If you’ve had to take an essential trip out and about in the city recently, you may have noticed something very strange. As Ottawans follow government advice and practice social-distancing wherever possible, the city’s roads, highways and car parks have become quieter than ever. In fact, Ottawa traffic has reduced by 50%, and new photos of the city are almost unrecognizable!

As any Ottawa resident knows, being on the roads between 7:30 a.m. and 9.00 a.m., and 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. is almost unbearable. It’s super congested, it’s super slow, and it’s almost impossible to arrive anywhere on time.

Additionally, if you've ever been unfortunate enough to experience the 401 or the 417, it's almost impossible to imagine not having to sit in traffic for several hours.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are following the government’s advice, and staying at home wherever possible.

This means that many Canadians are working from their homes, younger people are not going to school, and locals are only taking absolutely essential trips out in the car.

The result is that Ottawa’s traffic has decreased by 50% over the last few weeks, and the photos of the city’s biggest and busiest roads are literally unrecognizable.

Hush Hour

For those who commute between downtown and Ottawa’s suburbs every day, this sight is like a dream come true.

It’s actually hard to imagine what life would be like if our daily drive looked this quiet. Rush hour never looked so good!

Ghost Town

Usually, downtown Ottawa is bustling with commuters, workers, shoppers, tourists and school children, so it’s pretty bizarre to see it almost empty.

With all non-essential establishments closed to the public, and many workplaces closed altogether, there’s hardly anybody around.

Most unusually, there's actually parking spaces free in the city. That's how you know something really unusual is happening! 

Highway Where-Is-Everyone

The capital's highways are almost unrecognizable here, in the best way possible.

If you've ever been unlucky enough to experience the 417 during rush hour, you'll know how rare and obscure these images are.

The best part is, all of the city's health care workers and front line staff are probably finding their commute much easier right now!

The Lonely Commute

For now, Ottawa's transit remains open for frontline workers and those who need to take essential trips.

However, the LRT and city's buses are looking quieter than ever before, and some of the major stations are almost unidentifiable!

So few cars on the roads, and so few commuters on transit, means that locals are listening to government advice and staying at home wherever they can. 

Keep it up Ottawa, you're doing great!

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