Taken together, the vision, pillars, guiding principles, and evaluation criteria for the Plan are intended to reflect the unique context of and desired future for Canada’s Capital Region and will guide decision making in the later phases of the Plan’s development. The role of each of these components is outlined below:

  • Vision: represents the aspirational view of the future of interprovincial mobility to 2050 and reflects the values and desired outcomes as expressed by the public, stakeholders and communities engaged in the development of the Plan;
  • Pillars: represent the main building blocks that support the vision;
  • Guiding principles: are essential rules or concepts to guide decision-making and translate the main building blocks for the Plan’s objectives;
  • Evaluation criteria: measures that are used to compare and evaluate alternative scenarios to meet objectives.


The following proposed vision expresses the desired future of interprovincial travel in the broader context of travel throughout Canada’s Capital Region (the Region).

By 2050, the transportation network to cross the Ottawa River will provide well-connected and sustainable travel options that contribute to a high quality of life and economic prosperity in Canada’s Capital Region. The system of crossings will support equitable mobility and the safe and efficient movement of people and goods, while respecting the region’s natural environment and cultural heritage.

Pillars and Guiding Principles

The guiding principles are organized according to five pillars and are the Plan’s building blocks. They help explain the vision in more detail and will help guide decision making as we develop the Plan. The five pillars are:

One region

Treats Canada’s Capital Region as an integrated community with interconnected and seamless interprovincial transportation network and services.

Guiding principles

  • Physically
    • Well-connected, efficient and integrated transportation system made up of facilities and services for many different ways of travelling (such as on foot, by bike, or by car)  
  • Organizationally
    • Collaborative planning and policy-making across the Indigenous, municipal, provincial and federal levels of government
    • Respect for the region's location on the traditional lands of the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation  
  • Symbolically
    • Celebration of the Region’s unique cultural diversity 
    • Preservation and enhancement of the character of the Region and the crossings' symbolic role through design excellence

Evaluation criteria

  • A well-connected transportation network enables efficient interprovincial travel using different ways to get around
  • The Ottawa and Gatineau downtowns are well integrated

Sustainable Modes

Provide safe options to move people and goods across the river, not just vehicles, and support the interprovincial transportation system together with socio-economic well-being and environmental health.

Guiding principles

  • Minimize the need for new infrastructure by better managing current and future interprovincial travel demand with active transportation, public transit and transportation demand management
  • Less dependence on personal and commercial vehicles to move people and goods across the river
  • New technologies to support sustainable travel
  • Good alternatives to automobile trips made possible by better community planning (integrated land use and transportation plans)  
  • Healthy living through the use of active transportation such as walking, cycling or scooting 

Evaluation criteria

  • People choose sustainable travel modes for their interprovincial trips

Environment and Climate Change

Recognizes the importance of minimizing negative environmental impacts and of supporting a resilient and environmentally respectful interprovincial transportation system.

Guiding principles

  • Reduced transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts 
  • Climate change resiliency incorporated into the transportation system and infrastructure’s design and operation
  • Protection and celebration of the region's nature and encouragement of the use and enjoyment of these spaces by all Canadians 

    Evaluation criteria

    • Reduced motor vehicle use leads to lower greenhouse gas and air pollution
    • The system can withstand disruptions related to extreme weather associated with climate change


    Speaks to the importance of efficient interprovincial travel of people and goods to the Region’s economic wellbeing.

    Guiding principles

    • Strong and integrated regional economy supported by the efficient movement of people and goods to and from the region's economic hotspots
    • Vital role of the region’s river crossings as connectors to the broader transportation system across Québec and Ontario

    Evaluation criteria

    • Key interprovincial employment hubs are well connected
    • Goods and services move with less delay

    Quality of life

    Recognizes the importance of an interprovincial transport system that supports healthy and safe communities and vibrant businesses.

    Guiding principles

    • Safe and secure interprovincial transportation experience for everyone, regardless of how people travel, their income, identity, location and ability 
    • Affordable, equitable and accessible travel options allow residents, businesses and visitors to make choices based on their diverse needs and preferences 
    • Dependable interprovincial travel allows travel demand to be spread across many different ways of getting around, supported by high-quality facilities and services  
    • Safe and efficient movement of goods across the Ottawa River minimizes the negative impacts of commercial traffic on nearby communities

      Evaluation criteria

      • Transit trips across the river are faster and more reliable
      • Active transportation facilities (such as separated bike lanes) across the river provide a high-quality experience
      • Access to efficient interprovincial travel is equally available to everyone, despite income level
      • Community unity, and public health and safety are improved