The north/south running street begins at Wellington Street in Confederation Square, just east of the Parliament buildings and just west of the bridge over the Rideau Canal. In the centre of Elgin Street for the first two blocks is Confederation Square, home of Canada's National War Memorial. To the south of this on the east of Elgin is the National Arts Centre; to the west is the British High Commission. Continuing south, Elgin is fronted by Confederation Park to the east and the Lord Elgin Hotel to the west. South of the park, just past Laurier Avenue, is the Ottawa Court House, across from the First Baptist Church and Grant house (1875 mansion), followed by City Hall (former Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton Headquarters) and Knox Presbyterian Church.
South of this, the street becomes mainly a business area, home to a number of stores, restaurants, and bars. Progressing south, the street steadily becomes more residential, home to low rise apartment buildings. Elgin ends at the Queensway, where it turns into Hawthorne Avenue before turning east and going over the Rideau Canal at the Pretoria Bridge. At the southern end of Elgin is the headquarters of the Ottawa Police Service.
The street is now nicknamed "Sens Mile", similar to the Red Mile in Calgary and the Blue Mile in Edmonton - a street for Ottawa Senators celebrations in the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The plan originated as a grassroots campaign upon realization that the home of the Ottawa Senators, Scotiabank Place is located far out of the city's downtown core in the suburb of Kanata.
On January 1, 2010, The Elgin Street Community launched an online portal that represents both its residential and business sectors. See the external links below.
As of November 2011, the former National Art Gallery at 90 Elgin is being torn down to be replaced with a new 17 storey (8 floors on Elgin) office building that will house the Federal Finance Department. Furthermore, behind Grant House and First Baptist Church at 150 Elgin, there was a 23-floor (300 ft) office building called "Performance Court" under construction.
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