Rideau Station is one of the three downtown underground stations along the Confederation Line. This station is the deepest in the O-Train network with the platforms reaching 26.5 metres below ground, a necessity to allow the tunnel to pass underneath the nearby Rideau Canal. This station is the busiest on the O-Train network due to its proximity to many tourist attractions, its connection to the CF Rideau Centre shopping mall and its location at the gateway to the Byward Market.
As this station is located underground, station entrances are integrated into several surrounding buildings. The CF Rideau Centre features most of the entrances, available inside and outside of the shopping mall. One entrance is located on the exterior facade of the building at the corner of Sussex and Rideau Streets. Two other entrances are located within the CF Rideau Centre, one on Level 1 between Shoppers Drug Mart and Farmboy, and the second next to EBX and across from Tim Hortons, which is an accessible entrance via elevators to the concourse. The final entrance is located across the street at the corner of Rideau and William Streets and is integrated into the ground floor of a Scotiabank branch.
The station's layout is such that the two entrances do not link at the concourse level without having to pass through the fare gates.
The main concourse as well as the station platforms are very impressive due to the soaring ceiling in the central section of the station's volume. This allows visitors the opportunity to watch arriving and departing trains from above and view the flow of passengers from a distance.
At the platform level, located 26.5 metres below ground, the main colour is blue, reflected in the accents on the walls at either end.
Overall, Rideau Station is one of the true highlights of the Confederation Line, with its large sight lines affording views of train movements, as well as the station's design and architecture, in addition to the public art exhibit corridor and the busker position on the concourse.
The most unique feature of Rideau Station is its depth, with the platforms reaching 26.5 metres below Rideau Street. Thanks in part to its extreme depth, Rideau Station features the "Longest Escalator" in a Canadian transit system. It is approximately 35.3 metres long and rises 15.8 metres, with 181 steps. This escalator can be accessed by either the CF Rideau Centre or the Sussex and Rideau entrances. The second entrance at Rideau and William Streets in the Byward Market features 4 shorter escalators to reach the station's concourse. The depth is due to the need for the tunnel to pass underneath the Rideau Canal.
Another interesting feature of Rideau Station is that it also contains the most elevators and escalators in the O-Train network, with a total of 18 escalators and 8 elevators.
Corridor 45 | 75 is located between the "Longest Escalator" and the concourse fare gates. This area is known as Ottawa's Underground Art Space and stretches 25 metres in length. It is one of three professional galleries managed by the City of Ottawa Public Art Program, with the goal of offering a space for the exploration of diverse ideas. The initial exhibit is a display of all of the public art visible in the 13 initial Confederation Line stations (from Blair to Tunney's Pasture).
Artist: Geneviève Cadieux (Montreal, QC)
The artist explains her integrated art piece as follows: "In conceiving my design for the project, I have drawn inspiration from the representation of landscape in the history of Canadian art, and from Glenn Gould's conceptual affinity for the Canadian North as expressed in "The Idea of North," a sound documentary made for CBC radio in 1967. The notion of the North, which has become a metaphor in the Canadian consciousness, is a symbolic location of the sublime.
Through its allegorical conjuring of the immensity and beauty of Canadian nordicity, FLOW / FLOTS pursues and prolongs this line of cultural thinking. FLOW / FLOTS also evokes the significance of the Rideau Canal and its vicinity to the Rideau Station, as well as the importance of water in Canada's history, rooted both in the vast area of our land that it covers and in the complex network of lakes and rivers that it forms, an inestimable wealth.
Artwork descriptions provided by the City of Ottawa
Artist: Jim Verburg (Toronto, ON)
The artist explains his integrated art piece as follows: "Inspired by the existing subtle grid-like repetition of large white tiles throughout the station, these works invert, interpret and imagine these simple forms enlarged, shifted, mirrored or repeated – offering a subtle graphic contrast and interpretation of the space while suggesting a new option or possibility in the mundane. The work consists of seven black tiled sections that contain geometric-shaped outlines made of polished stainless-steel rods. The steel catches the light and reads as white against the black of the tile, illuminating the shapes within.
Artwork descriptions provided by the City of Ottawa
- Opening Date: September 14, 2019
- Line: Confederation Line
- Previous Station: uOttawa (995 metres)
- Following Station: Parliament (725 metres)
- Platform Depth: 26.5 metres below ground (Deepest)
STATION RIDERSHIP (November 2019)
- Balanced Boardings: 566,000
- Weekday Average: 21,400
- Weekend Average: 12,900
Balanced boardings are the average number of entries and exits at O-Train stations.