Three Big Changes Coming to South Keys Centre in 2024
Planning for the future takes time. Things like building new transit, housing, parks, and transportation infrastructure go through multi-year budgeting and construction processes that can be difficult for the average person to keep up with. So it’s no surprise that for the first two years of BSKC’s existence, not much has visibly changed at South Keys Centre. But buckle up and get ready, because there are a lot of exciting things coming in 2024.
All aboard: O-Train (re)opening
In Spring 2024, the Trillium Line is scheduled to reopen, bigger and better than ever. While the former transit line ran between Greenboro and Bayview stations, the new line will extend all the way south to Barrhaven, including a new South Keys station next to the existing bus station. For the first time ever, the O-Train will connect to the Ottawa International Airport, with a new spur between South Keys Station and Airport Station. The City has purchased new trains for the expansion that are longer and can hold up to 420 passengers to ensure the line can meet expected demands. South Keys Centre will be connected to the rest of the city like never before!
An important note: while O-Train Line 1 is a light rail train (LRT), Line 2 uses conventional diesel-powered trains. The trains used for Line 2 are “off the shelf” and can be found in operation all over Europe. Line 2 has historically had very good reliability compared to Line 1.
Growing up: 2200 Bank Street and transit plaza
The City has received an updated submission from SmartCentres to build its first apartments at South Keys Centre. This application was initially filed with the City in 2021 (which BSKC commented on) and stalled out somewhat due to rising construction costs. The new submission is smaller than before and includes one tower instead of two, but it will still be a major milestone for the transformation of South Keys Centre into a vibrant, mixed-use community. Once this application is approved (which we hope will be in 2024), the land for the South Keys Transit Plaza will officially become public land and the City will begin the process of designing a new park there, something BSKC has been very proactive in getting the community’s feedback on. Stay tuned for more updates on this soon!
Pedalling forward: New pathways and bike lanes
Construction for the O-Train includes some work to better connect pathways for pedestrians and cyclists to the stations, and at South Keys Station this includes a new pedestrian/cycling bridge over Hunt Club Road, the extension of the Osgoode Pathway to connect to South Keys Station via Findlay Creek (resulting in a 25km trail), and a new link connecting the new pathway to Millstream Way on the south side of Hunt Club Road.
Finally, the Greenboro Pathway Missing Link project is currently in design and the 2024 City Budget includes funding for its implementation in 2024. This vital project, championed by BSKC and supported by all community groups involved, will ultimately connect the Greenboro pathway network to South Keys Centre and the pathway system there via Cahill and Daze including improvements to the crossing of Bank Street.
The upcoming year will be truly transformative for South Keys Centre, and you can expect to see lots of opportunities to participate with BSKC in celebrating the changes. Stay tuned or get involved!
If you want to join us, hear about opportunities to have your say, or just get updates, please join our mailing list. You can also follow us on X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook