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SPARKS STREET

PLAN N I NG & URBAN DESIGN STUDY

APRI L 2017


Sparks Street

PLANNING & URBAN DESIGN STUDY

April 2017

PLG620 Advanced Planning Studio I The School of Urban and Regional Planning Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada This report has been prepared as part of the partial fulfillment of the 3rd year Advanced Planning Studio at the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Ryerson University. Client: Neil Phillips, National Capital Commission Course Co-ordinator: Blair Scorgie, Ryerson University/SvN

MATCHBOX PLANNING CONSULTANTS Hector Alonso Costa Whitney Dang Daphne Mazarura Shahzad Mir Yuki Naganuma John Pabona Kyra Savolainen Rebeka Soltesz Brandon Stacey Laphong Tudo Monica Wu

STAKEHOLDER TEAM David Atkinson, City of Ottawa Miriam MacNeil, Public Services and Procurement Canada Kevin McHale, Sparks Street Mall Authority/BIA

SPECIAL THANKS TO: Shilpa Arora, Colleague Christopher Hoyt, National Capital Commission Ashley Kortarba, City of Ottawa Planning Lisa Le, Colleague Katharine Neale, Colleague Sandor Soltesz, Colleague


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Executive Summary This document, commissioned by the National Capital Commission (NCC), follows a background study published in February 2017. Based on our research, we present our recommendation report for the strategic revisioning of the Sparks Street public realm. This report is organized into eight key sections, each building upon the understanding and findings of the previous sections to culminate in a preferred concept, a set of design recommendation and implementation. The key sections are briefly summarized as follows: INTRODUCTION Sparks Street is an outdoor pedestrian mall in the City of Ottawa, with a rich history dating back well into the 1800s. This section details valuable historical context, the vision and guiding principles, the study area, purpose, scope, report structure of the planning and design study for Sparks Street. BACKGROUND REVIEW Context plays a critical role in urban design and placemaking, and in this section, elements that influence Spark Street both physically and non-physically are examined. In addition to examining existing conditions, Sparks Street is explored in terms of its stakeholders, policy framework, major developments, and a SWOT analysis.

EVALUATION AND ANALYSIS

DESIGN RECOMMENDATIONS

An analysis matrix was used to compare and evaluate concept plans according to criteria consistent with the aims of the vision, guiding principles and research on best practices. Precedents

This section includes recommendations related to streetscape design, policy, and planning within Sparks Street.

Given the intent to reimagine Sparks Street from Elgin Street to Lyon Street North into an arts and cultural district, linear urban park and shared street, there is a need to fully understand the significance and benefits of these concepts. In this section, the concepts are described and explored upon, providing seven successful case studies for review.

The Sparks Street revitalization project plan shown in this document will be implemented over time in a balanced manner addressing different competing interests and priorities, which are identified in this section. This section places the implementation of recommendations into short, medium and long term goals, based on their estimated level of priority, length of time and anticipated cost.

CONCEPT PLANS

IMPLEMENTATIONS

Three preliminary concepts were developed for Sparks Street : 1) Maintain the existing conditions with minimum vehicle intervention; 2) introduce a shared street concept with medium vehicle intervention; and, 3) Introduce a complete street with maximum vehicle intervention. PREFERRED CONCEPT A final concept for Sparks Street as a shared street is described and explored as the preferred way of revitalizing Sparks Street as an urban linear park and a district for arts, culture and dining in downtown Ottawa. Matchbox Planning Consultants/Ryerson University i


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Table of Contents

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1.0

INTRODUCTION

2.0

VISION & GUIDING PRINCIPLES

3.0

BACKGROUND REVIEW

4.0

EVALUATION & ANALYSIS

13-25

5.0

PREFERRED CONCEPT

26-33

6.0

RECOMMENDATIONS

7.0

IMPLEMENTATION

55-61

8.0

NEXT STEPS

62-63

INDEX OF FIGURES

REFERENCES

ii Sparks Street Urban Design Study

i

1-3

4-5

6-12

34-54

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SECTION 1.0

Introduction

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April 2017

1.0 Introduction 1.1 STUDY PURPOSE Matchbox Planning Consultants has been commissioned by the National Capital Commission (NCC) to conduct a Planning and Urban Design Study of Ottawa’s Sparks Street Pedestrian Mall. The purpose of this study is to establish a vision to guide future planning and decision-making on Sparks Street. Located in the heart of downtown Ottawa just one block south of Parliament Hill, Sparks Street is Canada’s first outdoor pedestrian mall. The historic street features some of the city’s most prominent heritage buildings dating back to the late 1800’s, as well as a mix of office, commercial, and institutional uses. During the summer months, the space serves as a popular venue for local festivals and events. Like many pedestrian malls at the time, Sparks Street’s popularity as a destination place began to decline in the 1970’s, due to growing suburbanization, poor maintenance, and competition from indoor malls and big box retail stores. Today, Sparks Street suffers from commercial vacancies at street-level, as well as a lack of a shared vision between key stakeholders. This has impacted the animation of the street and its viability as an all-hours, year-round destination.

This study aims to develop a shared vision and a comprehensive plan to guide future revitalization efforts along Sparks Street, and to re-establish it as a popular destination in downtown Ottawa. The recommendations produced in this report address three major elements: (1) future streetscape and the public realm; (2) year-round programming; and (3) key partnerships.

1.2 STUDY PURPOSE The study area includes the five most eastern blocks of Sparks Street—starting from Elgin Street to the east and ending at Lyon Street North to the west. For the purposes of our study, the street will be divided into five segments running from east to west, as follows: Block 1: Elgin Street to Metcalfe Street; Block 2: Metcalfe Street to O’Connor Street; Block 3: O’Connor Street to Bank Street; Block 4: Bank Street to Kent Street; and Block 5: Kent Street to Lyon Street North. These segments will be referred to as Blocks 1 - 5 throughout the report. 1.3 SCOPE AND STRUCTURE OF WORK This study took place over the course of four months (January 2017 to April 2017) and was divided into three major phases.

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Phase I - BACKGROUND REVIEW & ANALYSIS During phase I, the group conducted a background review and analysis the study area. This included: A day-long site visit Stakeholder consultations Policy analysis SWOT analysis Phase II - PLAN & DESIGN DEVELOPMENT Based on our findings from phase I, a series of design charrettes were conducted. The first charrette produced three preliminary concept plan options, which were evaluated on a number of criteria based on the guiding principles and best practices research. During the second charrette, our team identified key strengths from each plan to develop a preferred concept plan. Phase III - FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS This report will present a set of planning and design recommendations for our preferred concept plan. The plan will be supported by an implementation strategy, which will outline a broad-based prioritization and phasing strategy, required policy amendments, potential supporting programs and/or projects and potential future studies. The recommendations in this report


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were presented to an audience of peers, faculty members and an evaluation panel on April 13th, 2017. 1.4 REPORT STRUCTURE This report is divided into three main sections: 1. Section I will outline the vision and guiding principles of this study; 2. Section II will examine the existing context and case studies, as well as presents three preliminary concept plans; and 3. Section III will present the final preferred concept plan, key planning and design recommendations, and will provide an overview of the suggested implementation strategy and next steps.

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SECTION 2.0

Vision & Guiding Principles


April 2017

2.0 Vision & Guiding Principles 2.1 VISION STATEMENT Sparks Street will become a charming and vibrant National Capital District that fosters healthy community, innovative arts, culture, and engagement — all year round, day or night. Decisions taken will aim to develop an attractive public space for three user types: local residents, workers and tourists. 2.2 GUIDING PRINCIPLES 1. HONOUR THE NATIONAL CAPITAL HERITAGE Sparks Street should honour and pay homage to the heritage and history of the National capital district. This will be done by employing physical designs that relate back to the unique landscape of the national capital context. Efforts will be made to protect the views and vistas of the Parliamentary Buildings by removing clutter, illuminating heritage buildings along Sparks Street, and displaying public art that reflects national history. 2. PROMOTING LIVABILITY AND VIBRANCY Sparks Streets will become a vibrant and livable district through a focus on economic vitality and greening initiatives.

A retail strategy and policy shift will be recommended to promote profitability and economic growth for the street’s commercial viability.

Thoroughfares to Wellington Street and Queen Street will be introduced to enhance existing connections to promote greater circulation into Sparks Street.

New street trees and green design features will make the public space attractive, comfortable and enticing.

4. STRATEGIC PLACEMAKING THROUGH CULTURAL AND PHYSICAL DECISIONS

3. ADAPTIVE AND CONNECTED URBAN SPACE

Sparks Street will capitalize on the potential of its unique heritage and architectural assets to strengthen the connection between people and place. This will be done through streetscape designs, and cultural and public partnerships that will promote Sparks Street as a new arts and cultural district.

Sparks Street is a community of many users. As such, it should offer a diverse range of amenities and uses for people who live there, or those who decide to partake in the public life. It will be a place that offers a diversity of experiences, flexible spaces for changing use, and is brought to life by a balance of planned and spontaneous activities.

Introduce year-round programming, spontaneous and curated art in the park, and design that creates ecological connections to Ottawa’s extensive green networks. Rebalance the street to promote walking and transit, while accommodating cycling and vehicle access, will ensure it is accessible for people with disabilities to fully participate in a dignified way.

