SIGN THE PETITION ON THE
WELLINGTON NATIONAL MALL
The City of Ottawa is planning to move forward with a detailed design on a revamped Sparks Street Mall in the fall of 2019.
Our online petition asks them to put the Sparks Street project on hold and -- along with the National Capital Commission and the federal government -- assess the potential for a Wellington National Mall.
Sign the petition today and let's change the face of Ottawa.
Imagining the Wellington National Mall
A capital city reveals the heart of a country and it's where we gather to celebrate our history and our institutions. A Wellington National Mall would frame our most iconic and important buildings in the Parliamentary Precinct including the Peace Tower, the Bank of Canada, the Office of the Prime Minister and the Supreme Court of Canada.
It would be a gateway to the Canadian War Museum, the Holocaust Monument and LeBreton Flats. Converting Wellington Street to a walking mall would remove from our most historic street the blight of trucks, cars and buses with the attendant noise, distraction, pollution and security risks.
Unlike Sparks Street, with its long strands of office towers and occasional restaurant or store, the Wellington National Mall would become a non-commercial tourist mecca for people who want to enjoy a capital city experience.
It could be a place for statues of notable Canadians from all walks of life. We can imagine a place for a National Portrait Gallery and other nation-building places of significance and unity. The imagination stirs with the possibilities.
THE SPARKS STREET EXPERIMENT
The Sparks Street Mall was a novel experiment when it was launched 56 years ago. But despite having been thrown many lifelines and animating features that have come and gone, the mall has never worked.
Sure, it’s a nice place for a lunch-time stroll for downtown office workers, but as a draw for residents and tourists, it has been a "made in Ottawa" bust.
The City of Ottawa, which owns the street, is nothing if not persistent. It admits in its latest attempt at rejuvenation that the mall has failed to establish and maintain a clear identity, suffers from an inconsistent design, has been poorly maintained, and offers a mix of businesses and land uses that are “uncoordinated.” When will we take the hint that Sparks Street is simply a bad candidate for a pedestrian mall and stop throwing good money after bad?
The key public attribute of Sparks Street is a collection of pubs and restaurants. Elgin Street does that much better than Sparks Street even with cars whizzing by in both directions.
With light rail coming to the city, Centre Block under construction, a new master plan for the Parliamentary Precinct underway, and Sparks St. headed for a makeover, now is the time for a bold and transformative change.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT THE WELLINGTON NATIONAL MALL
Writer, Ottawa Citizen
"Sparks Street is ugly and ahistorical...Wellington, by contrast (and what a contrast), has everything visitors would want to see...Remove the pavement and add monuments, memorials and — I dare to dream — museums, surrounded by big open spaces where people would naturally congregate to mark celebrations or protest whoever is in office."
President, David McRobie Architects
"A compelling idea whose time has come. It will greatly benefit the Parliamentary precinct while returning Sparks to a high-quality urban Street."
"Making Wellington pedestrian (and giving up on poor doomed Sparks St.) is the first good simple idea I've heard for Ottawa in ages."