Yeah, but VIA Rail could use a couple of billion dollars to improve service and rolling stock more than an expensive spur line to the core, especially when the present station will be connected to downtown by LRT anyway.
What I would like to see in the old train station is a combination of a really good visitor centre (run by Ottawa Tourism
, not the NCC), and a central location for Service Canada, Service Ontario and city services. It would be a hub for information for the city, where residents and visitors would mingle, maybe with a small performance stage and exhibit spaces featuring local artists, and of course lounges and cafes. It would be the place to buy tickets for anything local; book accommodations, tours, etc.; settle your tax bills or get forms; and find out what's happening in the city not just in entertainment but also about plans and new developments. A Grand Central Station for services and information.
At the the rear of the building, it would be awesome to have a bicycle facility like this one in Chicago