City moving ahead with Lansdowne Park plans

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Committee approves small steps toward completion of community, including plans for retail development and programming

Jessica Smith, Metro Ottawa

The "traffic challenges" brought on by developing Lansdowne Park will cause some people to change how they get around the Glebe, Mayor Jim Watson said Thursday.

At the finance and economic development meeting, councillors discussed a plan that would see shuttle services to the city's park-and-ride facilities set up for special events. However, a handful of residents spoke up to say it will be hard for the already-busy Glebe to absorb the added traffic brought in by the new development.

Watson agreed. "I've never underestimated the traffic challenges we're going to face in that community," he said. "It forces some people to take transit, it forces other people to walk or to carpool or to park farther away."

David Chernushenko argued that Lansdowne Park should be a car-free zone, saying the 40 surface parking spaces in the plans will lead in reality to about 100 people circling around looking for a space.

"On a day-to-day basis, not just at major event time when we all know a car couldn't get in there anyway, Lansdowne park should be a car-free area. (Being) a people place would make it that much more special," he said.

George Dark, a member of the Lansdowne Park design panel, said a mix of some well-designed parking with ample space for pedestrians would work better than making Lansdowne car-free.

"Sparks Street without the cars hasn't worked out particularly well in the long run," he said.

Lansdowne will face 'some traffic challenges,' Watson says

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By Neco Cockburn, The Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — There will be "some traffic challenges" at a redeveloped Lansdowne Park, as was the case during major events in the past, but the city is working to manage the issue, says Mayor Jim Watson.

"It's going to be a holistic approach to deal with the challenges that both parking and traffic circulation are going to cause. The flip side to that is that it's actually a pretty good sign of a healthy community when you actually have more traffic, whether it be pedestrian, cycling, because it's a destination point for people," Watson said on Thursday, after concerns about traffic emerged at a meeting of council's finance and economic development committee.

Watson pointed to Westboro, saying it wasn't such a hot neighbourhood 20 years ago.

"Today, it's pretty busy there on Saturdays as well. I don't mean to sugar-coat the fact that I think there are some legitimate concerns," he said. "We've tried as best as possible with contingency plans to deal with them."

Discussion about traffic and transportation issues overshadowed financial matters as councillors approved reports detailing progress and updates on various elements of the Lansdowne project.

A few community members who spoke to the committee repeated concerns that not enough attention has been paid to the amount of day-to-day traffic the site generate, and that managing big events has been the main focus. (There are plans for shuttle services, satellite parking and other measures aimed at managing a large influx of visitors.)

Capital Councillor David Chernushenko followed up with questions to city staff, who replied that the day-to-day traffic has been assessed.

Lansdowne should be car-free, Chernushenko says

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CBC News

Ottawa councillor David Chernushenko said he opposes the inclusion of three roads open to cars that are included in the latest plans of a redeveloped Lansdowne Park.

On Monday, the city and its partner, Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, unveiled updated drawings for building a park, retail stores and a refurbished Frank Clair stadium on the site.

Roger Greenberg of OSEG said the planned streets are needed for shoppers, deliveries, and on-street parking, but said for major events, the roads will be closed to cars.

"We've taken great pains to try to make sure that pedestrians and cyclists have predominance," said Greenberg.

But Chernushenko said instead of the perceived convenience and street parking, the city should consider the less tangible benefits.

"This would be a better site if it's a car-free site," said Chernushenko. "There's a freedom, a liberty, to feeling like 'phewww'...I can stroll here without looking over my shoulder all the time," he said.

Chernushenko said he'll keep pushing for alterations to make Lansdowne car-free on all days.

"We can do something bold and special here and actually make it more socially and commercially successful, if we dare to do it," he said. "I'm sure we won't regret it."

More trees, red brick in detailed Lansdowne design

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Laura Mueller,

OTTAWA - A tree-filled Lansdowne Park with a lot of red brick buildings was the updated vision for the site presented at city hall on Feb. 7.

The more detailed design of the storefront retail, glass-fronted cinema and wood-wrapped sports stadium is the product of six months of haggling among a team of experts that is designing the project, said planning committee chairman, Alta Vista Coun. Peter Hume.

"Creativity often comes from a conflict of ideas," said Hume, a member of the design review panel for the Lansdowne project. "The process has been long and at times, extremely difficult."

