Ottawa Community Leaders Support Bank Street O-Train Tunnel

Clinton Desveaux
6 min readNov 26, 2020
Shawn Menard Councillor Ward 17 Capital

Ottawa City Councillor Shawn Menard is part of a growing list of Ottawa community leaders who support the idea of a Bank Street O-Train Tunnel. Councillor Menard who represents Capital Ward 17 which encompasses the southern half of Bank Street boldly states “we need an alternative form of efficient transportation along Bank Street in the core. It (the Bank Street O-Train Tunnel) would improve the congestion that can occur, emissions, and local economic development.” Councillor Menard seems to have detected a sense of frustration of Bank Street residents & businesses who feel rail transit in the Ottawa core has been lacking when it comes to the O-Train.

Catherine McKenney Councillor Ward 14 Somerset

Ottawa City Councillor Catherine McKenney who represents Ward 14 Somerset directly beside Councillor Menard — encompasses the northern portion of Bank Street responded, she will “study” the idea “with interest”. Catherine McKenney appears to be positive about the Ottawa/Gatineau Rail Loop which makes up a significant portion of Ward 14. So it seems to make sense the Bank Street O-Train Tunnel is something she has “interest” in.

Consensus has been forming for the Bank Street O-Train Tunnel to proceed; we need to better understand what exactly this means. The Bank Street O-Train would be grade separated and tunneled (not cut & covered) ensuring we would have zero surface disruptions which allows commerce to continue; Running from Billings Bridge Shopping Centre to Parliament Station — a total distance of 4.5 km.

Ontario MPP Joel Harden

Ottawa MPP Joel Harden responded “O-Train expansion into downtown along Bank street would absolutely have lots of benefits for transit accessibility, reducing car usage and improved biking and walking infrastructure in the core while helping our local businesses prosper.”

Map created by Antoine Sauvé

The Bank Street O-Train would permanently resolve many issues connected to Lansdowne Stadium and the inability that currently exists getting people in and out of this area with large crowds during sports & entertainment events.

Residents of The Glebe have expressed excitement for the Bank Street O-Train because it would eliminate significant congestion, road noise, and gasoline & diesel emissions. Returning the picturesque neighborhood to a time when the city was not so crowded.

Kathleen Weary President of the Carleton University Students

Kathleen Weary, President of the Carleton University Students’ Association states “as a students’ association, CUSA is hopeful the Bank Street O-Train Tunnel will make sustainable and affordable transport an option for more students.”

Former Ottawa Mayor Larry O’Brien says the “Bank Street O-Train Tunnel is a great idea that would be a tremendous addition to the existing rail network, an idea that goes back to 2006. It needs to be grade separated via tunnel. We need to get the core right, otherwise the rest of the system won’t work, it’s called a network effect, I would be the first person to say let’s build the Bank Street O-Train Tunnel.”

Former Ottawa Mayor Larry O’Brien

Communities such as Centretown with their diverse progressive thinking would attract greater pedestrian & cycle traffic creating safer spaces for locals & tourists to embrace.

Old Ottawa South finally could rid itself of the nightmare traffic issues once and for all and be fully integrated as part of the Bank Street Communities. The Bank Street Business Association would at long last be able to attract more residents from other parts of the city to shop & dine in the plentiful array of local businesses throughout the corridor which runs north/south through the heart of Ottawa.

Gabriel Ramsey of Ottawa University

Gabriel Ramsay of Ottawa University states “Ottawa is a major city now which needs continued investment in its transportation infrastructure to encourage positive and sustainable growth. The first phases of the O-Train concentrated on linking the East-West communities to downtown. Now it’s time to focus on North South Communities. With the STO in Gatineau considering a Sparks Street Tunnel continuing the train network through Bank Street makes sense. It’ll not only help reduce downtown congestion and increase accessibility to Centretown and Glebe entertainment districts, it will provide the South end with needed rapid transport. Having the O-Train would help alleviate the inevitable congestion as our city continues to grow. The Bank Street O-Train Tunnel hits all indicators for green, social and economic benefits.”

The local federal Ottawa Centre Green Party EDA CEO Phoebe Cullingham in response to the Bank Street O-Train Tunnel says “we totally agree that Ottawa needs a) to lower its carbon footprint, and b) better and more accessible rapid transit.”

Shane Seguin

Shane Seguin spokesperson for Rail Fans Canada, an online organization that consists of TTC, O-Train, Skytrain, and Metro supporters believes a “Bank Street O-Train Tunnel would be of benefit to the core urban area of Ottawa, down a busy and important artery of the city. Choosing underground would enable reliable and smooth service, providing a tangible gain and improvement to the quality of life for residents as well as a benefit for businesses in this dense area.”

For more information on the topic of the Bank Street O-Train Tunnel see links below:

Clinton P. Desveaux is a social thought leader who is available for radio & television panels, and media interviews. He can be reached via email:



Clinton Desveaux

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