Diochnos: Tear up the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway

By Kosta Diochnos, Ottawa Citizen, November 13, 2017

The Ottawa River’s banks are being primed for an ambitious goal. Bold and boastful, Ottawa’s newly revealed pitch for Amazon’s HQ2 is a cheeky reflection from the future. It brags about an “integrated” and “incomparable” campus built alongside the river during the “generational” transformation of LeBreton Flats. The eventual development of those barren lands will be a major shift in Ottawa’s time, as the Senators, central library and O-Train lines all converge.

Our largest river is a masterpiece natural feature, and the lands along its banks are eminently valuable. However, one feature keeps it underused and insignificant. If Ottawa is committed to a generational transformation and a sustainable future, the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway must be removed.

Neither committed as a natural park, nor maximally used as a human space, the SJAM parkway is a wasted opportunity. Where Vancouver has parkland and residences hugging the coastline, and Montreal has bars and shops facing the St. Lawrence River, Ottawa has an underused pathway and a road to flee the city.


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