Create cultural engagements within the Sparks Street community through arts-based programming and partnerships with local and national partners. Streetscape improvements should serve as landmarks within Sparks Street such as consistent paving material, landscaping, sittable space design, pedestrian-scaled lighting, and snow melt and management systems. Introduce clear wayfinding and signage design that promotes landmarking and provides a clear sense of orientation and desire to linger in Sparks Street.

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SECTION 3.0

Background Review


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3.0 Background Review 3.1 STAKEHOLDERS

The NCC is a Canadian Crown corporation that guides the use, physical development, and management of all federally-owned lands and buildings in the National Capital Region. Under the National Capital Act, the NCC is responsible for overseeing the long-term planning vision for the nation’s capital as a place of significance and pride for all Canadians. The NCC is a key stakeholder of Sparks Street through its acquisition of a number of properties, and regulates the exterior design of all federal buildings on the street.

PSPC is the key provider of services and office space for day-to-day operations of federal departments and agencies. They are the main property owner of all buildings on north side of Sparks Street.

The City of Ottawa oversees the design, maintenance, operation and programming of the public right-of-way. The City maintains an official Secondary Plan to guide the development and evolution of Sparks Street.

The Sparks Street BIA represents the local business community on Sparks Street, and focuses on projects that will improve competitiveness of retail on Sparks Street, such as programming and beautification. The Mall Authority is the acting superintendent of the street in charge of operational issues, such as the issuance of permits and maintenance.

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3.2 POLICY FRAMEWORK There are a number of federal, provincial, and municipal policies and plans that guide the planning and decision-making process on Sparks Street. These include: NCC • Capital Core Secondary Plan (2015) • Capital Core Illumination Plan (2015) • Sparks Street Vocation Study (2004) PSPC • Master Planning Framework for the Redevelopment of Blocks 1,2,3 (2014) Province of Ontario • Provincial Policy Statement (2015) • Ontario Heritage Act (1990) City of Ottawa • Official Plan (2001) • Central Area Secondary Plan (2003) • Zoning By-Law 2008-250 (2008) • The City of Ottawa Pedestrian Plan (2013) • Downtown Moves (2013) • Downtown Ottawa Urban Design Strategy (2004) • Integrated Street Furniture Policy and Design Guidelines (2009) • Accessibility Design Standards, Second Edition (2015) 8 Sparks Street Urban Design Study

All recommendations put forward in this report will be consistent with the policies and guidelines listed above. The following are highlights from key policy documents and studies. A more detailed analysis can be found in the background report. CITY OF OTTAWA OFFICIAL PLAN (2001) “The Central Area is the symbolic heart of the nation and the economic and cultural nerve centre of the city.” The City of Ottawa’s Official Plan (OP) provides guidance for future growth and development in the city until 2031. Under the OP, Sparks Street is designated as a Central Area. The Central Area is defined as being the symbolic heart of the nation and the economic and cultural nerve centre of the city, based on its unique combination of employment, government, retail, housing, entertainment and cultural activities. Of relevance to Sparks Street are the following policy objectives, as outlined in section 3.6.6 - Central Area: • • •

Improving and enhancing the pedestrian environment Prioritizing walking, cycling and public transit over automobiles Promoting the Central Area as a vital and active place by encouraging a broad range of land uses and day/night, yearround activities

CENTRAL CORE SECONDARY PLAN (2003) “Sparks Street will remain an oasis in the heart of the City, [and] will continue to provide opportunities for people to relax, socialize or just people-watch.” The Central Core Secondary Plan provides greater in-depth policy direction for the Central Area in downtown Ottawa. Section 1.13 of the Plan outlines the City’s vision, objectives, and policies for Sparks Street. Section 1.13.2 lists three primary objectives for Sparks Street, which include: 1. Strengthening the street as an integral part of the Central Business District (CBD), with a mix of uses which focus on an open-air pedestrian shopping mall; 2. Protecting the significance of Sparks Street by conserving and enhancing its heritage resources, maintaining a vehiclefree pedestrian mall with opportunities for socialization, and ensuring sensitive development; and 3. Promoting the function of Sparks Street as a linear open space and a significant pedestrian corridor. While the primary objectives for Sparks Street emphasize the pedestrian-nature of the street, section 1.13.3 (a)(ii) provides direction for the City to consider the implications of opening up


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the mall to vehicular traffic during off-peak periods, should the street not be chosen for the rapid transit route. SPARKS STREET VOCATION STUDY (2009) “The street would be best suited to become a cultural corridor, with mixed uses developed around the street’s heritage assets and cultural facilities, and with limited after-hours vehicular access to support these uses.” - Bray Heritage Many of the recommendations reached in this report have been developed through critical analysis of the NCC’s Sparks Street Vocation Study (2004). The Study focused on three thematic approaches: 1. Shopping Centre; 2. Linear Urban Park; and 3. Entertainment and Arts District. Notably, the possibility for the reintroduction of vehicular traffic at restricted hours is also considered within the report.

3.3 MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS The area in and around Sparks Street is expected to see major new developments in the immediate future, which will generate much-needed foot traffic to the area. Ashcroft Homes, currently in the early stages of construction, will establish the first residential presence on the street with a mixed-use community. As well, the completion of the highly-anticipated Confederation LRT line in 2018 will have two stations located immediately south of Sparks Street, on Queen Street. Finally, the LeBreton Flats development, located approximately 1.5 km away from the street, is anticipated to enhance connectivity between the western portion of the city to the core.

Figure 1. Vacant storefronts along Block 3 of Sparks Street. (photo: Laphong Tudo, 2017)

3.4 EXISTING RETAIL The current retail landscape of Sparks Street is lacking, with most places concentrated within blocks 1-3. Due to on-going renovations by PSPC, there are several vacant storefronts visible throughout the entirety of the street. Recently, however, the retail environment has gained momentum and has attracted several high-profile anchor tenants, such as Bier Market, Winners, and 3 Brewers and fine-grain, local commercial uses such as the Riviera restaurant, Nate’s Diner, and Bridgehead Coffee. Nonetheless, the 900 m section of Sparks Street being studied leaves much to be desired. Matchbox Planning Consultants/Ryerson University 9


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SPARKS STREET

METCALFE STREET

ALBERT STREET

O'CONNOR STREET

KENT STREET

BAY STREET

LYON STREET NORTH

QUEEN STREET

1: 3 000

Roads Proposed Downtown LRT Designated Bicycle Routes Area of Interest

ELGIN STREET

Pedestrian Accessways Regular Bus Service Limited Bus Service Peak Bus Service

ELGIN STREET

N

BANK STREET

SLATER STREET

LAURIER AVENUE WEST

Building Footprint Figure 2 (Circulation Map). 10 Sparks Street Urban Design Study


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OTTAWA RIVER

Ottawa River

CITY OF OTTAWA PROPERTY OWNERSHIP

NCC Property PSPC Property

Other Property

1: 2 250

Building Footprint Area of Interest

BANK ST

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ELGIN ST

ALBERT ST

METCALFE ST

QUEEN ST

O'CONNOR ST

LYON ST NORTH

SPARKS ST

KENT ST

WELLINGTON ST

SLATER ST Figure 3 (Ownership Map). Matchbox Planning Consultants/Ryerson University 11


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• • • 3.5 OWNERSHIP The entire north side of Sparks Street, starting from Elgin Street and ending at Bank Street, is owned by PSPC. Ownership of the south side of Sparks Street is divided between the NCC (approximately 16%), private owners, and the CBC.

• • •

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12 Sparks Street Urban Design Study

• • • • • • • •

S

3.6 SWOT ANALYSIS To the right is a SWOT analysis that provides a concise summation of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to Sparks Street.

Central location and proximity to surrounding landmarks (War Memorial, Parliament, museums, Rideau Centre, etc.) Historical significance 1st Pedestrian Mall in Canada Heritage buildings and prominent architecture Summer Festivals/Programming Street is easily accessible by transit Offers wide range of different uses, including retail, cultural amenities, and commercial space

No anchor; street is not a destination No designated loading zone for trucks Underutilized publicly-owned buildings Lack of surrounding residential uses No set identity Lack of evening activity Lack of shared vision Inadequate signage • Length of lease terms • Concerns for pedestrian safety • No street trees

W

Strengths

Weaknesses

Opportunities

Threats

O

Completion of the Confederation Line Connect the street to Lebreton Flats Introduce winter programming Proposed residential development (Ashcroft Homes) Bring in central attraction (e.g. movie theatre) Historic interest; heritage buildings are a defining characteristic of street Expanded multi-modal use to and around the area

• Competition from surrounding areas and streets, such as Rideau Centre, Byward Market, Bank Street, and Elgin Street • On-going construction from LRT may disrupt pedestrian flow to the area Development could undermine or erode the historical character of the street Weather impact on outdoor pedestrian mall On-going rehabilitation of buildings resulting in vacancies

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SECTION 4.0

Evaluation & Analysis

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4.0 Evaluation & Analysis 4.1 OVERVIEW A successful pedestrian mall is not the norm, and Sparks Street is no exception to this trend. The declining popularity of pedestrian zones is widely attributed to the negative impacts of suburbanization (Bates, 2013). Some have even suggested that commercial areas need cars to survive, arguing that “when any one class of user dominates the public realm, we all suffer” (Doyon, 2012). In a study that examined 200 pedestrian malls in the United States, it was found that there was an 89% failure rate (Judge, 2013). Of the 11% of remaining pedestrian malls, certain common success indicators were identified, as follows: • • • •

Located near or attached to a university (critical); Situated in close proximity to a beach; Designed to be a short length of no more than 4 blocks; and Located in a town/city with a population under 100,000, and/or located in a major tourist area.

