An Inclusive and Meaningful Capital

The Capital is a focal point for our nation, linked in the minds of Canadians to powerful memories, meaningful images and vivid emotions. The buildings, monuments and sites at the very heart of the Capital attest to Canada’s parliamentary system and its constitutional monarchy.

Canada’s primary national symbols (Parliament Hill and the Supreme Court) and its official residences are the physical representation of Canada’s system of government, and are replete with history and meaning. The Capital Region is home to Indigenous peoples of Anishinabeg origin, as well as numerous other Indigenous peoples of Canada, and the descendants of explorers and pioneers from France and Great Britain. Many more settlers from different countries have arrived over the centuries to make this region their home. The Capital’s national cultural, historical and scientific institutions highlight the rich tapestry of Canadian society, and they help attract millions of visitors to the Capital each year.

These institutions, cultures and diverse aspirations will evolve through the decades, contributing to the improvement and transformation of the Capital as an inclusive place whose symbols embrace all Canadians.

The Parliamentary and Judicial Precincts

Project 1

In 2067, the Parliamentary Precinct and the Judicial Precinct will gain even deeper significance as the central organs of our nation’s identity. The Parliamentary Precinct hosts the Government of Canada’s legislative functions, including the House of Commons, the Senate of Canada and the Library of Parliament. The Judicial Precinct is host to the Supreme Court of Canada, the highest court in our nation’s judicial system. Library and Archives Canada is the institution that preserves our national memory and identity, and makes them accessible to all.

The Gothic Revival Parliament Buildings were constructed between 1859 and 1866. Thomas Fuller and Chilion Jones designed the Centre Block. Thomas Stent and Augustus Laver designed the East and West blocks. The terraces, driveways and main lawn were completed later according to a plan created by Calvert Vaux. Following the fire of 1916, the government redesigned and reconstructed the Centre Block, which was completed in 1927.

In the Holt Report, Edward Bennett recognized and emphasized the prominence of Parliament Hill:

“…Parliament Hill, because of the importance of its buildings and its natural elevation, is and always must be the dominating feature of Ottawa. All other parts of the Government group must be subordinated to this, architecturally as well as actually, and instead of rivalling or competing with it, should increase its relative importance and enhance the beauty and dignity of its buildings.”

Across from the Parliamentary Precinct, an array of significant buildings on the south side of Wellington Street from Bank Street to Confederation Square include the Bank of Canada, the country’s central bank responsible for our nation’s financial system and management, as well as the Langevin Block, housing the Office of the Prime Minister and the Privy Council Office. Other neo-classical buildings grace the street, providing office and meeting space, such as the Wellington Building, the former Bank of Montreal Building (now the Sir John A. Macdonald Building) and the 100 Wellington building.

Since 1914, the federal and municipal governments have controlled building heights in downtown Ottawa. The first height limit was set at 110 feet (33.5 metres), measured from the grade of the sidewalk to the highest point of a proposed building, as outlined in the Holt Report:

“If Ottawa and Hull are to acquire and retain the appearance of the Capital City, full precaution must be taken lest commercial buildings reach such a height as to detract from the beauty and importance of its government buildings. This is true both of the near views and of impressions formed from the first glimpses as one approaches the city, either by railway or highway.”

The Capital’s setting forms a unique and memorable ensemble of great civic, national and international significance, and this setting is the most memorable aspect for many visitors. To ensure that the national symbols in the Capital remain predominant in the visual landscape, the NCC and the municipal governments must reinforce the views protection policy. The NCC will employ contemporary digital modelling tools to evaluate the impact of new development in proximity to the Parliamentary Precinct. The NCC will also work in partnership with the City of Ottawa and Ville de Gatineau to ensure that views protection continues as additional intensification occurs in the urban areas of the Capital’s core.

The federal government must take special care to preserve the character-defining heritage buildings and sites that accommodate its offices and facilities. This will require continuous investment and constant attention to renovate and enhance the buildings and landscapes and ensure that they can support their critical function over the long term.


