News Release

Published on October 15, 2020

Canada’s Capital Region — The National Capital Commission’s (NCC) Board of Directors recently approved the new Capital Pathway Strategic Plan, which will revamp its popular network of multi-use pathways over the next 10 years. Adaptations to the network include those that will address climate change, increased and diverse usage, collaborative management, and enhanced safety.

The goal of the updated plan is to ensure that the NCC continues to provide the best possible multi-use pathway network for everyone. The plan also defines a bold vision for the Capital Pathway as “an exceptional pathway network where all can enjoy invigorating and inspiring experiences in the heart of magnificent Capital landscapes.”

Highlights of the new Capital Pathway Strategic Plan include the following:

  • adding 90 km of new pathways to create links within the existing network, largely connecting the Greenbelt Pathway east to west
  • improving access to community facilities, schools and transit hubs
  • separating pedestrians from cyclists in busy areas
  • designs to better resist flooding, and using durable and green building techniques
  • ensuring that key destinations are identifiable by assigning municipal street addresses, and ensuring ease of navigation and drop-off for Para Transpo and paratransit services
  • supporting a diverse range of active winter uses.

As the public’s interest in active and sustainable mobility continues to increase, the NCC remains committed to ensuring that its pathway network is also strengthened in terms of connectivity, resiliency and durability. In support of this commitment, the NCC will seek to invest in pathway improvements over the coming years.

The new Capital Pathway Strategic Plan ensures that the NCC will continue to meet today’s demands, as well as respond to those that are anticipated over the next 10 years.

Cycling safety

The plan also includes specific measures to support cycling safety by collaborating with municipalities to conduct a pathway safety audit and securing funding to correct hazardous situations, as well as developing a work plan to improve roadway crossings.

Considering the City of Ottawa’s recent Cycling Safety Review of High-Volume Intersections, the NCC will undertake a review of those intersections in federal jurisdictions to see what additional actions can be taken to further improve the safety of pathway intersections with roadways. An update will be provided in due course.


  • When the NCC created the Capital Pathway 50 years ago, it totalled just a few kilometres along the Rideau Canal. Since then, it has grown into an expansive and popular network of more than 200 kilometres of multi-use pathways which provide an exceptional experience within the nation’s capital.
  • The Board’s approval of the new Capital Pathway Strategic Plan concludes a process that began in the fall of 2017, involving an extensive series of public consultations. The pathway strategic plan was last updated in 2006.


“The NCC’s pathway network is the lifeblood of the Capital, which both connects communities to the outdoors and provides for a complete east to west, north to south Capital experience. I am delighted to see us move toward expanding and strengthening this vital artery that connects residents of, and visitors to, the Capital Region.”
— Tobi Nussbaum, Chief Executive Officer, National Capital Commission

Media information:

NCC Media Relations

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