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Driving Around Ottawa On Canada Day Might Get 'More Complicated Than Usual' & Here's Why

Pedestrians and cyclists might also want to plan different routes.

Ottawa News Reporter
Wellington Street. Right: Road closure sign.

Wellington Street. Right: Road closure sign.

If your commute involves you going through downtown Ottawa anytime soon, you might want to rethink your travel plans.

As of Wednesday morning, there are a ton of roads that are under control leading up to Canada Day weekend, and the City of Ottawa said getting around "will be more complicated than usual this year."

Starting at 8 a.m. on June 29, a number of downtown streets will be barricaded off and monitored by police under a control zone. The control zone applies mostly to motor vehicles, but cyclists and pedestrians will need to keep an eye out in some areas as well.

As noted by the Ottawa Police Service, this year's Canada Day celebrations are expected to have "larger crowds and a larger event footprint."

On top of all of the Canada Day plans at LeBreton Flats and Parliament Hill, some "freedom movement" supporters have a picnic and protest planned that will start at Strathcona Park. The City of Ottawa is recommending that folks leave plenty of extra time when making their plans, and expect some delays.

So, which streets will be in the control zone?

Well, it includes a sectioned-off area mostly between Wellington and Laurier streets between Booth Street and Sussex Drive. While the control area may change, some areas outside of the downtown core will also see some restrictions.

"Motor vehicles taking part in any form of demonstration, event, protest or rally will not be permitted," reads a City of Ottawa press release. While the Ottawa Police Service said that the right to lawful and peaceful demonstrations will be protected, it said it will be enforcing violations under the Trespass to Property Act, the Liquor License Act, city by-laws, and the Criminal Code of Canada.

You wont be able to park on any streets inside of the control zone, but you can still park in parking lots and garages in the outlined areas. The City of Ottawa said that anyone who doesn't follow the rules may be ticketed and even get their cars towed.

Transit will still be free on Canada Day though, according to OC Transpo, which may be something locals would want to take advantage of as the control zone won't be lifted until 6 a.m. on July 4.

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