Key policy directions for the next 50 years

  1. Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) will complete the restoration and rehabilitation of the Centre, East and West blocks of Parliament in time for the bicentennial of Confederation. This will include the construction of a visitor welcome centre. As the institution of Parliament evolves over the next 50 years, Parliament Hill will continue to foster innovation and excellence in design such that the seat of government reflects Canada’s growth as a nation, while protecting and preserving the heritage attributes and character of the area.
  2. PSPC will complete the visitor welcome centre and landscape plan. Further enhancements to the space will accommodate parliamentarians and visitors with enhanced security and improvements to achieve universal accessibility. The precincts will continue to evolve in a manner that reinforces the historic cultural landscape and picturesque neo-Gothic architecture. This plan foresees the gradual removal of surface parking in the Parliamentary Precinct and Judicial Precinct.
  3. The redevelopment of the blocks on the south side of Wellington Street will provide additional office space for parliamentary and federal government functions, and will ensure adaptive reuse of prominent buildings to enhance the visitor experience in that area.
  4. Over time, the cherished landscape of Parliament Hill will achieve the great vision expressed best by Edward Bennett. The removal of surface parking, the renaturalization of the escarpment, and the addition of new commemorative elements will further enrich the Parliamentary Precinct.
  5. The NCC will support the renewal and reinforcement of the views protection policy to ensure the visual primacy of the national symbols, in such a way that the silhouette of Parliament Hill, overlooking the Ottawa River, remains evocative and the best-known symbol of the Capital, and that its natural rehabilitated escarpment will continue to enhance its daytime and nighttime setting.
  6. Wellington Street will evolve as modes of traffic (walking, cycling, public transit and automobile) change in response to transit and security needs. This creates an opportunity to improve the walkability and aesthetic appeal of the street with new trees, commemorative elements, and attractive lighting and street furniture.
  7. PSPC, in consultation with the NCC, will update the Long-Term Vision and Plan for the Parliamentary Precinct to provide for future accommodations in new and renovated buildings.

Official Residences

Project 2

The official residences are the homes of our country’s political leaders. They welcome foreign dignitaries and host protocol events, meetings and commemorative ceremonies. All official residences are designated heritage buildings under the Register of the Government of Canada Heritage Buildings. There are six official residences in the Capital Region.

  • Rideau Hall is the residence of the governor general. It is a National Historic Site and the only official residence open to the public. Each year, thousands of visitors come to appreciate the grounds and buildings.
  • The residence at 24 Sussex Drive is the residence of the prime minister.
  • Harrington Lake (Lac Mousseau) is the summer residence of the prime minister.
  • Stornoway is the residence of the leader of the Official Opposition in the House of Commons.
  • The Farm, in Gatineau Park, is the residence of the speaker of the House of Commons.
  • The residence at 7 Rideau Gate is an official guesthouse for visiting dignitaries.

The NCC’s management responsibilities for Canada’s official residences in the Capital include the long-term planning of capital improvements at these residences, property management, ongoing maintenance of buildings and grounds, as well as the furnishing and enhancement of the interiors.


Key policy directions for the next 50 years

  1. The official residences are icons of the Capital and, as such, they need careful maintenance. Owing to the age of several of the residences, the NCC will develop and implement recapitalization strategies, and architectural and heritage conservation and enhancement plans to ensure that these properties befit their role of critical national importance over the long term.
  2. The NCC, as steward of the Capital’s official residences, and in consultation with the respective officials from the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General and the Prime Minister’s Office, will implement 10-year plans for continued reinvestment in the official residences to ensure that these sites meet the needs of the institutions in a growing nation.
  3. The governor general’s residence at Rideau Hall and the prime minister’s residence at 24 Sussex Drive are the first priorities.

National Institutions

Project 3

MapNational InstitutionsIn 2067, the national institutions will continue to be beacons of Canadian achievement in culture and science. They represent Canada and Canadians to the world, and contribute significantly to the identity, pride and signature of the Capital, including its digital signature in a connected world.

Confederation Boulevard serves as an organizing principle for the Capital’s core. This ceremonial and discovery route links Parliament to six national institutions on Wellington Street, continues across the river and along the Quebec shoreline and then back across the river into the Sussex North area. The Boulevard’s extensions on national parkways, driveways, pathways and prominent view corridors together form a route that connects six more national institutions, as well as other important sites and symbols of national significance.

Wellington Street and Confederation Square

Inaugurated in 1969 as a centennial project, the National Arts Centre was designed by Fred Lebensold of ARCOP as Canada’s pre-eminent showcase for the performing arts. A major addition renewing its exterior and public spaces was undertaken by Diamond Schmitt Architects to mark the 2017 sesquicentennial. In future decades, there will be a need for a dedicated concert hall to be located on a site in the urban core.

