NCC Blunders

Sparks Street

Sparks Street Square Parking

The real reason the NCC wants to build a square on Sparks Street is so they can build a parking garage under it. The following is a response to a request for information about the proposed garage. As usual, the NCC puts the cart before the horse, identifying their own tourist information kiosk as the principle source of parking demand. In effect, they want to demolish Ottawa's built heritage to accommodate tourists seeking information about Ottawa.

Thank you for your patience regarding your request for information on the 
proposed underground parking garage. The Project Manager responsible for
this file conducted the necessary research in order to provide you with the
information you have requested.

The following are responses to your questions:

1. The demand for parking is thought to be principally from two sources
(which need to be confirmed by further study). The first demand derives
from visitors to the Capital Infocentre at 90 Wellington Street. The closest
parking lot to which visitors are directed is the public parking within the
World Exchange Plaza (WEP) however, City Council has allowed the WEP to
significantly reduce the required public in order to accommodate those who
will work in the new office building which is scheduled to open in January 
2002. The second demand source, which is still subject to confirmation, is
the parking that is currently on Parliament Hill as it may be displaced due
to the planned renovation and new construction, landscaping changes and
revised security measures.

2. The underground parking under the plaza is intended to accommodate tour
buses, cars, small trucks, some RV units, motorcycles and bicycles.

3. The entrance and exit is proposed for Queen Street, about 40 metres west
of Metcalfe. It may be an overhead door(s) in the base of a building next to
the Bank of Nova Scotia.

4. It is not yet known what impact the garage will have on transportation
demand and the modal split. We have not yet initiated studies, however, if
we move forward, we certainly will.

5. It is not likely this will impact any proposed underground transit
alignment. The proposed alignment was in Albert and Slater Streets, however,
we understand this proposal is no longer part of the City's infrastructure

6. It is not known as yet how much the garage will cost.

7. The federal government will pay for it.

8. The federal government will collect the revenues. Given the demand
sources mentioned above, it is not anticipated that this will affect the
revenue from other lots as the proposed parking garage captures (a) parking
displaced from the WEP, whose owners have effectively rejected the revenue
from public parking in favour of revenue from tenants of the new office
tower and, (b) parking possibly displaced from Parliament Hill, the revenues
from which are already being collected by the federal government.

I hope the information provided is helpful. If you have further questions or
require clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us again, either by
e-mail at or by phone at (613)239-5555; our office hours are
from Monday to Friday from 8:30 5:00 p.m.

Information Services
National Capital Commission