Baseline Corridor Would Work On Carling



As you can see from the photo above, city-owned Carling Avenue has lots of space. It is one wide avenue.

People have been wondering for a long time why light rail didn’t go down there rather than along the Macdonald Parkway. Staff said that tunnelling along the line would be expensive in the areas where it was needed and that little economic uplift could be created along the route.

Of course now staff with the help of the National Capital Commission is tunnelling the route down the Macdonald Parkway and as for economic uplift, the NCC doesn’t allow buildings along the parkway so construction along the line is minimal.

That is … unless the city wants to put high-rises in areas such as south of Richmond Road or in neighbourhoods such as Westboro Beach or Champlain Park. Already one developer tried to put two high-rises on Roosevelt Avenue which is two-story residential.

Fortunately the demographic environment is not favourable to high-rises at present or likely into the long-distant future so the city’s old neighbourhoods, which are wonderful features of our city, still have a chance to survive until a more enlightened leadership arrives a city hall.

Below are the artist renderings for the Baseline bus corridor.

Wonder why that configuration wouldn’t have worked along Carling. Appears the city, for some reason, desperately didn’t want light rail along Carling.






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10 thoughts on “Baseline Corridor Would Work On Carling

  1. Years ago, before a shovel hit dirt for LRT, using Carling Avenue was brought up and promptly shot down. Cannot recall who did what but one reason given was the number of intersections needed to cross thus slowing ‘rapid transit’.
    I was stunned to see the same idea ready to go for Baseline Road. Would love an explanation from City Council!

    1. The Baseline project is a Bus Rapid Transit solution, not an Light Rail Transit solution. The concept is that it will trim about 11 minutes off the trip time between Bayshore and the eastern end (Billings Bridge?), by avoiding the long lines of traffic that crawl along Baseline. There will be a connection point between the Baseline BRT and the Trillium LRT stations (near the Canada Post HQ).

      From what I understand, many Carleton U students near Baseline Station (across from Algonquin College) find the most time effective route to campus is to take 94 or 95 north and then east, towards downtown, and transfer on to the O-Train at Bayview and head south. In other words, it is faster to travel 2.75 sides of the box than to get on a bus that heads east on Baseline/Heron, as they have to transfer to a bus that actually goes to Carleton, at Billings Bridge.

      Will the Baseline BRT actually result in shorter travel times? We’ll find out in 10’s of millions of dollars a decade or more from now.

    2. It really isn’t the same idea though…

      PS- there’s an open house on Wednesday that would lead to similar kinds of transit improvements on Carling: similar ideas that lead to the recent Baseline design.

  2. The city did not want the Carling route and thus, it was not seriously considered. Everything has to be what the city wants. I don’t know if it is the mayor, council or employees who call the shots but they skew everything in the direction they want it to go, without transparency, without public input.
    One only has to look at the most recent debacle occurring in New Edinburgh for evidence of what I said. A diversion that was stated to be too expensive at $5 million to $8 million blossomed to $20 million to $30 million when more people became aware of just what would be happening and tried to have it given more consideration. I won’t even get into the noise and potential property damage factors.
    This city is not transparent and does not care what the residents think.

    Anne Marie

  3. Being curious, googled ‘why carling avenue, Ottawa, not used for light rail’. The official report is there — seems it would have been more costly among other reasons. Also found an article breaking it down; interesting read.
    Yet now, once phase 1 is almost complete, the same idea is fine for Baseline Road and am seeing no public outcry.

    1. Fed-Up:

      The document was written before light rail was to be tunnelled down the parkway.

      That would drive up the cost of the parkway line making Carling more competitive.

      Furthermore, what’s the point of running light rail where no one lives. As well, Carling would be able to pick up people from the already intense areas bordering the avenue.



  4. This is the set-up on Spadina in Toronto with the streetcar and it works well. I prefer that to the other streetcar lines where it stops in the middle of the road and lets you off in a lane of traffic where, hopefully, the cars will have stopped for you. It would certainly work on both Baseline and Carling.
    There is an issue with how far apart the stops are planned on the Baseline version. One of the ways you speed up the service is, of course, by eliminating stops. For older people and those with mobility issues as well as parents with strollers that will be a problem, especially with the snow-clearing difficulties the City seems to have.

    1. The Voter:

      From my experience at least, the snowplowing this year is an improvement over other years … particularly in the last storm.

      My Carling line (a pipe-dream now) would have seen high-speed rail going down the centre of Carling and along the edge of the Experimental Farm that is polluted with salt with underpasses where necessary at big intersections. Instead we have light rail down the Macdonald Parkway where no one lives.

      Carling is much more central to the city than the Macdonald Parkway, passes big institutions and the Transitway could still be used as the Transitway, creating passenger uplift.



      1. The plowing of sidewalks has been atrocious over these last few snowstorms. Several times, I’ve had to resort to walking in the roadway. They are impassable for someone with a walker, a wheelchair or a stroller.

        I’m in total agreement about the Carling route versus the uninhabited Parkway. To use the Toronto Spadina line again as an example, it goes underground just south of Bloor which keeps it away from that intersection and allows it to align with the subway.

        Of course, I anticipate that the Parkway route won’t be no-man’s-land for long. The developers are salivating at the opportunities in the neighbourhoods it will cut through. They’ll wait until the final approvals are tied up with a bow and then we’ll see that famous Transit-Oriented Development start popping up with the extra stories and loosened restrictions that come with it.


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