What’s more, the study found that in cases where a pedestrian mall was converted into a main/complete street, the downtown area experienced greater investment, higher occupancy rates, and more pedestrian traffic (Judge, 2013). 14 Sparks Street Urban Design Study

Given these findings, we explored three different concept plans with varying levels of vehicular intervention: 1. Pedestrian-only street; 2. Shared street; and 3. Complete street. While there have been no comprehensive studies on pedestrian malls in Canada, it is assumed that many of the key findings from this study can be applied to most North American cities. 4.2 DEFINITIONS What is a Shared Street? Shared Streets (also known as a woonerf) are curbless streets shared by pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles (Tumlin, 2012). Compared to a traditional street, shared streets give pedestrian activities priority over vehicles. Shared streets are flexible in nature, and carry out different functions depending on the time of day, week, or year—contributing to a vibrant and active public realm. They are characterized by: 1. SHARED CIRCULATION Pedestrian circulation is the main form of movement. Vehicular transportation is regulated through reduced lane widths,

wide sidewalks and clearly delineated open spaces. The use of features that serve a dual purpose of calming traffic while providing amenities for pedestrians is encouraged. By combining rather than separating road users, this allows pedestrians and cars to mix safely and comfortably. 2. FLEXIBLE USAGE Incorporating multi-functional infrastructure and design elements (i.e. bollards, pavers) that can adapt to changes in daily and seasonal street functions maximize opportunities for the street’s use. Vehicle access and parking can be regulated for special events to create a pedestrian-only linear plaza, allowing for a programmable space that can accommodate public gatherings and festivals. 3. VIBRANT PLACEMAKING Local establishments integrate into the streetscape in the form of patios, events, and installations, creating a vibrant public realm with year-round activity at all hours and days of the week.


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4.3 PRECEDENTS To support the final concept plan, case studies that explored themes related to shared streets, urban linear parks, and art and cultural districts were reviewed and evaluated.

Strong leadership, clear vision, great design, and excellent communication between all those involved was integral to its success.

SHARED STREETS Exhibition Road, London, England Exhibition Road contains many important cultural institutions, commercial and office uses in London. A part of Exhibition Road was redesigned into a shared street for all transportation modes, using distinctive diamond paving. It remains a route for transit and for two-way car traffic.

Figure 4. Tactile paving and unique patterns provide a safe environment for all street users (photo: The Academy of Urbanism/Flickr).

Lessons: •

In the most active area of Exhibition Road, there is a four metre wide area from the buildings on the western side which is a safe zone for pedestrians; adjacent to this there is an eight metre transition zone where there are parking bays, cycle racks and other items of street amenities. This is followed by two lanes for traffic, then a four metre pedestrian zone on the eastern side of the road. Disabled users were carefully considered in the redesign. Paving colour changes, raised dots, drains, ribbed paving, and slight grade changes are the many visual and tactile cues used to signal disabled users within the street. Tactile wayfinding was also employed to navigate users safely.

Figure 5. Tactile wayfinding creates an inclusive public space for those with disability (photo: Francois Jordaan/Flickr).

Figure 6. Patios and people spill out into the street on Exhibition Road (photo: Henry Lawford/Flickr).

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Market Street, Toronto, ON Located next to the internationally-renowned St. Lawrence Market, Market Street is within a heavily pedestrianized and historic part of Toronto. The area contains many restaurants, shops and boutiques, but was lacking in outdoor café patio spaces and active retail frontages. This was challenging to provide, given the physical constraints of the narrow right-of-way and conflicting demands for parking and deliveries. Lessons Learned: •

Market Street’s ‘flexible’ street design assures that the needs of a variety of users is met throughout the year. Seasonal accommodation is achieved: 1) during the winter months, when parking is provided on both sides of the street with sidewalks adjacent to the building frontages; and 2) during the summer, parking along the west side is given over to pedestrians while the sidewalk is occupied by outdoor restaurant patios, using the bollards as fence posts for the patio enclosures. Many features of the street are maintained and operated by the landowners and coordinated with the City, to minimize the impact of limited City resources. Without normal barrier curbs, a new approach to dealing with stormwater runoff was required. The solution was a single privately-maintained trench drain down one side of the road that captures surface water and drains into a Citymaintained sump pit – while giving a notable visual statement in the roadbed.

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Figure 7. Market Street in the winter (photo: DTAH, City of Toronto).

Figure 8. Market Street in the summer (photo: DTAH, City of Toronto).


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URBAN LINEAR PARKS Odori Park, Sapporo, Japan Odori Park is a 1.5 km tree-lined park located in the heart of Sapporo, Hokkaido in Japan. Located between two major streets, the park was originally designated as the main street but was eventually turned into a park, spanning 13 blocks. Prominently marked zebra crossings are painted at every intersection, facilitating continuous pedestrian circulation throughout the park. The park hosts many events and ceremonies throughout the year, such as the Sapporo Lilac Festival and the Sapporo Snow Festival. As well, a number of local landmarks, such as the Sapporo TV Tower and the Sapporo City Archive Museum, are located within its boundaries. Other notable features include a children’s park, an outdoor stage, and numerous fountains, monuments, and gardens. Odori is an excellent example of a successful year-round public realm.

Figure 9. Odori Park in the Fall (photo: Wikipedia).

Figure 10. Odori Park in the Summer (photo: Wikipedia).

Figure 11. Odori Park in the Winter (photo: Wikipedia).

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Klyde Warren Park, Dallas, US Klyde Warren Park is a park constructed over the Woodall Rodgers Freeway in Dallas. Built with a combination of public and private funds, it features a flexible, pedestrian-oriented design that includes a children’s park, restaurant, performance pavilion, fountain plaza, games area, and botanical garden arranged around a sweeping pedestrian promenade. The park bridged the city’s downtown cultural district with the surrounding neighborhoods, and sparked economic development. The Park is a model of sustainable landscape design with its use of native plants, stormwater reclamation, and use of green energy for park buildings.

Figure 12. Klyde Warren Park (photo: Urban Land Magazine).

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ARTS AND CULTURAL DISTRICTS

Old Town Eurkea, US

Addison Street Arts District, US

Mount Vernon Cultural District, Baltimore, US

Eureka is a historic waterfront commercial district on California’s northwest coastal region. Old Town consists of a 350-acre area and contains over 150 buildings from the Victorian era. In addition to being a Cultural Arts District, it is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Berkeley’s Downtown Arts District formed less organically than the Ashby Arts District. The idea for the district came out of a joint survey implemented by the City and the Berkeley Repertory Theatre which revealed that visitors were coming to the downtown area for arts and culture.

Lessons Learned:

Lessons Learned:

The Mount Vernon Cultural District in Baltimore, Maryland hosts world-class attractions and serves to promote the unique charm of the Mount Vernon neighborhood. Baltimore’s Mount Vernon is a cultural urban village that contains museums, historic architecture, parks, music, theater, international dining cuisine, boutiques, festivals, and a thriving nightlife. Lessons Learned: •

The single biggest factor in the success of the Baltimore and Denver arts and cultural districting plans was the collaboration of multiple parties across different fields. Consequently, it was able to establish a recognizable, localized identity. Students and faculty from Johns Hopkins University and a packed calendar of cultural events from the area’s residential and cultural boards gave the Mount Vernon Cultural District a dynamic and culturally engaging environment. The Mount Vernon Cultural District strived to preserve the area’s rich history and managed to leverage its authentic character to its success.

• •

In the 1990s, the city was experiencing economic problems. During this time, the core of the city had empty storefronts and a vacancy rate of 18%. As of 2013, Eureka’s core commercial District has a vacancy rate of 3%. In the 1990s, the California Arts Council created art galleries in the empty storefronts which helped to attract renters. The city worked with a number of organizations to help create projects to assist in its viability as an art & culture district. These efforts included organizing monthly Arts events, creating an association of street artist and performers,and aggressive marketing campaign.

In 1994, the city worked with UC Berkeley and the Downtown Berkeley Association to design a plan for urban improvements in downtown. The plan was officially adopted by the city in 1996, formalizing the designation of the arts district. The arts district was built upon a concentration of a few small arts and cultural institutions, using a large public investment for street improvements and grants to arts and cultural organizations including a policy which allocates a percent of the city budget for public art. By 2004 the Downtown Arts District generated an estimated $68.5 million in direct organization expenditures and stimulated $142.2 million of induced or direct impact on the local economy.

