How will the Gatineau LRT connect to Ottawa's LRT?
An expert looks at potential transfer hubs and station locations
As plans for Gatineau's LRT begin to take shape, there are questions about how the system would connect riders to Ottawa's downtown core.
The Société de transport de l'Outaouais (STO), which confirmed this week it will be developing some kind of light rail system, has so far shared few specifics.
The Portage Bridge is the preferred option, with both city's mayors now cool on the possibility raised in the past of the Prince of Wales Bridge near Bayview station.
It stands to reason the new Gatineau LRT station would have to be built close enough to an existing Confederation Line station so that riders could easily transfer from one to the other.
If the new route went over the Portage Bridge, transfers would likely happen at the Confederation Line's Lyon station.
David Jeanes, an engineer and public transport activist, looked over a few ideas that could be considered for the station for Radio-Canada and gave each location a ranking out of 10.
4. The Portage Bridge exit
There is land on the Ottawa side that is not a heritage site and would be relatively inexpensive to build a station there, according to Jeanes.
However, the location is at the bottom of a slope and nearly 600 metres away from Lyon station, which would make for a more difficult transfer.
There's also recently-revealed plans in the works for a national monument to the federal government's "LGBT Purge" of queer public servants in the area.
3. Garden of the Provinces and Territories
A site at Wellington and Bay streets would have enough space for a station, but it would have to navigate the garden, a monument that dates back to 1962, and a soon-to-be-built monument to the victims of communism.
This location is 400 metres away from Lyon station.
2. Library and Archives Canada
The site just east of this building offers the most space compared to the other three possible locations.
It's not all that close to a monument or historic site, but it is close to the current STO stop on Wellington Street where commuters can catch a bus into Gatineau.
A station here would be only 200 metres away from Lyon station; however, riders would have to cross busy Wellington Street to get there.
1. The intersection of Wellington and Lyon
This location is only 130 metres away from the existing Lyon station, making it the closest option.
However, the train would stop right in front of an important monument dedicated to Canadians who served in the Second World War.
It could be difficult to get permission to build there.
The West Memorial Building at that intersection will be home to the Supreme Court around the time a Gatineau light rail line could be built.
* If the city were to build a pedestrian tunnel that connected this site to the Lyon station entrance beneath the Place de Ville building, Jeanes said he would score this location 8/10.
Official plans in spring
The STO is going over the option and plans to appear before Ottawa's transportation committee in the spring to present the preliminary options.
"I don't want to speculate on what the options will be for getting into Ottawa," Myriam Nadeau, president of the STO, said in French last week. "We are studying them with our partners."
The City of Ottawa isn't sharing many details yet, either.
Ottawa's director of transportation planning provided a written statement that city staff are "working closely with the STO and other regional transportation planning partners," but that it is "too early to comment" because technical evaluations are still underway.
The STO originally raised the possibility a rail line could open in 2028.
With files from Radio-Canada's Stéphane Leclerc