SCRAP SPARKS STREET? Plan could see Wellington become pedestrian-only

By Kayla Douglas, Ottawa Sun, May 7, 2019

Breakups can be tough, but for Bob Plamondon, a former board member of the National Capital Commission, Ottawa’s long-standing relationship with Sparks Street, a pedestrian mall with its hodgepodge of government buildings and restaurants, should have ended a long time ago.

“It has no clear identity. It’s office space, it’s some restaurants, a scattering of retail shops…. Consumers don’t say on a Saturday night, ‘Hey, let’s go to Sparks Street!’” Plamondon said. “No matter what we try to do over the years, it has always come up empty. Every decade, you can count on some fresh new idea to solve the problem of Sparks Street, but there’s no fixing it.”

The most recent attempt to fix Sparks Street is coming this fall as the City of Ottawa recently announced its plan to revamp the design, a move which Plamondon said will cost millions of dollars. This inspired Plamondon to start up a petition on last week. His aim? To push the city’s attention away from Sparks Street in 2019 and instead focus on building a potential pedestrian-only area on Wellington Street near Parliament Hill, which he dubbed the Wellington National Mall.

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