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4.4 CONCEPT PLAN OVERVIEW During phase II of our study, three preliminary concept plans with varying levels of vehicle intervention were carried out: CONCEPT 1

CONCEPT 2

CONCEPT 3

Vision: To create an enhanced cultural/heritage destination in Ottawa.

Vision: To create a flexible plaza street for all-year adaptability, as well as an urban linear park.

Vision: To redesign the street as a multi-modal Complete Street to promote greater connectivity with the Central Area.

1. Encourage non-retail anchor tenants 2. Use tactical urbanism to liven up inactive frontages 3. Extend uniform paving across all 5 blocks and focus on improving pedestrian circulation around key nodes

1. Introduce a curbless street with strategic paving to integrate vehicles and pedestrians on the street 2. Limit vehicular traffic during off-peak hours 3. Introduce an urban linear park for blocks 4 and 5

1. Introduce separated lanes for vehicles and cyclists 2. Develop the street as a thoroughfare to open it up to the existing street network 3. Identify connectors and atriums to promote pedestrian access to and from the street

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4.5 CONCEPT 1 SPARKS STREET AS A CULTURAL AND HERITAGE DESTINATION. In order to establish a year-round, all-hours quality public realm, the first concept seeks to attract a greater mix of returning users. The emphasis of this plan is placed on attracting artsfocused anchor tenants, such as a federally funded arts studio complex for an emerging artists, or a satellite campus to a local university arts program who can establish a creative presence on the street, and support economic recovery. The presence of new users will activate the public realm beyond the typical 9-to-5 office crowd. The addition of innovative pop-up concept stores and encouragement of tactical urbanism aims to enliven dead frontages.

Figure 13 (Concept Map).

Figure 14. The Nova Scotia College of Arts and Design presence in Granville Mall, Halifax.

Figure 15. Pop-Up shop in New York.

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April 2017

Figure 16 (Concept Map).

4.6 CONCEPT 2 SPARKS STREET AS A FLEXIBLE SHARED SPACE AND URBAN LINEAR PARK. In order to establish a year-round, all-hours quality public realm, the first concept seeks to attract a greater mix of returning users. The emphasis of this plan is placed on attracting artsfocused anchor tenants, such as a federally funded arts studio complex for an emerging artists, or a satellite campus to a local university arts program who can establish a creative presence on the street, and support economic recovery. The presence of new users will activate the public realm beyond the typical 9-to-5 office crowd. The addition of innovative pop-up concept stores and encouragement of tactical urbanism aims to enliven dead frontages.

Figure 17. Tactile Paving (photo: Totaltactilez).

Figure 18. Promenade Plantee Urban Linear Park in Paris (photo: Roising Grace).

Figure 19. Strategic Paving in New England, US (photo: Gehlpeople).

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Figure 20. Day/Night Granite Trapezoid Surface (photo: Design Boom).


April 2017

4.7 CONCEPT 3 SPARKS STREET AS A COMPLETE STREET. Our third and final concept plan focused on improved circulation and mobility for all users and modes of transportation through the implementation of a multi-modal Complete Street design. Central to this plan was the idea of introducing year-round vehicular traffic to Sparks Street to re-animate the street, boost the economic viability of the former pedestrian mall space, and provide commuter access to and from the Central Area. The plan featured a one-way street going from West to East, and included the addition of a sharrow or separated bike lane. Emphasis was placed on facilitating pedestrian movement between Sparks Street, Queens Street and Wellington Street, through the identification and provision of mid-block connections.

Figure 21 (Concept Map).

Figure 22. Las Ramblas, Barcelona, Spain.

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April 2017

4.8 EVALUATION CRITERIA Our three concept plans were compared and weighted along the following criteria, which were established through our guiding principles and research on best practices: 1. Prioritization of Pedestrians: The preferred concept will provide for a comfortable, safe, and accessible environment for pedestrians through the use of appropriate and strategic streetscape design. Vehicular traffic will be minimized. 2. Active and Vibrant Public Realm: The preferred concept will attract foot traffic to the area and promote a diverse range of activities throughout the year, at all times of the day. The street should be positioned as a unique and distinctive destination. 3. Flexibility: The preferred concept will serve as a multifunctional place, and be designed in a manner that will enable the street to adjust and evolve to changing conditions, depending on the time of day, week or year. 4. Connectivity: The preferred plan will create pedestrian linkages to adjacent streets where possible, and improve connectivity and circulation between the street and the Central Core area. 5. Consistency with Existing Policies and Guidelines: The preferred plan will be in keeping with the general intent of existing municipal, provincial and federal policy framework and guidelines. 24 Sparks Street Urban Design Study

Figure 23 (Evaluation Matrix).


April 2017

4.9 ANALYSIS CONCEPT 1

CONCEPT 2

CONCEPT 3

Maintaining a pedestrian-only streetscape is the preferred choice of the City of Ottawa to preserve the existing character of the street in alignment with the existing policies. By focusing on strengthening the mixed-uses of the street through establishing a new creative cultural space, we believe that this will attract complementary mixed-use businesses and establish Sparks Street as a viable, long-term destination. In terms of connectivity, this concept falls short of integrating the street into the downtown area. As well, it fails to address the lack of properly assigned loading areas throughout the street.

This concept is in alignment with the many declining North American pedestrian malls that have successfully reintroduced cars and bolstered economic development in the area. By allowing delivery vehicles as well as patrons to park alongside the street on dedicated loading and parking areas, this will sure greater organization on the street, creating a safer and more accessible space for pedestrians. Furthermore, allowing access to vehicles during off-peak hours will help to reactivate the street and improve safety at night. Finally, the flexible design of the street will allow the street to transition between seasons, enabling it to become a year-round destination.

While our research supported the idea that opening the street up to vehicles and cyclists would generate greater on-street activity, we felt that developing the street as a thoroughfare would ultimately diminish the charm and pedestrian-oriented nature of Sparks Street. Furthermore, we found that the inclusion of a designated cycling lane would be best served on a different street, as the City of Ottawa’s Cycling Plan already indicates the planned implementation of a separate bike lanes along Wellington Street and Queens Street. The inclusion of pedestrian connectors and atriums have been brought up in a number of plans, including the 2004 Sparks Street Vocation Study and Downtown Moves Study, and serve dual-purpose functions as public spaces and pedestrian thoroughfares, helping to activate the street.

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SECTION 5.0

Preferred Concept


April 2017

5.0 Preferred Concept A VISION FOR A FLEXIBLE AND SHARED STREET Sparks Street will gently introduce vehicular traffic during the winter months between Blocks 1-3 to encourage continued street activation throughout all seasons. Parking spaces may be used as loading areas during designated times, and will be indicated by strategic paving methods and the use of removable bollards. 1. Circulation will flow eastwards, allowing vehicles to parallel park on the south side of the street 2. Bollards will be used to control vehicle entry 3. Curbless street design will use strategic paving to delineate parking areas 4. Street amenities will serve dual functions as traffic calming measures to maintain low speeds throughout the street.

Figure 24 (Block 1 Cross Section and Streetscape).

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Figure 25. Rendering of Block 3.

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A VISION FOR PRESERVING THE PEDESTRIAN REALM Outside the winter months, Blocks 1-3 will be a pedestrianonly space by prohibiting access to vehicles. Areas previously dedicated to parking and loading during the winter season can transition to extended patio and parklet spaces. The pedestrian realm will be enhanced through encouraging non-retail anchor tenants from the arts community to occupy vacant buildings. The cultural and creative presence will foster an environment for other complementary tenants such as galleries, performance spaces and supporting retail. Adaptive reuse of heritage properties will encourage greater foot traffic from regular visitors such as students and artists. 1. A lively public realm will be supported by consistent design elements on building frontages 2. Invite non-retail anchor tenants in the arts to occupy vacant buildings 3. Promote partnerships with local cultural institutions such as museums 4. Tactical urbanism will be encouraged to liven up inactive frontages 5. Strengthen heritage interpretation opportunities such as wayfinding

Figure 26 (Block 2 Cross Section and Streetscape).

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April 2017

ALL-YEAR PROGRAMMING Sparks Street will become an arts and culture destination with programming attracting visitors throughout all seasons. The flexible street can easily be converted to prohibit vehicles at any time of year for street activities. Built heritage will be celebrated through enhanced heritage interpretation programs. 1. Incorporate winter heating amenities to draw visitors during the winter 2. Use of innovative retailing strategies such as temporary popup shops 3. Encourage partnerships with local arts communities for public programming 4. Introduce more winter-friendly events

Figure 27 (Block 3 Cross Section and Streetscape).

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INVITING PEDESTRIANS TO LINGER Block 4 of Sparks Street will emphasize a strong visual and physical connection to Blocks 1-3 as well as the new Bank of Canada Museum. The Urban Linear Park in the final two blocks will consist of curated public art, innovative ecological design, and plenty of places to sit. In this shared urban green space, the local and greater Ottawa community can appreciate an exciting social space that is constantly changing. 1. Art in the Park concept encourages community artists to engage directly with the public 2. Tree-lined streets will provide an oasis in a bustling downtown core 3. Comfortable seating will allow visitors to relax and peoplewatch

Figure 28 (Block 4 Cross Section and Streetscape).

