A massive sinkhole has formed on Rideau Street just east of Sussex Drive.

Ottawa Police say it was caused by watermain break. Police are also reporting a gas leak on Rideau Street causing evacuations in the area, including the Rideau Centre. Witnesses report a strong smell of gas in the area. Firefighters went door to door evacuating businesses. Crews continue to monitor the integrity of the road and sidewalks around the hole.

Rideau Street is now closed between Sussex and Dalhousie. The public is asked to avoid area if at all possible.

The evacuations include the entire CF Rideau Centre and the Westin Hotel.

Hydro out now to about 850 customers in the Rideau/Sussex area near sinkhole. Police remain on scene for traffic control.  OC Transpo buses are being detoured away from the area.

The hole continued to grow in size throughout the morning. At 11:30, a van parked along the side of Rideau St. fell into the sinkhole. A light standard next to it also collapsed into the growing sinkhole.

Many bystanders gathered in the area west of the sinkhole, taking photos and video of the emergeency response.


It is not clear whether this sinkhole is connected to the ongoing tunnelling for Ottawa's Lighht Rail Transit.  On Sunday, Ottawa Mayor Watson tweeted that excavation of the Rideau Street station is complete.  

There are no reports of injuries. 

More to come.