Ottawa eyes $740,000 purchase of decommissioned rail corridor in west end

OTTAWA — The city of Ottawa is set to purchase a former CN Rail corridor in the west end, which could be used for transportation or recreational purposes in the future.

A report for the Finance and Economic Development Committee recommends purchasing the 32.5 kilometre Beachburg Subdivision corridor for $740,000.

The corridor starts in the western Greenbelt, and extends northwest through Kanata terminating at Morris Island Drive, just east of the Ottawa River. It passes south and west of Department of National Defence Facilities, near existing employment and residential areas of Kanata, and has seven bridges and 52 culverts.

“The rail corridor has been decommissioned, has not been used for many years, and the railway tracks and ties have been removed,” says the report for the Oct. 5 FEDCO meeting.

“The corridor is used and maintained by the West Carleton Snowmobile Trails Association (WCSTA), which has a 20-year license with CN that expires in 2038.”

Staff say purchasing the corridor to Morris Island Drive enables the city to provide a potential connection to a location near the conservation area.

“The acquisition of the corridor lands and bridge will provide an opportunity for the city to improve the road network at this location and upgrades to the Carling Avenue Cycling project without having to independently acquire the land,” said the report.

The city of Ottawa’s Official Plan Rights-of-Way Protection Policy states that the city will purchase surplus railway rights-of-way and consider purchasing railway corridor properties as they become available, and reserve them for future transportation and infrastructure purposes.

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