinton Desveaux
6 min readMar 27, 2021


“There are people wanting to shut down the discussion” - Ottawa South Resident Glenn Clark

Ever since the Prime Minster of Canada made the long-term transit funding announcement last month, Ottawans having been phoning and emailing me asking for more articles on the Bank Street O-Train series. People are speaking out and want city planners to start focusing on the concept of the Bank Street O-Train Tunnel.

Ottawa radio & podcast personality Krio Guan has responded to recent announcements of Prime Minister Trudeau to provide long-term funding for public rail transit in large cities across Canada. “If the feds are committing to investing in LRT and subways for the urban core it highlights that there is in fact a problem in the lack of proper rail transit.” Krio also connects the issue to “the political class in Ottawa, for them, public transit might be an afterthought, they have multiple cars in their suburban neighborhood driveways. They generally avoid public transit where as the urban core depends on it.”

Map created by Anotine Sauve

“With a $3 billion yearly commitment for public subway lines and light-rail transit, Trudeau’s acknowledging the cities need help.”

Ottawa radio & podcast personality Krio Guan

Guan also points out “from a congestion standpoint, Bank Street O-Train Tunnel is a necessity in the urban core. It’s a good idea, it would reduce traffic.” When asked to explain in more detail he says “underground eliminates excess surface noise and it lets you get from Billings Bridge to Parliament Hill quicker; and it gives residents a chance to explore the downtown core that they won’t do now if it means taking the bus.”

Krio Guan also thinks Trilliun Line 2 is not a good look for Ottawa’s business and tourism travelers, “the airport is isolated, the airport should have been a number one issue the city thought of - a single run downtown without transfers should be a high priority like in any other medium or large city.

YOW Airport Drawing of soon to be completed O-Train Station

When asked to comment on the environmental impact that emissions are having in regards to transportation, Krio Guan says “if these public transit rail systems are electric, it makes sense for everyone.”

Ottawa South Resident Glenn Clark says the city “needs to start planning it - we need it in the master plan. Community groups and the feds need to get the city political class on board, it’s great that we have community grassroots support but COVID is making it harder to communicate with these people - we need face to face meetings with city officials and city politicians.”

Ottawa South Resident Glenn Clark

Glenn continues by pointing out “Mayor Jim Watson has to be supportive - otherwise permanent, long-term funding for public transit will mean new subway lines, light-rail transit in Toronto or Montreal and not Ottawa” - the regions population is now approaching 1.5 million

“They need to get Stage 2 finished - there are so many projects being planned - city staff are so consumed with the suburbs. Trying to get something prioritized in the urban parts of the city which is Bank Street, is hard to do right now.”

Glenn is also worried that “we are so focused on federal civil servants who for the most part choose to live in the suburbs and we are not thinking of the urban poor. The urban core are transit dependent; they have retail jobs, and need to get to work, they simply can’t work from home unlike most civil servants. Emphasizing suburban service may not be the right decision. We are seeing the issue right now, the changes in ridership is worse in the suburbs then the city core. If the ridership doesn’t recover because people continue to work from home, we may discover that we don’t have the right balance here. The suburbs are getting the service not the core.”

Bank Street O-Train Tunnel Information Video

Glenn also points out there “will be repercussions from 2006 that are continuing to build. The Bank Street O-Train issue will keep coming back; you just have to look at the new buildings around Bank and others being planned around Bank. We will be choking on traffic, the place bogs down right now as it is. The constant expansion of LRT further and further to points east and west doesn’t make sense.”

You can hear the passion and frustration in Glenn’s voice when he says “you have to look at a map, to see what is expected for people in the core and Ottawa south, south of Billings Bridge is really bad. There are many destinations along Bank Street. You can imagine how a subway on Bank Street would have a major renaissance for the downtown. This is the golden opportunity - we can do it, but there are people wanting to shut down the discussion, I don’t understand why. As soon as the Trillium plan came up on the drawing board, I said this is a white elephant. 3 transfers to get downtown, it’s ridiculous. If you have to transfer multiple times it makes it less attractive. It’s a pain in the neck, moving luggage, dealing with stairs and escalators. Trillium is great for Carleton University, but’s a real problem for airport traffic and Bank Street can correct this mess.”

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Clinton P. Desveaux is an accredited writer for Troy Media. He can be reached at ClintonDesveaux@gmail.com

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Clinton Desveaux

Left Handed Guitar, Photographer and Talk Jock - also known to ski wherever a hill or mountain can be found