top of page

Vehicular Access Policy for Sparks Street 

The Sparks Street Mall Authority (SSMA) is charged with providing an outdoor environment where pedestrians have priority – an oasis away from daily traffic, a meeting space that provides a unique experience for residents and tourists.  

Many of Ottawa's oldest commercial buildings are located on Sparks Street. These buildings lack features such as underground parking and loading dock facilities. As such, eliminating all vehicle access to Sparks Street is not practical. The guidelines below provide businesses and property owners with the ability to receive the supplies and services that they require to be successful while maintaining a safe place for pedestrians to use and enjoy.  

When Operating a vehicle on Sparks Street:


  • Instructions by SSMA staff and representatives must be obeyed always.  

  • Vehicles must enter Sparks Street traveling from East to West.   

  • Drivers are always to limit their speed to 5km/h and use four-way flashers.  

  • At no time shall a vehicle pass a pedestrian.  

  • Drivers must maintain a five metre distance between the vehicle and any pedestrian(s) in front  

  • Vehicles are to exit Sparks Street at the first cross street and not cross through the next block.  

Public parking and the use of the Sparks Street Pedestrian Promenade as a pass-through not permitted at any time. 


A vehicle may enter Sparks Street between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. for loading and/or unloading goods at any premise along Sparks Street. Entry, loading/unloading, and exit must be completed within 15 minutes.  

It is not permitted to use Sparks Street to facilitate deliveries for properties not along Sparks Street.  

No deliveries are permitted outside of the approved times without prior permission of the SSMA. 24-hour notice is required to make a delivery outside of the approved delivery times. If permission is granted, a permit will be issued.  

Failure to obey these guidelines may result in a ticket from City of Ottawa By-Law Services.  

Multiple violations may result in loss of delivery privileges along Sparks Street. 


Access Outside of Delivery Hours  

A property owner, business owner or a contractor may apply to the SSMA for a permit allowing vehicular access to Sparks Street for the purposes of reconstruction, repair, altering, or renovating a commercial space or building along Sparks Street. Permits will be issued for project essential vehicles only.   

24-hour notice is required for large vehicles (Cube sized and up).  

Same day permits will not be issued after 10:00am. 

Permits are issued at the sole discretion of SSMA staff and may be rescinded at any time. 

Permit must be visible at all times.  

Multiple violations may result in loss of parking privileges along Sparks Street. 

Construction Access 

Prior to the start of a project, property owners/mangers must receive approval from SSMA and City of Ottawa staff prior to the start of the project.  

A vehicle inside a City approved encroachment area does not require a Sparks Street permit. These vehicles do not have "In and Out" privileges and are to stay within the approved area while bollards are in place. 

Site deliveries must abide by the guidelines outlined in this policy. 


Vehicles on that remain on Sparks Street after 10:00am may be locked in once the bollards are reinstated. The SSMA reserves the right to charge an administrate fee of up to $250.00 to release the vehicle. Fee subject to change. 

Failure to obey these guidelines may result in a ticket from City of Ottawa By-Law Services or fines issued by City of Ottawa Traffic Management staff. 

Vehicle owners assume all risks while parked, stopped or driving while on Sparks Street. The SSMA and the City of Ottawa are not responsible or liable for any damage to vehicles or persons while on Sparks Street. 

Multiple violations may result in loss of vehicular access privileges along Sparks Street. 


The SSMA reserves the right to change these terms and conditions at any time without prior notice. 

Last Updated- July 2020 

bottom of page