The Museum of the Bank of Canada, formerly the National Currency Museum established in 1980, is housed in the Bank of Canada building, which was designed by Montréal architect S.G. Davenport in 1937–1938. In 1969, Vancouver architect Arthur Erickson designed the striking glass addition that flanks and encloses the older structure. The currency museum reopens its doors in 2017 as part of a major renovation of the building and its plaza.

Library and Archives Canada, whose mission involves preserving and documenting Canadian heritage, occupies a modern heritage building that marks the western approach to Parliament on Wellington Street. Designed by Mathers and Haldenby, and built from 1963 to 1967, the Library and Archives Canada headquarters provides researchers and visitors access to collections, events and exhibits. Some Library and Archives collections are also stored in a more recently constructed building in Gatineau, designed by Ikoy and FABG architects (1999).

Canadian War Museum Source: NCC
Canadian War Museum
Source: NCC

LeBreton and the Quebec Shore

The Canadian Museum of History is a federal Crown corporation established by the Museums Act. The corporation oversees the operation of three museums: the Canadian Museum of History, the Canadian War Museum and the Virtual Museum of New France. The corporation’s overall mandate is to enhance Canadians’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of events, experiences, people and objects that reflect and have shaped Canada’s history and identity, and to enhance their awareness of world history and cultures. The distinctive buildings housing the Canadian Museum of History (Douglas Cardinal, 1983–1989) and the Canadian War Museum (Moriyama and Teshima/Griffiths Rankin Cook, 2005) are key features on the Capital’s discovery route. These institutions play a vital role in enriching the knowledge of Canada, and in preserving our traditions and histories as national memories. These buildings resulted from national architectural competitions, and attest to the merit of pursuing design excellence.

The outlook for the Canadian Museum of History includes the 2017 opening of the new Canadian History Hall designed by Douglas Cardinal, as well as the implementation of a master plan for the museum’s exterior site. For its part, the Canadian War Museum will likely require, during the 50-year period of this plan, expanded facilities on a nearby site. A new Library and Archives Canada portal may be created in conjunction with the City of Ottawa’s proposed new central library at LeBreton Flats.

View of the National Gallery of Canada from Major’s Hill Park. Source: NCC
View of the National Gallery
of Canada from Major’s Hill Park.
Source: NCC

Sussex North Area

The major institutions included in the Sussex North area are the National Gallery of Canada, Royal Canadian Mint, Global Centre for Pluralism and National Research Council Canada (NRC). The NCC is the steward of Major’s Hill Park and Nepean Point, as well as many leased properties along Sussex Drive. The objective is to better integrate these federal institutions and assets to create a stronger visitor destination that takes full advantage of the adjacent Ottawa River shoreline.

The National Gallery of Canada, established in 1880 by Marquis of Lorne, Governor General John Douglas Sutherland Campbell, is Canada’s flagship visual arts museum. As such, it plays a leading role in the nation’s cultural life, and represents Canada on the world stage. Occupying a strategic site on Confederation Boulevard, with landscape created by Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, the distinguished National Gallery building was designed by Moshe Safdie and inaugurated in 1988. The gallery’s collections include international masterpieces, the largest collections of Canadian art and photography, and significant interior and exterior sculptural works. Its future development may include a new curatorial wing, improved exterior approaches, service and parking facilities, and lighting, as well as better integration with Nepean Point, the Royal Canadian Mint, the Global Centre for Pluralism and a proposed shoreline pathway.

The Royal Canadian Mint occupies a landmark heritage building at 320 Sussex Drive, built between 1905 and 1908, designed by David Ewart, Chief Architect of the Department of Public Works.

The former War Museum building at 330 Sussex Drive reopens in 2017 as the Global Centre for Pluralism, a new institution created in this significant heritage property by the Aga Khan Foundation to foster intercultural and interfaith understanding.

NRC’s original headquarters at 100 Sussex Drive, once known as “The Temple of Science,” is the most publicly visible symbol of this internationally recognized research institution. As Canada’s national research and technology organization, it occupies multiple campuses in the Capital, including facilities on Montreal Road and at Uplands, as well as at 100 Sussex Drive. This heritage building, situated at a prominent location on Confederation Boulevard adjacent to the Rideau Falls, holds potential for redevelopment as a science and innovation hub.

