National Capital Commission

The flagship urban-development project of the NCC in the last several decades has been Confederation Boulevard — the Capital’s ceremonial and discovery route. In collaboration with federal and municipal partners, the NCC designed and constructed this 7.5-kilometre route around the heart of Canada’s Capital Region. Aside from providing an elegant streetscape for some of the most important sites and institutions of the nation, the Boulevard is a focus for year-round national celebrations, events and interpretation programs that help people to discover important aspects of Canada’s government, culture, heritage, landscape and relations with other nations of the world.


The idea for a ceremonial route in the heart of the Capital goes back to the 19th century. However, it was not until 1967 — centennial year — that planners began to talk about a ceremonial route for processions and state visits, as a unifying element in the core areas of Ottawa, Ontario, and Hull (now Gatineau), Quebec, and as a vehicle for communicating the Capital to Canadians. Planning began in 1982 and construction in 1985. The central part of Confederation Boulevard was officially opened by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien on June 30, 2000. The last phase of the three-phase construction process will be completed in 2006.

Confederation Boulevard Map


The central part of Confederation Boulevard crosses the Ottawa River twice to form a continuous loop around the core of the Capital region. The north-eastern spur of Confederation Boulevard passes through the Capital’s international sector to the residence of the governor general; a second spur leads up Elgin Street in a grand approach to the National War Memorial. Perhaps no other development in the Capital region so clearly defines the distinctive nature of Canadian culture. Many capitals — such as Paris and Washington — were planned with grand linear avenues conceived in the spirit of triumphal processions. Confederation Boulevard is not linear. It is inclusive. It draws a circle around the downtown areas of Ottawa (in Ontario) and Gatineau (in Quebec), connecting both sides of the Ottawa River. It responds organically to the landscape and to existing buildings.

Excellence in Design

Confederation Boulevard links Quebec and Ontario within the Capital region and connects a variety of nationally significant sites and symbols in the central Capital. The award-winning design features a remarkable mix of grandeur and accessibility.

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Modified: Tuesday March 21, 2006
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