Ottawa Board of Trade Unveils Transformative Action Plan for Downtown Ottawa

Published on:
May 22, 2024
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Ottawa - May 22nd, 2024, - Today, the Ottawa Board of Trade, in collaboration with the Canadian Urban Institute is thrilled to announce a landmark initiative that promises to revolutionize downtown Ottawa and the region.

The Downtown Ottawa Action Agenda aims to reimagine and rejuvenate Downtown Ottawa, making it more diverse, resilient, and vibrant for generations and challenges to come.

Under the plan, Downtown Ottawa will see the addition of 40,000 new residents and the creation of 50,000 jobs by 2034, transforming the cityscape into a bustling hub of activity and innovation. The plan proposes creating a joint $500 million fund to kick-start a series of catalytic projects, including significant enhancements to the public realms of Sparks Street and ByWard Market, and the establishment of a new Business Incubation District and an Arts/Culture Corridor.

"This is more than a plan; it's a renaissance for Ottawa’s downtown," said Sueling Ching, President & CEO, Ottawa Board of Trade. "By fostering a live-work-play environment, we are not only boosting the local economy but also creating a culturally rich, inclusive, and accessible downtown for all to enjoy. And a Capital City all Canadians can be proud of."

The action plan was developed by the Canadian Urban Institute in partnership with the City of Ottawa, Ottawa Tourism, Invest Ottawa, BOMA Ottawa and the National Capital Commission. "Our collaborative approach ensures that the transformation of Downtown Ottawa not only meets the economic and cultural needs of today but paves the way for future generations," said Brendan McGuinty, Board Chair, Ottawa Board of Trade.

As Downtown Ottawa transforms, it will serve as a model of urban renewal, showcasing the power of strategic investment and community collaboration in building a thriving, dynamic city center. The Ottawa Board of Trade invites residents, businesses, and all stakeholders to join in this exciting journey to reshape our capital’s core.

Top Five Immediate Actions:

  1. Prioritize Housing: Streamlining processes to increase downtown residency through higher density and use of public land.
  2. Invest in the Future: Establishing financial mechanisms for ongoing downtown investment.
  3. Address Homelessness, Addiction, and Mental Health: Implementing focused programs with multi-level government funding.
  4. Improve Regional Mobility: Enhancing transit options to make downtown more accessible.
  5. Position Downtown Nationally and Internationally: Marketing efforts to boost economic activity and enhance downtown's image.

"Downtown Ottawa's revitalization is a blueprint for how cities can harness urban space to meet the challenges of the 21st century, “said Mary Rowe, President & CEO, Canadian Urban Institute. “By focusing on inclusivity, resilience, and vibrant public spaces, Ottawa is setting a standard for urban innovation."

“We’re taking a Team Ottawa approach to our downtown. By coming together as a community, we’re not just revitalizing our core, but also setting the stage for a dynamic and resilient future for all Ottawa residents,” said Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Annette Goerner, Director of Public Relations 



The Ottawa Board of Trade is the voice of business and a key economic partner in the National Capital Region. Our mission is to cultivate a thriving world class business community. One that drives affordable, inclusive, and sustainable city building.  We are champions of Ottawa as the best place to live, work, play, learn, visit, and invest. For information, visit

The Canadian Urban Institute is a national platform where policy makers, urban professionals, civic and business leaders, community activists and academics can learn, share, and collaborate with one another from coast to coast to coast. Through research, engagement, and storytelling, CUI’s mission is to support vibrant, equitable, livable, and resilient cities in Canada. For information, visit