The NCC has committed to engage with members of the public and stakeholders throughout the review process for the National Capital Core Area Plan. Engagement aims to receive and consider perspectives on the plan and promote awareness of the review process.


Phase 1 (April to August 2023): technical-level engagement with partner agencies and municipal governments.

Phase 2 (June to December 2023): public-level engagement that received over 1,100 individual contributions through:

  • 8 key informant interviews with community associations and BIAs
  • 2 online and in-person public workshops
  • 4 pop-up kiosks
  • 1 public survey; and
  • 1 survey and 3 online meetings held as part of NCC Accessibility Plan consultations.

During Phase 2, the NCC also established and met with a Public Advisory Committee (PAC) to provide advice on both the plan’s emerging policies and the format and content of public engagement. The next PAC meeting will take place in spring 2024.

What we heard

Public engagement participants were asked to comment on a series of proposed big moves and central themes for the new plan. The big moves and themes were developed through consultation with internal and external stakeholders and partners. These are some of the highlights of what we heard:

Big moves

  • Turn toward the water and shorelines: Revitalize, further develop and improve accessibility of core area waterways, while addressing climate change.
  • Create new spaces: Leverage existing buildings and spaces and create new spaces and accessible amenities to revitalize the core area post-pandemic.
  • Shift towards sustainable mobility: Prioritize active and public spaces while adding more amenities and clearer wayfinding. An additional crossing located outside the core area could help alleviate downtown traffic challenges for residents and visitors.

Central themes

  • Democracy and meaning: Reflect Indigenous history and culture among Canada’s democratic institutions as defining features of the core area. Consider repurposing underused federal buildings for community uses.
  • Beauty and majesty: Highlight the beauty of natural landscapes and architecture by improving access to pathways and animating public spaces. Increase access to beautiful public spaces through improved active and public transit.
  • Sustainability and resilience: Accelerate climate change mitigation efforts through more sustainable transportation and greener energy sources.
  • Vibrancy and animation: Encourage a variety of creative and accessible all-season animation opportunities in the core area and encourage attendance by improving active, public, and accessible transit options. Encourage more use of public spaces by addressing social and safety challenges.
  • Thriving economy: Revitalizing the downtown and improving services are important to boost its economic potential and make it a tourism and commercial destination.

What’s next?

Future phases of public and stakeholder engagement in 2024 will help to further refine and validate the plan prior to its finalization in winter 2025.


For more on what we heard in Phase 2 of engagement, consult the summary report below.

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