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April 2017

GATEWAY STATEMENT TO DRAW OUTSIDERS Block 5 will incorporate the greatest presence of street trees in the Urban Linear Park. Its aim is to attract pedestrians from offices and the LRT to enter Sparks Street from the Lyon Street entrance. Landmark structures will enhance visual interest and encourages those at the street level to lift their gaze. A focus on green sustainability will contribute to the visually pleasing environment. 1. Incorporate archway structures to create a welcoming environment 2. Support a linkage between Sparks Street and Ottawa’s green networks 3. Use of permeable paving will promote a sustainable identity 4. Use of innovative retailing strategies such as temporary popup shops

Figure 29 (Block 5 Cross Section and Streetscape).

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Figure 30. Rendering of Block 5.

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SECTION 6.0

Recommendations


April 2017

6.0 Recommendations 4.1 STREET FURNISHINGS SEATING Seating creates the ambience of a welcoming public space. Public seating will include ledges, benches and moveable chairs with backs. Grouped seating areas will be encouraged and placed in highly visible and active locations. Recommendations: • • • • • •

• •

Figure 31. Manhattan, New York.

Provide inviting places to sit in the form of ledges, benches and moveable chairs Enhance exterior entrances of retail and commercial spaces with seating opportunities, as seen in the images of parklets Provide permanent and non-permanent seating options Provide comfortable chairs designed with back, end arms, and centre arms Incorporate metal, wood or wood substitute materials For non-permanent seating, select a stackable design to ensure that benches can be stored in winter months and anchored in place when in use Ban all advertising on public benches Quality furniture made of durable material that is seasonally appropriate Figure 32. Parklet in Portland, Oregon.

Figure 33. Parklet in Dallas, Texas.

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April 2017

GARBAGE RECEPTACLES The strategic placement of trash receptacles is essential to maintaining a clean and decluttered street. The number of receptacles placed in each block should be determined by pedestrian activity levels. They should incorporate a minimum of three-streams to allow for separating litter, paper, plastic, and metal, and provide covered openings to protect against snow and rain infiltration, minimize odour, and restrict vermin.

Figure 34. Bryant Park, New York.

Figure 35. Plastic and Wood Park Furniture.

Recommendations: • •

• • •

Coordinate placement of trash receptacles on the street based on foot traffic Manage clutter by placing garbage receptacles in line between the curb and sidewalk to separate pedestrians from vehicles and cyclists travelling on the adjacent roadway Strategically locate disposal containers for construction or inside hoarding signs Incorporate handles and hinged lids for ease of use and maintenance Replace and rebrand trash receptacles for Sparks Street

Figure 36. External and Internal Recycling Bins and Systems.

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Figure 37. Street Furniture in Italy.


April 2017

PATIOS

Recommendations:

The use and placement of patios will be implemented in a manner that respects the versatile and accessible nature of the street. Patio spaces will be widely available in the summer months, whereas in the winter months, the spaces will allow for parking. Alternatively, a winterization process, as seen at Toronto’s Distillery District Christmas Market could be pursued, although evidently with greater cost.

Although patio recommendations should be consistent with the 2006 Ottawa Patio Design Guidelines and relevant by-laws such as 2003-443, given the length of time since its publication, there could be potential for differing uses and placements based on updates to the existing Guidelines such as the 2016 Right of Way Patio Review which promotes wider permittance of such spaces. Ottawa’s required six metre straight clear path for patio spaces marks a best practice that is to be maintained. The city’s street vending program, commenced in 2013, expands the availability of food carts and trucks as well as additional temporary business licenses, which could be partnered with to add value to Sparks Street merchants and their patio spaces.

To respect existing heritage features, patios should not take away from the architectural integrity of the built form. Facilitate socialization opportunities. Physical barriers to pedestrian flow and patron seating should be minimized. Burdensome fencing or enclosures essentially privatizing space detracts from the effectiveness of such spaces. Strategic placement to enhance placemaking. Arranging patios in relatively close proximity allows for spontaneity, and cross-establishment visitation, especially when one side of the street enjoys greater sunshine exposure Assess microclimate conditions created by buildings. Patios should ideally be located in areas with abundant sun exposure and protected from windy conditions. Following the City of Edmonton’s Winter Design Guidelines, winterization of patio spaces is desired for cities such as Ottawa. Focus on providing versatile spaces accessible year-round through design interventions such as awnings and/or heat lamps.

Figure 38. Winterized Patio in the Distillery District, Toronto.

Figure 39. Winterized Patio, Cafe Bicyclette, Edmonton.

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April 2017

BOLLARDS Bollards will be installed to calm traffic and regulate vehicular access on Sparks Street. Recommendations: • • •

Quality material bollard with modern aesthetic appeal that can be integrated into character of Sparks Street. Automatic pneumatic rising bollards that can ensure efficient and effective flexibility of the street. Material of bollards must be able to sustain weather conditions of winter and summer.

Figure 40. Traditional cannon-style cast iron bollard (source: Furnitubes).

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Figure 41. Atrium in Yorkville Park, Toronto.

4.2 PEDESTRIAN AND VEHICULAR CIRCULATION PEDESTRIAN CIRCULATION As a predominantly pedestrian space, understanding the flow is key to developing a design that would capture pedestrians and create ease in accessing the site. The summer will accommodate a higher volume of pedestrians, while circulation in the winter will operate under a set of new dynamics due to less programming and vehicle access. The 2013 Downtown Moves: Transforming Ottawa’s Streets would be used to guide pedestrian circulation. This report categorizes street capacity measurement according to volume and width of walkways. (See LOS table in appendix). There is also a projected increase in pedestrian traffic due to the Ashcroft Homes development at Metcalfe St, and the Bank of Canada Museum redevelopment. Increased pedestrian traffic is also forecasted due to the Light Rail Transit stations of Lyon and Parliament.

Figure 42. Bank of Canada Museum under construction.

Recommendations: • • • • • • •

Unobstructed walkways, free of clutter and unnecessary retail and advertising signs. Consistent placement of furniture that encourages pedestrian movement. Preservation as a Grade 1 pedestrian level. See Pedestrian LOS table in appendix. Installation of heated street/sidewalks. Pedestrian traffic improvement through the incorporation of atrium connectors. Create atrium connectors to and from key transit hubs. Create atrium connectors that link key elements and nodes through shorter distances and, minimize sharp angles and provide clear sightlines. Maintain a C grade or level of service (LOS) for measuring pedestrian capacity. (See LOS chart).

Figure 43. Ashcroft Homes’ ReResidences development.

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April 2017

VEHICULAR CIRCULATION The Shared Street concept permits vehicles on blocks 1- 3 during the winter season and only emergency vehicles on Blocks 4-5. Limited vehicular access on Sparks Street is allowed by permits to allow service deliveries. Permitting vehicles during less active seasons such as winter will increase the activity and vitality of the street throughout the year. Recommendations: • • • • •

Permit one-way traffic provision on blocks 1-3 during the winter season. Flexible patio space will be transformed into parallel parking spaces. Distinct paving that delineates driving space. Provision for emergency vehicles to enter the street at any time and from any intersection. Street shall be designed with elements that calm traffic to maintain a pedestrian speed. Figure 44. Sonnenfelsplatz in Austria.

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CROSSWALKS, SIDEWALKS, AND INTERSECTIONS The Shared Street concept will be an inclusive space that is safe for pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles. The shared street concept will have a maintain a 6 km/hour average walking or driving speed.

Figure 45. Lit crossing signs.

Recommendations: • • • • • •

Raised intersections that act as a traffic calming effect. Zebra crossing from all directions that act as an additional traffic calming effect. Tactile walking surfaces and audio pedestrian signals for visually and hearing impaired. No red-light right turns shall be permitted onto Sparks Street. Lit and reflective crossing signs and surface markings to increase visibility of crosswalks for pedestrians. Monitoring pedestrian volume to continually adjust signal timings to prioritize Spark Street traffic.

Figure 46. Zebra crossing, Bell Street in Seattle, Washington.

Figure 47. Methleys Home Zone, UK.

Figure 48. Audible pedestrian signals.

Figure 49. Tactile paving.

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April 2017

ATRIUMS AND CONNECTORS Figure 50. Atrium in Yorkville, Toronto (photo: John Pabona, 2017).

Pedestrian atriums/connectors shall be designed as a comprehensive network that connects users with destinations. Pedestrian connections to key transit hubs should improve the utility and appearance of public areas. Daylight, public art, advertising, lighting, landscaping and street furniture will improve the usability and appearance of walkways. These through blocks should link key elements and nodes with shorter lengths and large intersections; and, have clear sightlines within the network and the adjacent public sidewalks. Recommendations: Figure 51. Duke University.

• • • • • •

Atriums should be illuminated to increase usage, safety and comfort. Use special surface materials and planting to identify outdoor routes. Provide direct and convenient access to the street and public transit. Provide views to key elements, facilities, and exits daylight the street Provide seating in the forms of ledges, benches and moveable chairs. Align walkways to provide clear sightlines from one end to the other when tying into the existing network. Minimize sharp angles and turns where walkways change direction.

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Figure 52. Maurice Brill Lighting Design, Broadgate, London, UK.

Figure 53. Market Square, San Francisco.


