To promote Downtown Rideau as a shopping, dining, cultural and tourism destination; and advocate for its economic viability within the City of Ottawa.


To create an inviting, world-class, quality shopping ‘Main Street’ and ‘Cultural Hub’ destination.

2019 – 2022 Strategic Plan

B.I.A.’s Key Strategic Priorities

Strategies Supporting Vision

City’s Key Strategic Directions

B.I.A.’s Key Strategic Directions


B.I.A.’s Key Strategic Priorities:

  1. 1) Promote Downtown Rideau as a destination for shopping, dining, culture and tourism.

  2. 2) Increase member engagement through promotional and social opportunities.

  3. 3) Advocate on behalf of members by strengthening the D.R.B.I.A.’s relationship and communications with the City on key D.R.B.I.A. initiatives.

  4. 4) Change safety perception by utilizing the D.R.B.I.A.’s collective voice on promotional and advocacy efforts.

B.I.A.’s Supporting Strategies


Strategies Supporting Vision

The following municipal policies and studies (Downtown Ottawa Urban Design Strategy, City Official Plan Policies, City Cultural Policies, University of Ottawa Design Strategy, and Downtown Rideau Design Charrette) support the vision for Downtown Rideau:

  • Turn Nicholas Street into a distinctive boulevard between Rideau and Laurier (with activity at street level from retail and mixed uses) in conjunction with the expansion of the Congress Centre, Rideau Centre, Arts Court and University of Ottawa.
  • Relocate the heritage Land Registry Building to a more focal location within the district and create a public use for it, i.e. a visitor/e-ticketing centre.
  • Create additional performing arts facilities through existing stakeholders such as the University of Ottawa’s arts department’s and property developments.


City’s Key Strategic Directions:

  • Promote Downtown Rideau as a location for innovative arts and culture entrepreneurs.
  • Unlock the heritage resources of Rideau Street.
  • Initiate a plan for the removal of the truck route on Rideau Street.
  • Initiate a plan for the repair and return disjointed road network around Nicholas/Waller to a traditional grid network — upon removal of the truck route.
  • Encourage a better pedestrian connection to the University of Ottawa.
  • Promote residential intensification along Rideau Street above retail and commercial uses.


B.I.A.’s Key Objectives Supporting the City’s Key Strategic Directions:

  • Pursue removal of interprovincial traffic (trucks, buses, commuters) from the district.
  • Develop a façade improvement program to improve the appearance of properties in the area, with special attention where they abut heritage resources .
  • Encourage retail along Rideau Street to open outward onto the street to create a more attractive and animated streetscape.
  • Improve the pedestrian experience along Rideau Street with ambiance elements.
  • Replace existing buses on Rideau Street with LRT underground to free-up curbside for on-street parking to improve pedestrian experience and encourage patios.
  • Reduce traffic noise, congestion and noxious fumes to improve ambiance.
  • Initiate a vigorous maintenance program with the city that includes hardy trees, landscaping and lighting to make the area more attractive and improve safety perceptions.
  • Identify priority heritage buildings and research incentives and financing to support a maintenance plan to ensure they do not fall into disrepair and include remaining heritage buildings and structures in the City’s Heritage Reference List for protection in support of the area’s emerging cultural destination.
  • Install public art and reinstate artwalks (crosswalks) program in support of the area’s emerging cultural destination.
  • Introduce on-street parking on Rideau Street to provide pedestrian safety, convenience for short-term shopping and traffic calming.
  • Re-route STO transit (Quebec buses) and “thru” OC Transpo transit off Rideau Street.
  • Un-restrict traffic network turning movements to improve accessibility and circulation to/in the area.
  • Create more public squares to provide entertainment venues/gathering spaces for public celebrations supporting the city’s designation of the area as a premiere cultural and entertainment centre.
  • Enhance street and architectural lighting to create sparkle and add drama to Rideau Street and improve personal safety.