National Research Council Canada, 100 Sussex Drive building Source: NCC
National Research Council Canada,
100 Sussex Drive building
Source: NCC

National Institutions Outside the Capital Core Area

The Canadian Museum of Nature, formerly the Geological Museum created in 1856 by Sir William Logan, is located in the Victoria Memorial building, also designed by David Ewart and built from 1905 to 1910. This building occupies a strategic site with a northward view up Metcalfe Street directly to Parliament. A recent award-winning addition designed by Padolsky, Kuwabara and Gagnon was completed as part of a comprehensive renovation undertaken from 2004 to 2010. The museum’s natural heritage campus, with its research and collections facility, is located in Aylmer.

Further afield, the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, Canada Science and Technology Museum, and Canada Aviation and Space Museum highlight Canadian achievements in the natural and physical sciences. They anchor a series of federal sites linked by national parkways or prominent sightlines.

The Canada Science and Technology Museum was inaugurated in 1967 in the former Morrison–Lamothe Bakery building, following the 1951 Massey Royal Commission’s call for the creation of a national museum devoted to science. Today a renowned institution, it is being extended and renewed as a major museum campus. Set to open in fall 2017, it will also include the Canadian Conservation Institute. It will continue to promote and celebrate Canada’s long history of scientific and technological achievements, and to inspire future innovation.

First established in 1960 at Uplands Airport, and moved in 1964 to the historic Rockcliffe Airbase, the Canada Aviation Museum opened its doors in its present building in 1988. In 2010, the museum expanded its mandate, adding aerospace technology and changing its name to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. As the national repository of Canada’s aeronautical and space history, the museum’s mandate is to create a greater appreciation for Canada’s aviation heritage, demonstrate the vital role of aviation in the lives of Canadians, and illustrate the significance of aviation in the growth and prosperity of this country. Adjacent to its location at the former Rockcliffe Airbase are runways that are still in operation with the Rockcliffe Flying Club.

These two museums, as well as the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, are grouped under the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation, established in 1990.

Public science is a strength in Canada’s Capital: today, 15,000 scientists work in research and development in federal departments, such as Health Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Natural Resources Canada, and NRC.

The Central Experimental Farm, established in 1886, is a unique working farm in the heart of an urban region. The Experimental Farm is open to the public throughout the year, along with the adjacent 26-hectare Arboretum. This central asset of the Capital’s urban green space network contributes to biodiversity and reinforces the link from the Rideau Canal to the Ottawa River ecosystems. In the coming years, the long-term ecological and scientific outlook for preserving the Central Experimental Farm and the Arboretum should be revalidated in an update to the existing 2005 master plan.

The national institutions discussed above combine to create a distinctively Canadian experience for residents and visitors to the Capital. The NCC’s plans will foster links between the spheres of scientific research, the arts and heritage. Over the next 50 years, the social and cultural fabric of the Capital will be enriched by the evolution of these institutions and the creation of new institutions to reflect Canada as it grows through the 21st century.

The NCC respects these venerable institutions, and will support their future expansion, as required. The location of future institutions, normally on federal lands, will be considered in collaboration with the relevant municipality, to the extent that a new institution may have an impact on its immediate surroundings.


Key policy directions for the next 50 years

  1. The NCC will work with federal institutions to promote their renewal, and their ongoing contribution to the region’s quality of life, through the approval of updated master plans and development strategies.
  2. The NCC will maintain an inventory of lands suitable for new or extended national cultural institutions, generally along the parkways and Confederation Boulevard, to meet the needs of future generations. The NCC will use its land base in Jacques-Cartier Park North, east of the Canadian War Museum, and south of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum for this purpose. As new facilities are needed, the NCC will work with federal departments and agencies to locate appropriate sites that will support the long-term development of the National Capital Region.
  3. The NCC will work with federal institutions to foster exemplary design in architecture, landscape and illumination.
  4. The NCC will encourage museums to extend outdoors with year-round activities, thereby attracting more people to enjoy their grounds, especially on the shorelines of the Ottawa River.
  5. The NCC will encourage national institutions to collaborate in creating a compelling online digital signature for the physical Capital.
  6. The NCC will work with the departments, agencies and organizations concerned to support the development of showcases of the various Canadian scientific achievements in the Capital.