April 2017

4.3 BUILT FORM AND HERITAGE

Recommendations:

BUILT FORM AND HERITAGE INTEGRATION

The built form and heritage elements of Sparks Street will continue to be the street’s greatest asset. Pedestrian activity and comfort will be prioritized through design which is considerate of all-year uses, with a focus on emphasizing the relationship of the building’s ground floor to the street at-grade level. Heritage elements of significant buildings will continue to be preserved. The compact nature of building facade elements such as awnings enhances pedestrian comfort due to opportunities to take refuge from the elements. The shape of the canopy provides shelter from the snow, and warm lighting invites pedestrians inside.

• • •

• •

New building developments should have height no higher than the width of the right-of-way to provide a sense of enclosure, and contain surfaces built to reduce wind speed (eg: stepped back facades, balconies, softer corners) Animate frontages on buildings that are ‘dead zones’, with strategic placement of public wall art, and tactical urbanism Promote the retrofitting of ground floor sections of buildings to invite uses which promote more eyes on the street Encourage the creation of more compact streets with well-defined entrances, canopies/awnings which protect pedestrians against the elements and enhance pedestrian comfort Use of a warm colour palette on building facade elements adds visual interest and a more inviting streetscape during winter months Preserve transparent glazing which enhances visual access to internal uses and encourages passive surveillance Use creative lighting on heritage buildings to enhance visibility of special elements and create a unified aesthetic.

Figure 54. Luxembourg, Europe (photo: Visit Luxembourg, 2017).

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April 2017

Figure 56. Engraved paving.

Figure 55. Heritage signage.

4.4 WAYFINDING AND SIGNAGE

Recommendations:

A successful public realm utilizes wayfinding to assist visitors in navigation and also to reinforce a street’s brand and identity. The introduction of a consistently branded wayfinding system across all five blocks of Sparks Street will help establish the street as an arts and cultural district and urban linear park that hosts programming and events in the National Capital. Effective wayfinding will also play an important role in fostering a culture of walkability as Sparks Street transitions into a shared street. Incorporating interpretive signage to present the unique history of Sparks Street can serve to highlight the heritage assets of the street and enrich the visitor experience.

• •

• •

Display consistently branded wayfinding signage at main entrances of the street, major decision points, and throughways All new signage should promote the historic character where appropriate in the Heritage Conservation District, and carry a unified branded theme into the urban linear park Replacement of retail fascia and awnings with signage not consistent with the historic character of the street with more period-appropriate elements that are considerate of colour scheme and lettering design Whenever possible, encouraged use of wood, terra cotta, brick, stone, metal, fabric for signage Projecting signs made of painted wood are encouraged, fixed at right angles to the main facade of the building and hung from a wrought iron sign standard Offer alternative wayfinding strategies that unify a heritage block, such as embedded paving Use of tactile wayfinding which will be Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) compliant

Figure 57. Engraved paving.

Figure 58. Wayfinding signage can also be historic interpretive elements (photo New Castle Photo and Art, 2017).

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April 2017

4.5 PUBLIC ART Public art can play a role in commemorating our cultural heritage, defining and reinforcing a sense of place, and illustrating the public’s identity. It can establish a sense of place in a symbolically or visually stimulating way by evoking some aspect of the social, economical, and environmental context of the site and its locale. Its location and visibility in street can encourage the public to access the open space. Recommendations: • • •

• •

Incorporate public art that celebrates the First Nations history and culture Create public art that reinforces and reflects the history of Sparks Street and the City of Ottawa Create a variety of rotating public art features within the urban linear park that strengthens the park as an important destination with unique character in both the summer and winter Create a variety of permanent and iconic public art features that serve as landmarks or attractions for the community Create functional or decorative elements as public art such as benches, water features, or light standards.

Figure 59. Pearl Street Pedestrian Mall, Boulder Colorado, 2017).

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April 2017

4.6 MAINTENANCE STRATEGY

Recommendations:

The vision for Sparks Street as a vibrant public realm necessitates an effective maintenance strategy, particularly during the winter months. Effective maintenance is critical to ensuring a well-organized, safe street that is functional and decluttered, contributing to an aesthetically-pleasing and comfortable space for all users year-round. Street maintenance must be conducted regularly, and in a manner that does not interfere with visitors’ interaction with the street.

Snow Removal • The ROW should be clear of clutter to allow for unimpeded snow plough access and efficient snow removal on the street • Timely and continuous removal of snow according to snowfall which may require additional services to those provided by the City • Select neutral-coloured salt boxes that will blend in with the streetscape and are consistent with the theme of the street • Place salt boxes in hidden areas along the street that do not impede pedestrian circulation

Figure 60. Victorian-style “Grit Bins”/Salt Boxes.

Figure 61. Heated Street in New York City (photo: Ny Times, 2014).

Street Heating Mechanism • The ROW should be clear of clutter to allow for unimpeded snow plough access and efficient snow removal on the street • Timely and continuous removal of snow according to snowfall which may require additional services to those provided by the City • Select neutral-coloured salt boxes that will blend in with the streetscape and are consistent with the theme of the street • Place salt boxes in hidden areas along the street that do not impede pedestrian circulation

Figure 62. EASYHEAT Sno-Melter Mats (G Mats) .

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4.7 PARTNERSHIPS AND PROGRAMMING

Recommendations:

Iconic streets require a brand with a lasting and easily identifiable image that is distinguishable from all other areas. A strong brand has the potential to not only attract new people and commerce to a street, but also strengthen feelings of community pride and stewardship. Ideally, it will show the relationship between the economic, social and cultural aspects of the street. Sparks Street is already established as a successful summer events destination, however it has the potential to also attract visitors outside of the 9-to-5 office crowd through opening the street to a new mix of users. Furthermore, embracing the street as a year-round event space can further transform the street’s brand.

• •

Figure 63. Temporary parklet installation in Boulder, Colorado, Parklets in Oakland use bright colours to engage pedestrians (source: Amber Daugherty Wordpress, 2017).

Council should officially recognize Sparks Street and Queen Street from Elgin to Lyon Street as an Arts and Cultural District The Sparks Street Mall Authority and BIA should consider a re-branding strategy to represent elements of nostalgia and heritage Maintain stronger partnerships between local economic development and Heritage Ottawa to grow visibility of walking tours and other interpretive programming Emphasize opportunities to integrate public art with existing heritage structures Position streets as destinations through tactical urbanism to encourage lively public realm (pop ups, storefront art, interactive public art, parklets) Promote all-year programming through winter warming design competitions for activating public spaces in the winter, and Christmas Markets

Figure 64. Temporary parklet installation in Boulder, Colorado, Parklets in Oakland use bright colours to engage pedestrians (source: Amber Daugherty Wordpress, 2017).

Figure 65. Toronto Piano Project promoting the Pan Am Games not only brought a visual aesthetic to public places, but also auditory from the spontaneous performances by visitors. (source: Amber Daugherty Wordpress, 2017)

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April 2017

4.8 WINTERIZATION The winterization of Sparks Street is critical to ensuring that the street is activated year-round. A winter warming stations exhibition coordinated by students from local colleges and universities will encourage participation of community and attract people to the street, while providing warmth to those seeking shelter. Additional lighting during the winter months can also create a more welcoming atmosphere.

Figure 66. Aurora Borealis by a group from Laurentian University (source: Spinning Chandelier, 2016).

Figure 67. The Steam Canoe by a group from OCADU (source: Warming Station, 2016).

Recommendations: • • •

Implement temporary warming station art installations Coordinate winter programming on the street with existing programming throughout the city The creation of ambiances, specialty lightening, colour temperature, and temporary light installations during the winter months Lighting installments shall not conflict with the Illumination plan in order to protect natural areas

Figure 68. Toronto’s Christmas Market Encouraging Night Life (source: Toronto’s Christmas Market, 2017).

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April 2017

4.9 LIGHTING AND ILLUMINATION To improve and animate the nightlife on Sparks Street, lightning and illumination will be improved for safety and aesthetics. The Capital Core Area Illumination Plan aims to incorporate existing heritage structures to achieve greater visitation and enhancing lighting on Sparks Street. Recommendations: •

• • • • •

Figure 69. LUCI standard lighting, Ghent, Belgium (source: Lighting Urban International, 2017).

Cohesive lighting transition implementation between blocks 1-3 and 4-5, respecting the need for safe illumination of the parkspace and the relevant Illumination Plan guidelines Consistent style of light fixtures in throughout to enhance character and continuity Ambiance variance created through warm and cool lighting at gateways and by buildings Heritage activation appeal through effective illumination layout Private sector cooperation for coordinated lighting Historical themed lamp posts that are taller with downward lighting for broader lighting distribution

Figure 70. LUCI standard lighting, Ghent, Belgium (source: Lighting Urban International, 2017).

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April 2017

Figure 71. 9th St. Parklette, Columbia, MO (photo: Vox Magazine). Figure 72. Granville Mall, Halifax (photo: Noelle Smith/Flickr). Figure 73. Silva Cells (photo: BlogTO).

