Flora Footbridge

A new landmark in a UNESCO heritage site

Flora Footbridge connects Fifth Avenue and Clegg Street over the Rideau Canal, bringing together the neighbourhoods of Old Ottawa East, the Glebe and Old Ottawa South. Named after Flora MacDonald following an engaging public consultation process, the bridge honours this pioneering Canadian politician and local resident.

This pedestrian/cyclist bridge features a 125m span on two elegant V-frame piers, providing a much-needed new multi-use pathway connection between the residential communities on each side. A curving pathway rises up from the west side heritage landscape to a new lookout vantage point overlooking a reconfigured Lily Pond, and comes down in a switchback ramp/stair configuration in the east side landscaped median. The final concept was arrived at following extensive input from NCC, Parks Canada, City of Ottawa and the public.

Location

Ottawa, Ontario

Client

City of Ottawa

Awards

  • Ottawa Urban Design Awards, Award of Excellence - Public Places and Civic Spaces, 2019
  • Ottawa Urban Design Awards, Award of Excellence - Urban Element, 2019
  • Ottawa Urban Design Awards, Award of Merit in the category of Visions and Masterplans, 2013

The design maximizes lightness and transparency in order to integrate into the Rideau Canal UNESCO World Heritage Site context as seamlessly as possible.

The overall pathway configuration creates a series of lookout opportunities, allowing people to enjoy iconic views of the Rideau Canal. The design also embraces seasonality: the elliptical shaped piers provide a place to sit during canal skating in the winter; in the summer kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards can safely travel between the canal edge and elliptical piers, while main boat traffic moves through the centre channel.

As architectural structures integrated into landscape, bridges have been a continued focal point in our multidisciplinary practice. DTAH has also recently completed Garrison Crossing at Fort York National Historic Site in Toronto and Vimy Memorial Bridge over the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, and our existing portfolio of bridge enhancement projects includes Corktown Footbridge--a signature award-winning pedestrian/cycle bridge in Ottawa, Confederation Parkway Bridge in downtown Mississauga and the distinctive red tilted arch East Hamilton Waterfront Link bridge crossing over the QEW Highway in Hamilton.

By connecting our neighbourhoods and helping people get around Ottawa on foot, by bike or on transit, we are making our communities safer and healthier, supporting local businesses, and protecting our environment”

Catherine McKenna
Ottawa Centre MP