Federal Head Offices and Accommodations

MapFederal Employment SitesThe Capital is home to the headquarters of many of the federal government’s departments and agencies. These headquarters form part of the public face of government to Canadians from across the country.

The offices accommodating the federal public service have a significant presence in the Capital. Over the next 50 years, federal departments and agencies will integrate their offices into the city fabric and take advantage of transit-oriented locations. The federal government in the National Capital Region employs about 140,000 people, or 15 percent of the federal labour force. The federal presence and the need to accommodate federal employees have had an important impact on the distribution of employment in the Capital Region.

After the Second World War, to meet the government’s needs for federal accommodations, Gréber planned suburban employment campuses, such as Tunney’s Pasture and Confederation Heights, along parkways and green corridors at the edge of the urban area. The growth of the city has now encircled these facilities. As large, segregated-use, automobile-dependent areas built between the 1950s and 1970s, they are still not well connected to the surrounding urban fabric.

Over time, the federal government also built other large office buildings and complexes to consolidate federal employment. The majority of office facilities, like Place du Portage, are located in the core of the Capital.


Key policy directions for the next 50 years

  1. The federal government will strive to present a pleasing public face for client-centred services in the Capital. To respond to the changing needs of the urban region, PSPC and the NCC will continue to encourage the location of offices near transit stations and in support of active mobility. Both will develop strategies to promote environmental sustainability through “non-commuter” federal accommodations and to create adapted and inclusive workspaces.
  2. In collaboration with the municipalities, both organizations will ensure that federal sites become better integrated with their context and more closely linked to the urban fabric of the community. As demonstrated in the recent redevelopment plans for Tunney’s Pasture, some federal sites offer opportunities to adopt a mixed-use, compact development model that can improve sustainable transportation modes and the shared use of public spaces.
  3. The head offices of federal departments, Crown corporations and agencies will locate, wherever possible, in the Capital’s core area, or will cluster in inner-urban transit-oriented sites.
  4. Other federal accommodations may be located at other sites within the urban areas, provided that there is good access to rapid transit services.
  5. Some head offices could be located at the urban edge or within the Greenbelt, for security requirements, for example, intelligence, or military and defence installations, which require large, secure perimeters.
  6. Future generations of intensification projects for federal office campuses will provide for more integrated mixes of land uses.
  7. The NCC will work with PSPC and public safety agencies to ensure that the security measures implemented for federal accommodations are proportional to the level of security sensitivity. The NCC and its partners will promote the use of security measures at sites in the core area that are blended into the surrounding landscape, wherever feasible, so that the Capital remains both secure and open. In doing so, the NCC and its partners will seek out best practices for security installations from other world capitals to ensure that the best design approaches are adopted.
  8. Federal accommodations should be located and designed in a manner that contributes positively to the character of the Capital.

National Commemorations

Project 4

In 2067, visitors to the Capital will experience and take pride in the enduring collective memory of Canada’s federation, its struggles and its accomplishments. The Capital is the ideal place to celebrate Canadian achievements, values, customs and beliefs. It is a place to recognize the Indigenous peoples of Canada, and to celebrate the Capital builders from successive arrivals to this country. It is a place where Canadians from all backgrounds can congregate and feel at home.

As the country matures, the nation will continue to commemorate the contributions of individuals, groups and events in Canadian history, culture, and scientific progress or achievement in the Capital, creating significant landmarks and places for people.

Roses on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Source: NCC
Roses on the Tomb
of the Unknown Soldier.
Source: NCC

To meet our predecessors’ expectations and our contemporaries’ aspirations requires cohesiveness of monument scaling and distribution, appropriateness of buildings, and urban design quality that meets the test of time.

Canadian Heritage has the mandate to foster Canadians’ appreciation of their country and their capital. Since 2013, the Department has been responsible for interpretation and commemorations in the Capital of significant events or people, as well as the organization of major communal and promotional events such as Canada Day, Winterlude, education programs and Capital visits. These activities and others to be developed in the years ahead are planned in close collaboration with regional tourism authorities, event promoters and the NCC, as well as with the municipalities.

