Everything You Need to Know About O-Train Confederation Line
Graphic by: Kathy Li
Ottawa’s O-Train plan was approved in 2008 and has since began construction with trains estimated to be up and running by late 2018. The Confederation Line consists of 13 stops, running from Tunney’s Pasture in the West end to Blair in the East end (12.5km). It will provide a fast, reliable and accessible way to get from one end of the city to the other and aleviate significant transit challenges as a result of Ottawa's increasing ridership.
This $2.1 billion project is jointly funded by the Government of Canada, the province of Ontario and the City of Ottawa. Each 2-car train with comfortable seating and large windows will be 98 metres long and can carry up to 600 passenger. According to OC Transpo, the O-Train Confederation Line will help the city in reducing an estimated 94,000 tons of greenhouse gas emission per year, as well as reduce other pollutants such as nitrous and sulphur oxides and volatile organic compounds by 4,600 tonnes per year by 2031.
Each station will also feature a different Canadian artist and their work that passengers can enjoy.
By exploring each stop on the Confederation Line in turn, we give you a glimpse into what the future of public transportation in Ottawa will look like!
Tunney’s Pasture is the westmost stop on the Confederation Line of the O-Train. This stop is near some of the largest government employment centres, pedestrian and cyclist pathways that run along the Ottawa River and popular neighborhoods including Westboro and Wellington West. Here, passengers can connect to the Trillium Line.
Key features of Tunney’s Pasture are washrooms, a large retail plaza, bike storage and easy access to various OC Transpo busses.
The art at this station is Gradient Space made by Vancouver artist Derek Root. It will feature two large glass mosaic walls with gradients on both sides of the station.
Bayview will also connect the Trillium Line with the Confederation Line. There will be pedestrian connections to Albert Street and the Tom Brown Arena. Hintonburg and Mechanicsville are nearby neighbourhoods. Little Italy and Chinatown are also close to the station providing lots of places to shop and eat.
There are two art pieces featured at Bayview Station. The one inside is called As The Crow Flies by Adrian Göllner from Ottawa. It represents the history of the Ottawa-Gatineau area through the illustration of a crow’s flight line. The art piece on the outside of this station is Cascades by Pierre Poussin from Toronto. It will commemorate Chaudière Falls as a cultural, spiritual, and trading hub for the indigenous people.
The theme of Pimsi Station is to celebrate the culture of Algonquin people (Pimsi means ‘eel’ in the Algonquin language). The station will have 2 levels. The second level will pass overtop of the light rail. For things to do nearby, you can visit the war museum or hop over to Chinatown for a snack. The Heritage Bridge and Victoria Island are also within walking distance.
There is art installed inside and outside of this station. There will be a hundred hand painted paddles situated in the shape of a canoe. The five Algonquin artists responsible for this piece are: Doreen Stevens of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, Quebec; Simon Brascoupé and Emily Brascoupé-Hoefler of Ottawa; Sherry-Ann Rodgers of Gatineau; and Sylvia Tennisco of Pikwàkanagàn, Ontario.
There will also be an eight meter chrome eel by Nadia Myre to represent the Algonquin's relationship to the earth.
Lyon Station is at the west end of the Downtown tunnel. The station will be underground and the is accessible from Queen St across from the Delta Hotel. At this station, passengers can use an underground pedestrian route that goes from Albert Street to Sparks Street.
There will be two art works in this station. One is With Words as Their Actions, designed by a Toronto-based group, PLANT architect. It will illustrate the women who founded the Women’s Canadian Historical Society and Ann Dewar’s story of the transition from Bytown to Ottawa.
The second piece -This Image Relies on Positive Thinking - is by Calgary artist Geoff McFetridge. It will represent contemporary life and the energy within the city.
Parliament Station will be the mid-stop of the Downtown tunnel, bringing you to the busiest business district of Ottawa. The platform will be 19 metres underground with entrances situated at the corner of O’Connor Street, Queen Street and inside the Sun Life Financial Centre. Parliament Hill, the Confederation Centre and the World Exchange Plaza are nearby.
At this station you will see dismantled provincial flags along the walls and descending into the station by Vancouver artist and author Douglas Coupland.
You will also see images of nature on concrete walls, called Trails: home and away by Jennifer Stead from New Brunswick.
Rideau Station is in the east-end of the downtown tunnel near city's most popular attractions. This will be the deepest platform underground at 26.5 metres and there will be easy connections to regional and local bus routes. Entrances will be located at the William Street Plaza pedestrian Mall and at the northwest corner of Rideau Street and Colonel By.
There are many attractions near this station such as the Byward Market and Rideau Centre. The National Arts Centre (NAC), The National Gallery, the Rideau Canal, and the National War Memorial are also close by.
There's a gallery theme that takes place at this station with a FLOW drawing of the northern beauty and a proximity to Rideau Canal by Geneviève Cadieux from Montreal.
Jim Verburg from Toronto also brings his piece entitledThe shape this takes to get to that (the grid, its daily interruption, and the possible options that exist).
Finally, coming out of the Downtown Tunnel is the uOttawa Station located at the University of Ottawa. This station will provide students easy and fast transportation from the University of Ottawa to Carleton University by connecting with the O-Train at Bayview Station. There will be a new retail space and a public plaza at this station.
This station will be home to Train of Thought by Calgary Artist Michael Bisant and SphereField by Kenneth Emig from Ottawa.
Lees Station is in a transit way trench between the 417 overpass and Lees Ave. It will provide fast transportation to residential buildings and the University of Ottawa's main campus. Main Street shops and business will be nearby, along with residential developments and St Paul’s University.
There will be scenes of the Rideau River painted on transparent glass accompanied by Amy Thompson's, Transparent Passage.
Hurdman Station is an elevated station with a large plaza at ground level. It also serve as a connection hub for major bus routes and an important drop-off place for west-end passengers accessing the light rail. There will also be washrooms and retail areas at the station.
Coordinated Movement by Vancouver artist Jill Anholt is on display at this station. Her piece represents a bird’s flight paths with painted pieces of metal hanging from the walls.
Tremblay Station will connect to the main VIA Rail Terminal in order to connect VIA Rail passengers to the light rail. This station will also connect to the Ottawa Champions' stadium.
The artwork featured here is Toronto artist Jyhling Lee's piece, National Garden, which is the silhouette of the official flowers for each province placed on the glass ceiling of the walkway to the VIA rail.
St-Laurent has two levels. It connects passengers to the Confederation Line at the lower level and OC Transpo buses at the surface level. The station will be accessible by five entrances and a walkway from the other side of the 417 to the station. Many shops, businesses, and restaurants are located nearby on St. Laurent Boulevard including the St. Laurent Shopping Centre.
Canadian history is re-imagined by Andrew Morrow from Chelsea, Quebec who will create three large murals running from the westbound to the eastbound platform.
Neighborhood passengers can expect fast and easy access to downtown and more at Cyrville Station. The platform is underneath Cyrville Road with entrances located on either side of the road.
Artist Don Maynard from Kingston produces The Stand of Birch which is composed of 13 stainless steel birch trees surrounding prairie grass.
Blair Station is the most eastern stop on the Confederation Line. This station will act as a transfer station that lets passengers transfer from bus to light rail to local areas. There will be walkways and a 417 overpass for pedestrians. SilverCity Cinemas and the IMAX Theatre are close by along with the Gloucester Shopping Centre, La Cité Collégiale and the National Research Council.
Inspired by the sunrise, CJ Fleury from Ottawa and Catherine Widgery from Montreal created this station's art piece called Lightscape. Thirty screens made from pieces of glass will be suspended throughout the station. They are designed to move with the breeze from the passing trains.
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