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Presidential Visit: Traffic and transit impacts expected March 23 to 24

Please be advised that significant traffic and transit impacts are expected across Ottawa between Thursday, March 23 and Friday, March 24 due to a visit from the President of the United States and First Lady.

As a result, there will be full or temporary road closures to and from the airport, and throughout the downtown core. During motorcade movement, the Macdonald-Cartier and Alexandra bridges will have intermittent and temporary closures in both directions for all vehicular, cyclist and pedestrian traffic. The Portage and Chaudière bridges will remain open in both directions. For more details, please refer to ottawa.ca/POTUSvisit.


The City’s online traffic map will have live updates on traffic impacts. Select “incidents” to see roads currently affected. You can also follow the City of Ottawa’s traffic account on Twitter.


For transit users, O-Train Line 1 service will operate as regularly scheduled. Some OC Transpo bus routes and ParaTranspo service will experience travel delays due to road closures and various routes will experience detours during select time periods. Bus service will be detoured from Rideau Street to Mackenzie King Bridge on March 23 and 24.

  • Thursday, March 23 – roads affected by temporary disruptions:

  • Airport Parkway, between the Ottawa International Airport and Bronson Avenue

  • Bronson Avenue, between Findlay Avenue and Airport Parkway

  • Colonel By Drive, between Hog’s Back Road and Daly Avenue

  • Sussex Drive, between George Street and Princess Drive

  • Friday, March 24 – roads affected by temporary disruptions:

  • Wellington Street (westbound), between Kent and Metcalfe streets

  • Wellington Street (eastbound), between Lyon and Metcalfe streets

  • Metcalfe Street, between Queen and Wellington streets

  • O’Connor Street, between Queen and Wellington streets

  • Bank Street, between Queen and Wellington streets

  • Sussex Drive, between Rideau Street and Princess Avenue

  • Princess Drive, between Sir George-Étienne Parkway and Sussex Drive

  • Sir George-Étienne Parkway, between Bearbrook Road and Princess Drive

  • Aviation Parkway, north of Montreal Road

  • Airport Parkway, between the Ottawa International Airport and Bronson Avenue

  • Bronson Avenue, between Holmwood Avenue and Airport Parkway

  • Colonel By Drive, between Hog’s Back Road and Daly Avenue

  • Sussex Drive, between George Street and Princess Drive

Roads experiencing full closure from 4 pm on Thursday, March 23 to 11 pm on Friday, March 24:

  • Wellington Street, between Metcalfe Street and Mackenzie Avenue

  • Rideau Street, between Mackenzie Avenue and Dalhousie Street

  • Elgin Street, between Queen and Wellington streets

  • Mackenzie Avenue, between Murray and Rideau streets

  • Colonel By Drive, between Daly Avenue and Rideau Street

  • Sussex Drive, between Rideau Street and George Street

The morning commute on Thursday, March 23 is not expected to be impacted, however, for security reasons, the exact details and timing of road closures and other impacts to City services may be communicated at the last minute. We appreciate your patience and understanding as this visit takes place.


During motorcade movement, the Macdonald-Cartier and Alexandra bridges will have intermittent and temporary closures in both directions for all vehicular, cyclist and pedestrian traffic. The Portage and Chaudière bridges remain open in both directions.


Advice for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians

If possible, residents should avoid unnecessary travel around these locations between March 23 and 24. If you need to travel, please allow for additional time, pay attention to signage and detours, and plan possible alternate routes.


The City’s online traffic map will have live updates on traffic impacts. Select “incidents” to see roads currently affected.  You can also follow the City of Ottawa’s traffic account on Twitter.


Advice for transit users

O-Train Line 1 service will operate as regularly scheduled. Some OC Transpo bus routes and Para Transpo service will experience travel delays due to road closures and various routes will experience detours during select time periods. Bus service will be detoured from Rideau Street to Mackenzie King Bridge on March 23 and 24.


Customers can stay up to date on the latest transit information by visiting octranspo.com, calling 613-560-5000 or following OC Transpo’s Twitter account. Para Transpo customers can use the MyPara Transpo app to find the latest information available about their trip.


Advice for business and property owners

  • Communicate any operating changes to customers using social media channels, signage, etc.

  • Advise of any anticipated or actual customer access issues for delivery, takeout, curbside pickup, appointments, etc.  

  • Connect with neighbouring businesses to communicate your operating plans and encourage them to reach out to customers and employees.  

  • Appointment-based businesses should communicate that travel time to and through downtown will likely be impacted at various times and clients should plan ahead to avoid delays and missed appointments.  

  • Advise staff to plan accordingly and prepare for delays – whether they are traveling by vehicle, transit or cycling.

  • Connect with suppliers in advance to advise of possible access impacts/intermittent road closures and confirm delivery times and availability of curbside loading zones. 


Waste and recycling collection

At this time, the City is not anticipating an impact to residential waste collection as a result of the visit. Residents can stay informed of curbside collection delays by signing up at ottawa.ca/CollectionCalendar to receive important service alerts by e-mail, phone or Twitter. Residents may also download the free Ottawa Collection Calendar mobile app for Apple and Android devices.


Stay informed


Ottawa is a safe and inclusive city for everyone

The City of Ottawa is responsible for ensuring residents feel safe in their community and in accessing the programs, businesses, services and supports that the City has to offer. The City values a diversity of minds, perspectives and lived experiences.


The road closures and increased security presence during the visit may be cause for stress and worry. The impact of a stressful event can be immediate or delayed and those affected can feel a range of emotions and reactions. If you are experiencing stress, worry or any negative emotions, reach out for help. Call the Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region at 613-238-3311 for services in English or French. Someone will be there to listen, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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