Rideau Canal Crossing

WSP continues to work to connect Canadian communities, this time in Old Ottawa with the Rideau Canal Crossing on the Unesco World Heritage site. This new multi-use bridge connects Old Ottawa East, Old Ottawa South and Glebe.


  • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


  • City of Ottawa

Project Status

  • To be completed in 2019

A Sound Strategy for Improving Mobility Options in Ottawa

As part of a strategy to create a healthier, more livable city, the City of Ottawa has embarked on an effort to change travel behavior through pedestrian and cycling network improvements. While Ottawa boasts an extensive and well-used active transportation network, physical barriers to walking and cycling remain. Specifically, the 2-km stretch of the Rideau Canal between the Bank Street and Pretoria Bridges divides two important urban communities, and represents the longest linear barrier to active transportation in the urban area.

Design challenges the Ottawa Bridge Engineering group faced in building a bridge at this site included year-round canal operations, and the availability of sufficient space to accommodate a bridge of appropriate size and scale for the Rideau Canal landscape.

Trips expected to move to active transportation modes
2,500 2,500
Span across the Rideau Canal
125m 125m
Total project approach structures and embankments
250m 250m
Architectural handrails
725m 725m
Structural steel
205 tonnes 205 tonnes
Project landscaping
0.5 hectares 0.5 hectares
We’re proud of what the Ottawa Bridge group has achieved on this project given its scope and challenges. One of our many strengths in WSP is our ability to deliver projects from conceptualization to fruition using a full range of services and a multidisciplinary approach. When completed next year, the Rideau Canal Crossing will be another shining example of what we can achieve together in Bridge Engineering.
Dominique Quesnel Vice President, Transportation Ontario & Atlantic, WSP Canada

A Multidisciplinary Approach

WSP’s multidisciplinary design team has been responsible for delivering the project from planning stage, through preliminary and detailed design, and now are providing contract administration services and engineering services during construction to the City.

The bridge design includes pedestrian lookouts, and sustainable design elements such as sustainably harvested wood for the bridge handrails, and energy-efficient LED lighting. The bridge is expected to foster healthy communities by encouraging an estimate shift of 2,500 trips every day from personal vehicles to active transportation modes, shortening commute times for thousands of Ottawa residents and offering a dedicated active and sustainable transportation route to schools, work, entertainment and shopping sites.