Heart of Orléans BIA

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LRT: When we work together, we succeed

A few years ago, the Orléans business community came together to work collaboratively and formed what became an extremely successful venture: Balance Orléans Task Force. 

The task force addressed an issue of great concern for businesses in the area. They asked: Why are so many residents of Orleans traveling outside of the area for government work, especially when we have a highly bilingual workforce and the restaurants, specialty shops, and important services to support it? 

The task force was initiated because the BIA and its members were willing to ask themselves hard questions and then take action on a long-term, sustainable solution. 

Since the pandemic, there are now more federal government employees working in the area than ever before! From fewer than 50 jobs to over 8,000 currently, this represents a change from less than 1% of federal employees working in Orléans to over 10%. 

This is a win on so many levels: a larger workforce in Orléans is a critical economic support for local businesses; residents regain the time in their schedules that they used to commute; and, with fewer cars on the roads traveling to the core, it’s a win for the climate. For example, if 1,500 cars from Orléans were taken off the road for one year, saving a 50 kilometre round trip each work day, carbon emissions would be reduced by 4,788 metric tonnes. 

Orléans has another opportunity to ask themselves essential questions about an exciting development that will lead to successful outcomes: The LRT. Heart of Orléans BIA Executive Director notes that it’s of great importance to members and the public alike. One of the most visited pages on the Heart of Orléans website is the LRT page

The Heart of Orléans will be hosting a town hall session in 2023 (date, time, venue to be determined) to ask these questions and work collectively to create high impact solutions. Here are a few questions to think about to get the ball rolling: 

  • How can we leverage the new LRT stations for an optimum effect for residents and businesses? 
  • How do we attract tourism, via the LRT, to the east end of Ottawa? 
  • Can we brand the stations to attract more customers, tourists, and complementary businesses? 
  • Would an interactive map/app support the goals of local businesses, tourists, and residents? 

These are but a few of the possibilities! 2022 is the time to start thinking creatively about these questions and 2023 will be the time to work together, strategize, and act.