In 2067, the Capital will have established a more comprehensive network of commemorations to educate future generations. Some will be dedicated to Canada’s military accomplishments, in keeping with the long tradition whereby capital cities around the world venerate their nation’s military history and service in the defence of their country. Other commemorations are dedicated to political leaders. Over the coming decades, it is intended that new commemorations should honour the achievements of civil society, including Indigenous, social, cultural and scientific subjects that are currently under-represented in the Capital’s commemorative landscape.

Naming places after people or events is a commemorative practice widely used in capitals and cities around the world. The NCC has established a policy for toponymy (place naming) that allows for the naming of federal roads, parks, public spaces and buildings after Canadians who have made a significant contribution to the development of the nation.


Key policy directions for the next 50 years

  1. The National War Memorial in Confederation Square is and always will be the pre-eminent commemoration in the Capital. As the central place of ceremony for Remembrance Day, and as the location of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, this space must be preserved and maintained for the memory of all Canadians who served or gave their lives. For the National War Memorial’s 100th anniversary in 2039, the government will have redesigned the public spaces around the memorial to accommodate greater numbers of visitors. It will remain the tallest commemoration in the Capital, and the NCC will ensure that all future commemorations will remain lower in scale.
  2. The NCC will collaborate with Canadian Heritage and other federal departments and agencies to celebrate and commemorate key anniversaries of Confederation, significant events in Canadian history, and Canada’s role on the world stage and as a land of democracy.
  3. The NCC, in partnership with other federal departments and community support groups, will ensure the maintenance of existing commemorations. In particular, older commemorations such as the memorial arches for the Second World War will need rehabilitation. An ongoing restoration program will ensure the preservation of monuments for the bicentennial.
  4. The NCC will identify future commemoration sites to ensure that there is a logical distribution in the National Capital Region. The NCC will work with PSPC and Canadian Heritage on a renewed commemorative strategy that will diversify commemorative themes and methods, and encourage innovative approaches.
  5. The NCC will develop urban design guidelines to ensure a hierarchy of importance and compatibility with surrounding land uses. This guidance will serve for thematic commemoration, including political, historical and military commemorations, as well as social, cultural and scientific achievements.
  6. The NCC will continue to recognize significant contributions to the development of the country through toponymy. The NCC will refer to its Policy on Toponymy to guide future decisions.

Indigenous Peoples and the Capital

Project 5

The Capital in 2067 will be known as a welcoming place for the Indigenous peoples of Canada and, most particularly, for the Algonquin Anishinabeg who host Canada’s seat of national government on their traditional territory.

It is expected that, by the time of Canada’s bicentennial, a strong
nation-to-nation partnership, built on mutual respect and trust, will be such that residents of the Capital and all Canadians will recognize and appreciate the fundamental importance of the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation—with its rich history, language and culture—to the Capital Region and the Ottawa River watershed.

The Chaudières Falls, known in the Algonquin Anishinabeg language as Akikodjiwan or Kîshkâbikedjiwan, will be at once the source of renewable hydroelectric energy, contributing to the long-term environmental sustainability of the National Capital Region, as well as a place of memory for the Indigenous peoples who once congregated here on the shores and islands.


Key policy directions for the next 50 years

  1. The NCC will contribute to the recognition of Indigenous peoples in the toponymy of the region, as well as through national commemorations, such as a commemoration on Victoria Island.
  2. The NCC will help to strengthen Algonquin Anishinabeg cultural traditions through placemaking and partnerships that bring Algonquins to the forefront of life in Canada’s thriving and connected capital.
  3. The NCC will work closely with the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation to create and implement a master plan for Victoria Island that will envision a place of special significance for Indigenous peoples.
  4. The NCC will showcase Indigenous arts in the landscape and architecture of the Capital.
  5. The NCC will develop and apply ecological principles and land uses that conserve natural assets in the Capital in keeping with Indigenous traditions.

Canadian Diversity and Regional Identity

In 2067, the Capital will reflect the social and cultural diversity of Canada, including its regional identities. Through its built form, it will express the rich identity carved over the centuries by successive waves of immigrants who chose Canada as a place to live. It will embody Canada as a welcoming land, and will foster exchanges and the blending of newcomers and long-established settlers who have created a unique flair in the Capital. Canadians from diverse backgrounds will recognize themselves in the symbols and the democratic, cultural and scientific institutions that define Canada as a land of democracy. The Capital will proudly emphasize the place of the provinces and territories in creating a diverse, inclusive and meaningful Canada.