4.10 SOFT LANDSCAPING

Recommendations:

Permanent street trees will be planted in blocks 1-3, with larger tree canopies concentrated in the urban linear park. There are many social, health, aesthetic and environmental benefits associated with street trees. Improved livability and pedestrian comfort will be enhanced by green infrastructure. The selection and placement of trees and other plant materials need to be carefully considered within the context of microclimate conditions created by surrounding buildings.

• • •

• • •

• • • •

Ensure a mixture of shade and non-shade area placement to accommodate year round usage and weather conditions Ensure that trees and other plantings do not obstruct sightlines or impede the perception of safety Ensure the placement of trees and other plantings serve as both a visual and physical buffer for pedestrians and provide a greater sense of street enclosure Encourage a mixture of high-branching native deciduous and coniferous trees that create a pedestrian scale environment Perennial plants will be used and placed along the blocks to survive the changing climate within the city Arrange trees and other plantings to provide maximum effect and efficiencies in maintenance and watering and consider methods to capture storm water Implement Silva Cells modern technology to increase productions Encourage parklets along parking spaces Ensure adequate maintenance of street trees Promote landscaping that provides permeable surface areas to provide a natural filter for snowmelt and drainage

Figure 74. Pitt Street Mall, Sydney, Australia.

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4.11 HARD LANDSCAPING

Recommendations:

Consideration must be given to the type of surface materials used on Sparks Street, which serve a number of important functions. Paving plays an essential role in the usability and comfort of the space and in elevating the pedestrian quality and experience. The selection of paving materials must provide safe walking surfaces for users, with special consideration for universal accessibility. All paving should be made of high quality materials and should be appropriate for year-round conditions.

• •

Figure 75. Portland Mall, Oregon (source: American Associates of Landscape Architecture, 2012)

Use consistent paving materials to establish a coherent identity along the street Select paving materials that are durable year-round, and can withstand winter snow management and salt as well as freeze-thaw cycles Apply colour, pattern variation and decorative paving bands in pedestrian areas to add visual interest as well as indicate circulation paths. Decorative paving bands along the curbside serve to align street amenities such as trees and street lights Provide landscaped, permeable surface areas on areas near roadways to assist with stormwater management; these areas can also help to calm traffic Encourage the use of permeable paving for low traffic exterior spaces in the center of the linear urban park in blocks 4 and 5

Figure 76. Okuplaza, Chile (source: Open City Projects).

Figure 77. Downtown Seattle, Washington (photo: West Side Action, 2017).

Figure 78. Exhibition Street, London, UK (photo: Public Space 2012).

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April 2017

4.12 ON STREET PARKING

Recommendations:

Flexible use of on-street parking will be available on Sparks Street. During the spring, summer, and fall months, these parking spaces will be used for patios, seating areas, and/or bicycle parking. Parallel parking will be provided on the south side of the one-way street to calm traffic, maximize pedestrian space, and optimize sightlines. Emphasis will be placed on self-enforcing parking design that will reduce the need for active enforcement, such as different paving materials and physical barriers.

• • • • • •

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Parallel parking spaces for vehicles should be provided at dimensions of 5.5 m by 2.3 m, consistent with guidelines set out in Downtown Moves No more than 2 parking spaces should be provided per parking area to disperse the presence of vehicles throughout Block’s 1-3 Parking should be limited to a maximum of 2 hours Parking areas may also be used as loading zones during permitted loading times Limit on-street parking to the winter months, as determined by the City of Ottawa Landscaping features (such as parking-lane planters or tree basins) should be located between every parking area No business should be more than one block away from a loading zone Ensure that parking standards are consistent with zoning requirements

Figure 79. Flexible on-street parking spaces also serve as unloading areas during permitted hours (source: National Association of City Transportation Officials)


April 2017 Figure 80. Rendering of a conceptual gateway at the intersection of Eglin and Sparks Street.

4.13 NODES AND VIEWS

1. ELGIN AND SPARKS

2. METCALFE AND SPARKS

Flexible use of on-street parking will be available on Sparks Street. During the spring, summer, and fall months, these parking spaces will be used for patios, seating areas, and/or bicycle parking. Parallel parking will be provided on the south side of the one-way street to calm traffic, maximize pedestrian space, and optimize sightlines. Emphasis will be placed on self-enforcing parking design that will reduce the need for active enforcement, such as different paving materials and physical barriers.

With its proximity to several significant landmarks, Elgin and Sparks is a major intersection in downtown Ottawa. Given its prominence, an unique and identifiable entrance gateway, such as a clock or sign, should be placed at the intersection to signify arrival to the street. The preservation of important views--such as that of the War Memorial--is especially key at this intersection. Ample wayfinding and signage for tourists should also be provided.

The intersection of Metcalfe and Sparks provides a significant view of the Central Block of the Parliament Building. It is also a major intersection in terms of foot traffic. Consideration should be given to eliminating unnecessary street amenities, which may clutter the area and impede pedestrian flow. Wayfinding and signage and additional seating and bicycle parking should be provided.

Recommendations: •

• •

Views down Sparks Street should be unimpeded, as well as the view from this intersection towards the War Memorial, National Art Gallery Consider relocating Stanley Cup Memorial Automated bollards prevent vehicles from entering the street during off-hours

Recommendations: • •

Relocate unnecessary street amenities, such as newspaper stands, which create clutter and detract from the view. Prevent additional store signage or flags from being placed at the intersection

Matchbox Planning Consultants/Ryerson University 53


April 2017

3. BANK AND SPARKS

4. LYON AND SPARKS

Following the completion of the Bank of Canada Museum, this intersection is expected to see an increase in foot traffic from a new public space which will be integrated with the museum’s entrance at the north-west corner. The intersection provides a significant view of the eastern corner of the Confederation Building.

Identified as a ‘Priority Node’ in Downtown Moves, the intersection of Lyon and Sparks, located at the end of block 5, will serve as the entrance to Sparks Street’s linear urban park. Given the proposed location of the Downtown West LRT Station on Queen Street (between Lyon and Kent), the addition of gateways and landmarks are recommended for ‘Priority Nodes’ through the design of streetscape elements in order to create visual interest and assist with wayfinding (Downtown Moves, 32, 2013). The existing triangular-shaped island, which divides Lyon Street into two single lines going in both directions, will be transformed into a pedestrian island that will help to frame the existing pedestrian bridge and create a sense of arrival.

Recommendations: • • •

Eliminate traffic lights and signs on the island Eliminate one of the pedestrian crossings, and expand the remaining crossing Incorporates unit paving as the surface paving material both in the refuge and over the street (to connect the refuge to the boulevard) Seasonal annual displays would be ideal landscaping to beautify the space

Recommendations: • • •

54 Sparks Street Urban Design Study

Eliminate traffic lights and signs on the island Eliminate one of the pedestrian crossings, and expand the remaining crossing Incorporates unit paving as the surface paving material both in the refuge and over the street (to connect the refuge to the boulevard) Seasonal annual displays would be ideal landscaping to beautify the space

Figure 81. Proposed permanent pedestrian island on MacDonell Street in Guelph (source: City of Guelph Streetscape Manual, 2016)


S E CT I O N 7.0

Implementation

55


April 2017

7.0 Implementation The process of implementation for the recommendations of this report has been divided between three tiers of categorization: level of priority, length of time and anticipated cost. Due to fluctuating funding arrangement and stakeholder relations, much of the implementation component of this report can be considered speculative and hypothetical. LENGTH OF IMPLEMENTATION Amount of time anticipated to fully implement a given recommendation. Short-term. Realization is not expected to take more than 5 years. Medium-term. Implementation should not exceed between 5 and 10 years. Long-term. Successful completion is expected to necessitate more than 10 years.

56 Sparks Street Urban Design Study

PRIORITY LEVEL High. Such efforts are considered essential in the revitalization process and should be prioritized in the phasing of the strategy. Medium. Considered important to the initial steps of implementation. Low. Although a recommendation to consider, other priorities take precedent. COST The expenditure to pursue each recommendation based upon background analysis. High. Compared to other actionable results, it is considered a costly variable. Medium. When weighed against the other options, such recommendations are considered mid-ranged. Low. Not believed to be an action requiring significant financial commitment. N/A. Not Applicable. An estimate of expense is not applicable.


April 2017

STREETSCAPE RECOMMENDATION

PRIORITY

COST

Stakeholder consultation, bylaw amendments and City parking enforcement

High

Medium

Secure City approval

High

High

Short

Add various forms of seating.

BIA, Mall Authority and other private interests to identify common goals Attract anchor tenants, by with public stakeseeking partnerships with major holders local institutions, and encouraging a Canadian-focused retail strategy

High

Low

Short

Relocate all sculptures to the sculpture garden in block 4.

Stakeholders should agree on a shared vision

High

Create flexible parking for blocks 1-3 during the winter season. Removable bollards, parallel parking, landscaping and one-way traffic will maintain the pedestrian realm Construct stand-out nodal Gateways.

ACTION INVOLVED

RECOMMENDATION Short

Address ‘dead zones’ through a renewed retail strategy.

Augment paving and surface materials. Use colour and pattern in design schemes to add to circulation.

Short

LENGTH

Medium

Medium

Short

Stakeholders should agree on Consider strategic placea shared ment to encourage pedestri- vision an flow and maximum use of the street. Storage should be facilitated in a less visually unappealing manner.

