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Rideau Street (French: Rue Rideau) is a major street in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and one of Ottawa's oldest and most famous streets running from Wellington Street in the west to Montreal Road in the east where it connects to the Vanier district. Rideau Street is home to the Château Laurier, the Rideau Centre and the Government Conference Centre (Ottawa's former central train station). Along with Wellington Street and Sussex Drive it was among the first streets in Ottawa to be host to businesses; it was created with the founding of the early town. The Plaza Bridge by the Rideau Canal is at its westmost point and the Cummings Bridge is at its eastmost point.
For many years, Rideau Street was one of Ottawa's primary retail thoroughfares, containing department stores such as Freimans, Charles Ogilvy Limited, Woolworth, Caplan's and the Metropolitan. Although the local department stores are gone, Rideau Street still features The Bay department store, the Rideau Centre shopping mall, and the street is adjacent to shops of the Byward Market. The street had been designated Highway 17B before the Ontario government discontinued it in 1998.
To the north of Rideau, east of King Edward Avenue is the traditional Lower Town district of Ottawa, a residential area which in the past was predominantly Francophone, but now has one of Ottawa's largest immigrant populations, notably including many Francophone Africans and Somalis. North of Rideau and west of King Edward is the commercial Byward Market area.
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