Key policy directions for the next 50 years

  1. The NCC will foster the representation of diversity in the commemoration and public art programs of Canadian Heritage and other promoters, in consultation with various groups and in collaboration with the municipalities.
  2. The NCC will encourage cultural expressions in architecture and landscaping that reflect the diversity and cosmopolitanism of Canada’s 21st century population.
  3. The provinces and territories will have meeting places in the Capital that represent their contribution to our country and society, and will offer room to express and celebrate our multicultural nation.
  4. The NCC, in collaboration with Canadian Heritage, and in consultation with the municipalities, will develop a plan to guide the location of public art around the National Capital Region that is broadly representative of our national identity. This will include ensuring that there are works of public art, commemorations and plantings that are representative of each province and territory.
  5. The NCC will work with the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, other airports, VIA Rail Canada and regional bus authorities to ensure that there is a broad representation of Canadian regions at all Capital arrival points.

Diplomatic Missions

Canada’s Capital is open to the world. Increasingly, it hosts major events of international stature, further raising its profile on the world stage, adding to Canada’s influence in world affairs. The Capital is a place to promote trade, cultural exchange and mutual understanding with foreign governments. Diplomatic missions provide essential services to Canadians who wish to visit, trade with or maintain ties with other countries.

Diplomatic missions, including embassies, high commissions, chancelleries and diplomatic residences, are interwoven into the fabric of the Capital. Most diplomatic missions are within three kilometres of Parliament Hill and almost half (49 percent) of those located in the Capital are within the Capital’s core area. Other diplomatic missions located within the inner urban area of Ottawa are in central neighbourhoods such as Sandy Hill and Centretown.

In 2067, the international presence will be even more prominent in the Capital, as new settings for diplomatic missions will complement the existing embassies on Confederation Boulevard and its extensions. In addition, better identification of embassies—whether in stand-alone facilities or in office space within mixed-use developments—will make them more easily recognized by visitors. The international presence in the Capital will also be showcased by accommodating international organizations, developing a preferred location plan for foreign missions, and encouraging high-quality international architecture and context-sensitive design.


Key policy directions for the next 50 years

  1. The NCC, in collaboration with Global Affairs Canada and the RCMP, will continue to assist foreign missions to find appropriate spaces to enhance the international dimension of the Capital.
  2. The NCC will maintain an inventory of lands suitable for the
    development of new embassies, and, if required, it could acquire additional lands for this purpose. This exercise will include consultation with the municipalities.

Confederation Boulevard

Project 6
MapConfederation BoulevardIn 2067, an expanded Confederation Boulevard will connect the core area on both sides of the Ottawa River and serve as the formal processional way for royal and state visits. Confederation Boulevard encircles the heart of the Capital, connecting Ottawa and Gatineau, and providing access to the islands. It is also a discovery route for the magnificent features and cultural landscapes of the core area.


Key policy directions for the next 50 years

  1. The NCC will work with the municipalities to create seven symbolic nodes at key intersections along an expanded Confederation Boulevard. They will provide opportunities for commemoration or public art, improved pedestrian experience and better placemaking.
  2. The NCC will complete a renewal of Confederation Boulevard to ensure that it presents a lively, exciting, inclusive and meaningful place for discovering Canada, Canadians and the Capital. This will include an extension of Confederation Boulevard west of the Portage Bridge to connect the Canadian War Museum and LeBreton Flats, and across to Gatineau over the Chaudières Bridge.
  3. The NCC will work with the municipalities to enhance the streets at the edges of Confederation Boulevard—such as Elgin Street, Rideau Street, Sparks Street, Alexandre-Taché Boulevard, Laurier Street and Boulevard des Allumettières—which act as backdrops and principal connectors to Confederation Boulevard. As such, they must reciprocate the quality of design and possibly mirror some of the major urban design features that confer the unmistakable signature of the Capital.
  4. As the NCC and the municipalities work to renew Confederation Boulevard, they will focus on enhancing the pedestrian and cycling experience, as well as the amenities in and around federal sites. Wherever possible, the NCC, in partnership with the municipalities, will improve the connectivity of Confederation Boulevard to the broader cycling network.