City Must Make Decision On POW Bridge

This is a release from the City of Ottawa:

Mayor Watson, Members of Council and the Transit Commission,

I am writing to advise that, late this afternoon, the Canada Transportation Agency (CTA) issued an Order with regard to the above-noted matter.  In short, the decision requires the City to either:

  1. Take the steps necessary to restore the Ottawa River Line, including the Prince of Wales Bridge, to a point where it could be made operable within 12 months of a decision by the CTA to grant running rights to another railway to operate over that line; or,
  2. Take the steps necessary to discontinue the Ottawa River Line, under the Canada Transportation Act.

The CTA has directed the City to deliver its decision to it on these options, as well as how it intends to comply with the Order, by Monday, April 30th, 2018.

Given the considerable costs associated with returning the line and the Prince of Wales Bridge to a state where trains could operate over it within a period of 12 months, and in the absence of a request from any currently viable railway operation, Legal Services, in consultation with the Transportation Services Department and its external rail experts, will be reviewing the decision over the coming days.  That review is intended to inform a recommendation as to the next steps to be taken in this matter, which may include a request for judicial review.

I will provide a further update once the assessment is complete.


Rick O’Connor, CMO | OMA

Certified Specialist (Municipal Law: Local Government)

Spécialiste agréé (Loi sur les municipalités: gouvernement local)

City Clerk and Solicitor


Canadian Transportation Agency On Prince of Wales Bridge


When one thinks of the cost of building a new link between Gatineau and Ottawa, it is astounding that the city is not taking advantage of the Prince of Wales Bridge … just sitting there, ready to be used.


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5 thoughts on “City Must Make Decision On POW Bridge

  1. In 2016, MOOSE filed a complaint with the CTA regarding the changes made by the City of Ottawa with regards to the access to the POW.

    The mayor stated he was going to meet with the mayor of Gatineau to discuss what to do. Recently, that meeting was finally held, a meeting we have no information about. Excuse my ignorance, I thought Gatineau was across the river, not in Timbuktu? why has it taken this long for the grey matter to have met?

    The handling of all of the POW situation is disgusting. Words, promises, no information and no updates … City of Ottawa, different day, same infuriating occurrences.


  2. Now, now, Ken – why would you take a perfectly good bridge that needs a small investment and turn it into a viable link to the Gatineau transit system?
    If you just wait a while, it will degrade to the point where you’ll have to replace it with something that will properly complement your $3.2 LRT starter line. Then, instead of the $10-million – $40-million cost (depending on who you ask and how interested they are in it happening) to restore it and get some trains in motion across it, you can create a grandiose mega-project that will be “on-time and on-budget”.
    You need to get your Watson rose-coloured glasses on and turn this into the vision that it could become. Look for it in an election platform near you. Unless, of course, his finger in the wind tells him it’s time to ride off into the sunset …


    1. The Voter:
      Great. If Jim Watson actually did some work, then it would cut back on the time he’d have to be a local celebrity.
      Unfortunately when he doesn’t have time to micro-manage a project, it falls by the wayside in the hope no one will notice (in this instance, anyway).
      There are lots of people he could delegate the task to, he doesn’t have to do it all.


      1. I don’t think it’s a matter of lack of time to put towards getting the trains moving over that bridge.
        It’s that he doesn’t and has never supported the POW Bridge as part of the overall transit plan even though it’s a logical continuation of the existing Trillium Line. I also suspect that he doesn’t see many votes in connecting the Ottawa and Gatineau systems since only some of the potential users live a) on the Ontario side and b) within the City of Ottawa.


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