Somerset Street (Ottawa)

Somerset Street is a street in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It is divided into Somerset Street East and Somerset Street West by the Rideau Canal.

Somerset Street East

Somerset Street East is a short road that runs through the neighbourhood of Sandy Hill from the University of Ottawa campus to the west and Strathcona Park to the east. Somerset also used to extend east over the Rideau River towards St. Laurent Boulevard. However, that bridge was destroyed by flooding in 1952[1] and never replaced. The street was renamed Donald Street east of the river. In 2015, a new bicycle/pedestrian bridge (Adàwe Crossing) was completed across the river on the site of the old bridge,[2] and the street has become an important bicycle corridor between the university and downtown Ottawa. By 2017, bicycle volumes accounted for 65% of street traffic and the street was re-striped with advisory bike lanes.[3]

Somerset Street West

Also known as Ottawa Road #36, Somerset Street West begins at the Queen Elizabeth Driveway in the east and continues west to Wellington Street West where it ends at Somerset Square. Somerset Street West houses the backbone of Ottawa's Chinatown, between Bay Street in the east to Preston Street in the west, which is the centre of Ottawa's Little Italy. The area of the street between Bank and O'Connor is known as Somerset Village.

The Ottawa Electric Railway ran along Somerset Street West between Bank Street going west towards Britannia Park[4]

In between

In the 1870s, as the area was developed, a bridge was proposed linking the two Somerset Streets over the Rideau Canal.[5] However, this bridge never came into existence. Today, on the east side of the canal, there is a pedestrian link from the multi-use pathway that runs alongside the canal, across Colonel By Drive, and under Nicholas Street and the transitway, onto the University of Ottawa campus. The street continues through the campus as Marie Curie Private, with traffic restricted to bicycles in the westbound direction.

The Corktown Footbridge connects the two sides, but is restricted to non-motorized traffic. The bridge opened to the public on September 21, 2006.


  1. "New pedestrian, cyclist bridge over Rideau River opens ahead of schedule". CBC News (Ottawa). Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 5 December 2015. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  2. McGoldrick, Michael. "New pedestrian and cycling bridge over the Rideau River now open". Michael McGoldrick. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  3. Alta Planning + Design, (August 2017). Advisory Bike Lanes in North America, p. 34
  4. "Ottawa 1948".
  5. Maclaren, J. Plan of the By Estate, 1871

KML is from Wikidata

A large public weblog of photographs of many buildings on Somerset Street West made after 2003 is available at somerset street prototype [1]

  1. "somerset street prototype". somerset street prototype. Retrieved 2019-09-24.
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