We are a coalition of the willing, and we invite you to join us to build a Living Capital.

Together Downtown Partners and the Canadian Urban Institute are shaping a vision for the future of Downtown Ottawa. Months of research, deep listening and keen observation of local conditions, as well as of global urban trends, have woven into this final call to action - an agenda for aligned action called “Living Capital”.

Created by:

Presented by:


In partnership with:

Anishinabe Algonquin

Ottawa is built on un-ceded, unsurrendered Anishinabe Algonquin territory.

The peoples of the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation have lived on this territory for millennia.

We are determined to place Downtown Ottawa at the forefront of possibility, at the forefront of change, connecting people to this place to realize our shared potential.

Ottawa is uniquely rich with natural, human and built-form assets. We need to invest in all three: more people, better places, and the policies and programs to realize our collective. 

This is no time to squander what we have by idly waiting, but instead, as our colleagues at the Ottawa Board of Trade will say, it is time to build up!

Summary of Actions

Actions to leverage
our framework
Steps to
Best practices to
inform best choices
Years to ensure change
happens NOW


Make Downtown Desirable
  • Affordable
  • Walkable
  • Amenity Rich Communities 
Make Downtown Resilient
  • Public and Private Investment in Infrastructure
  • Public Realm
  • Placemaking
Make Downtown Robust
  • Employment Growth
  • Economic Diversification 
Make Downtown Inclusive
  • Safety and Security for Workers, 
Residents, Visitors, Vulnerable People

Action Agenda Targets

This Action Agenda establishes the following targets as measures of success:
New Residents to
Jobs to
Establish a Joint
Fund to Kick-start
Focus on catalytic anchors for downtown including investment in the Sparks Street and ByWard Market public realms, and creation of a Business Incubation District and an Arts/Culture Corridor

A re-imagined and people-focused Downtown Ottawa will require collaboration between all levels of government, the private sector and community organizations. It will need to access funding resources from all collaborators and direct funds towards the shared objectives and actions.

Downtown Defined

For the five-year agenda, Downtown Ottawa has been defined by the boundaries of the Rideau River to the east, the Ottawa River to the north, the Queensway to the south and the Trillium LRT line at Bayview Station to the west.

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Within this geography, we have established five districts with an understanding that there are neighbourhoods and core areas with distinct characteristics and unique challenges and opportunities.

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