An urban, U-shaped, street canyon being considered as an open waveguide in which the sound may propagate, one is interested in a multimodal approach to describe the sound propagation within. The key point in such a multimodal formalism is the choice of the basis of local transversal modes on which the acoustic field is decomposed. For a classical waveguide, with a simple and bounded cross-section, a complete orthogonal basis can be analytically obtained. The case of an open waveguide is more difficult, since no such a basis can be exhibited. However, an open resonator, as displays, for example, the U-shaped cross-section of a street, presents resonant modes with complex eigenfrequencies, owing to radiative losses. This work first presents how to numerically obtain these modes. Results of the transverse problem are also compared with solutions obtained by the finite element method with perfectly mathed layers. Then, examples are treated to show how these leaky modes can be used as a basis for the modal decomposition of the sound field in a street canyon.