Medium

Medium

Short

Communicate this goal to art owners and related stakeholders; seek approval to move

Medium

Low

Short

Stakeholder agreement subject to NCC approval

High

High

Long

In the future, consider the relocation of Lord Stanley’s Gift to the new Ottawa Senator’s Hockey Arena in LeBreton Flats. Medium

COST

Stakeholders should agree on a shared vision

Lighting should comply with the Illumination Plan. Prioritize highlighting architectural heritage while pursuing LUCI standards

Such as archways, tall clock tower, etc.

ACTION PRIORITY INVOVLED

Consistent urban design. Attempt to produce cohesive design schemes.

Matchbox Planning Consultants/Ryerson University 57


April 2017

MAINTENANCE

CIRCULATION RECOMMENDATION Create versatile parking spaces. Which can be converted to patios, greenery, seating, and/or bicycle facilities during the spring, summer, and fall seasons. These parking spaces will be used by vehicles during the winter season.

Implement removable bollards. Located at intersections to outline gateways and direct traffic. Also around parking spaces to outline vehicular areas during the winter season.

58 Sparks Street Urban Design Study

ACTION INVOLVED

PRIORITY

COST

LENGTH

By-law and zoning amendments. Must comply with City’s updated Right-of-Way guidelines

High

Low

Short

RECOMMENDATION Waste and snow removal improvements. Through efficient removal and minimizing visual impact.

Update trash and recycling furnitings.

Consult City, BIA, NCC for permission, communicate anticipated benefits with stakeholders

High

Low

Short

Remove current receptacles and replace with appropriate design and separation of refuse. Branding and colour schemes could be effective. Improve stakeholder interrelations. Build upon 2016 report to municipal economic development committee calling for reassessment of Street governance hierarchy.

ACTION INVOLVED

PRIORITY

COST

LENGTH

City and Street stakeholders to develop cohesive plan

Medium

Low

Short

The City should coordinate appropriate design scheme and collection arrangements with stakeholders

Medium

Low

Short

Coordinate scheduled stakeholder engagement meetings

High

Low

Short


April 2017

BUILT FORM RECOMMENDATION Preserve sightlines and significant views. While also allowing for new development.

Update crosswalks and sidewalks to prioritize linear pedestrian movement through Sparks Street.

ACTION INVOLVED

PRIORITY

COST

Maintain existing regulatory framework and enhance public-private stakeholder communication

High

Medium

Coordinate City guidelines with desired street activation patterns

High

Formulate funding strategy

Medium

RECOMMENDATION Medium

This will act as a nodal element through sustainability, design, and, public art.

Medium

Medium

Consider reconstructing hot water pipes directly under the street surface to melt snow during the winter season.

Adding year-round landscaping. This creates attractiveness through the selection of hardy perennial species.

This can be done in a multitude of ways: meaningful and intuitive paving materials; zebra crossings; and, traffic calming measures on intersecting streets. Underground heating system.

Install a rain garden and sculpture garden within the linear urban park (preferably, on block 4).

High

Medium

Ensure new buildings respect existing character of the Street. New developments should have podiums not exceeding the width of the road. Surfaces should be built to reduce wind speed

ACTION PRIORITY INVOVLED

COST

LENGTH

Consider design guidelines? Co-ordinate with the City of Ottawa (who make changes to the ROW)?

Medium

Medium

Short

Lobby the BIA to consult a landscaping firm

Medium

Medium

Medium

Consider by-law amendments, Heritage District policies. Greater communication with developers

Medium

Low

Long

Matchbox Planning Consultants/Ryerson University 59


April 2017

WAYFINDING RECOMMENDATION

ACTION INVOLVED

Engage public institutions and Through consistent design, private landlords effective layout and creating to pursue shared wayfinding to surrounding vision areas Improve signage

Promote Transit Connectivity. Promote LRT connectivity following the opening of the Confederation Line

Expand winterized programming. With the addition of heating lamps.

60 Sparks Street Urban Design Study

PRIORITY

COST

RECOMMENDATION

High

Medium

Short

Rebrand. With a focus on Heritage tourism.

Coordinate signage and wayfinding policies between the City and Street stakeholders

High

Low

Short

Integrate the Bank of Canada Museum into the overall site.

The BIA and Mall authority should prioritize offering non-summer events

High

Medium

Short

Partner with major tenants and institutions.

ACTION PRIORITY INVOVLED

The Mall Authority and BIA should develop a shared vision

Incorporate Museum into StakeRemove traffic lights holder enand signs at Bank and gagement. Sparks. Use landscaping Consult and uniform paving to City for bolster connectivity to changes linear urban park to Rightof-Way Public partnerships

COST

LENGTH

High

Low

Short

High

Medium

Short

High

N/A

Medium


April 2017

PUBLIC ART RECOMMENDATION

ACTION INVOLVED

PRIORITY

COST

LENGTH

The use of ‘Tactical Urbanism’.

BIA should pursue updated programming arrangements

High

Low

Short

The BIA should reassess its selection criteria

High

Medium

Short

Obtain agreement from the BIA

Medium

Medium

Short

The BIA should reassess its selection criteria

Medium

Medium

Short

Through the launching of temporary attractions such as pop-ups, versatile seating arrangements, parklets Augment quality of decorative items. Through the selection of using durable, resilient, and aesthetically pleasing materials. Develop a sculpture garden on block 4. Move all public art fixtures to create artistic node within the urban linear park. Reevaluate existing and future public art. This will be done by adopting a Canadian-themed approach. Consider moving Stanley Cup memorial

Matchbox Planning Consultants/Ryerson University 61


SECTION 8.0

Next Steps


April 2017

8.0 Next Steps In order for the recommendations in this report to be successfully implemented on Sparks Street, a number of governance challenges must be addressed. We recommend that the NCC initiate conversations with the relevant stakeholders to seek outside, nonpartisan assistance in the process. This might consist of a working group to mediate between stakeholders, and facilitate efficient, effective, and decisive collaboration that best represents the public interest. This will be a novel scenario and will require time and settling into once new hierarchies and accountabilities are established. In the interim, short term recommendations should be put into action immediately, and mid term recommendations be put into initial and thorough planning stages.

Matchbox Planning Consultants/Ryerson University 63


April 2017

INDEX OF FIGURES FIGURE 1 FIGURE 2 FIGURE 3 FIGURE 4 FIGURE 5 FIGURE 6 FIGURE 7 FIGURE 8 FIGURE 9 FIGURE 10 FIGURE 11 FIGURE 12 FIGURE 13 FIGURE 14 FIGURE 15 FIGURE 16 FIGURE 17 FIGURE 18 FIGURE 19 FIGURE 20 FIGURE 21 FIGURE 22 FIGURE 23 FIGURE 24 FIGURE 25 FIGURE 26 FIGURE 27 FIGURE 28 FIGURE 29 FIGURE 30 FIGURE 31 FIGURE 32 FIGURE 33 FIGURE 34 FIGURE 35 FIGURE 36 FIGURE 37 FIGURE 38 FIGURE 39 FIGURE 40 FIGURE 41 FIGURE 42 FIGURE 43 FIGURE 44

page 9 page 10 page 11 page 15 page 15 page 15 page 16 page 16 page 17 page 17 page 17 page 18 page 21 page 21 page 21 page 22 page 22 page 22 page 22 page 22 page 23 page 23 page 24 page 27 page 28 page 29 page 30 page 31 page 32 page 33 page 35 page 35 page 35 page 36 page 36 page 36 page 36 page 37 page 37 page 38 page 39 page 39 page 39 page 40

64 Sparks Street Urban Design Study

FIGURE 45 FIGURE 46 FIGURE 47 FIGURE 48 FIGURE 49 FIGURE 50 FIGURE 51 FIGURE 52 FIGURE 53 FIGURE 54 FIGURE 55 FIGURE 56 FIGURE 57 FIGURE 58 FIGURE 59 FIGURE 60 FIGURE 61 FIGURE 62 FIGURE 63 FIGURE 64 FIGURE 65 FIGURE 66 FIGURE 67 FIGURE 68 FIGURE 69 FIGURE 70 FIGURE 71 FIGURE 72 FIGURE 73 FIGURE 74 FIGURE 75 FIGURE 76 FIGURE 77 FIGURE 78 FIGURE 79 FIGURE 80 FIGURE 81

page 41 page 41 page 41 page 41 page 41 page 42 page 42 page 42 page 42 page 43 page 44 page 44 page 44 page 44 page 45 page 46 page 46 page 46 page 47 page 47 page 47 page 48 page 48 page 48 page 49 page 49 page 50 page 50 page 50 page 50 page 51 page 51 page 51 page 51 page 52 page 53 page 54


April 2017

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April 2017

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Matchbox Planning Consultants/Ryerson University 67

Profile for daphne

Sparks street planning and urban design study  

A studio group project whereby a comprehensive planning and urban design study of Sparks Street (Ottawa) was conducted.

Sparks street planning and urban design study  

A studio group project whereby a comprehensive planning and urban design study of Sparks Street (Ottawa) was conducted.

Profile for daphne458
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