The most notable changes were to the plans for the Horticulture Building, a historic structure that was stripped of its heritage designation in order to move it to a different spot on the site.

Julian Smith, the heritage architect in charge of that portion of the project, said a portion of the building will be permanently removed and the north façade, which faces Holmwood Avenue, will have a glass front instead of a brick wall.

Dévoilement du plan détaillé du futur parc Lansdowne à Ottawa

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La Ville d'Ottawa a dévoilé aujourd'hui les plans de conception et d'aménagement du nouveau parc Lansdowne, résultat de la réflexion de quatre architectes retenus à la suite d'un concours international de design.

La présentation de leurs travaux à l'hôtel de ville a donné lieu à un vaste exercice de relations publiques, alors que la cour d'appel de l'Ontario ne s'est pas encore prononcée sur un recours juridique pour stopper le projet.

« C'est important pour nous autres de continuer avec le progrès du parc Lansdowne, certainement tout le monde attend la décision de la cour, mais en même temps, il faut continuer de travailler pour améliorer la situation au parc Lansdowne. » — Jim Watson, Maire d'Ottawa

Grandes lignes du projet de revitalisation

Relier Lansdowne à ses quartiers commerciaux et résidentiels voisins que sont le Glebe et le Vieil Ottawa-Sud, et aux établissements à caractère historique qui bordent la rue Bank. La conception des immeubles commerciaux et résidentiels vise à faire de ces nouvelles composantes du parc Lansdowne une part importante de la communauté environnante;

Modernist vision unveiled for a renovated Lansdowne

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By David Reevely, The Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — Refined plans for a renovated Lansdowne Park have a Modernist bent, with lots of glass and right angles, and a major renovation to the existing Horticulture Building.

Tuesday morning, the city showed off the "completed work" of four architects and designers who've been working on the various elements of the quarter-billion-dollar renovation project. They're tried to turn a plan with disparate elements (a fixed-up Frank Clair Stadium, a new urban park, a moved and reopened Horticulture Building, and new commercial and residential space) into one cohesive project, said the chair of council's planning committee Peter Hume, and they're proud of what they've achieved.

From 30,000 feet, the plans are little changed from what council approved last summer — roughly the same buildings and park elements are proposed for the same places. Frank Clair Stadium still gets a major facelift, including new south-side stands with a sweeping wooden "veil" facing the Rideau Canal. But in the details, much has evolved.

Le nouveau Lansdowne au millimètre près

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François Pierre Dufault, Le Droit

Les plans du nouveau Lansdowne sont presque arrivés au bout de la chaîne de montage. Si ce n'est de l'apparence des étages supérieurs de trois tours à condominiums le long de la rue Bank, on sait maintenant à quoi ressemblera le parc urbain d'Ottawa, au millimètre près, lorsqu'il aura été revitalisé de A à Z.

Mardi, la Ville d'Ottawa et son partenaire, l'Ottawa Sports & Entertainment Group (OSEG), ont dévoilé les premiers plans détaillés du projet évalué à 300 millions $. Si de nouvelles esquissent ont accompagné chaque étape du projet depuis cinq ans, c'est la première fois que toutes les pièces du puzzle sont réunies et qu'elles sont bien arrimées les unes aux autres.

Les grandes lignes du projet demeurent les mêmes. C'est au niveau des détails que le projet a «beaucoup évolué», selon le promoteur Roger Greenberg, à la tête de l'OSEG.

Le sort du pavillon de l'Horticulture semble scellé à la faveur de tous, y compris les plus opposés à son déménagement d'une centaine de mètres sur le site. Les espaces verts domineront à l'arrière du pavillon Aberdeen et d'un stade Frank-Clair entièrement rénové. Les plans des nouveaux édifices commerciaux et résidentiels le long de la rue Bank et de l'avenue Holmwood ont été retouchés pour qu'ils s'harmonisent mieux aux environs.

Le projet de revitalisation du parc Lansdowne fait toujours l'objet de deux poursuites devant les tribunaux. La Ville d'Ottawa ne semble pas s'en préoccuper outre mesure, avouant même ne pas avoir de plan B.

New Lansdowne plan will be 'green'

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Councillor says Lansdowne design review full of "conflict", creating a "very difficult" process

CBC News

The latest design for Lansdowne Park was unveiled Tuesday morning with plans for a greener park than originally planned.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson announced the new integrated plan, which included four different landscape architects, will have 880 trees and three times more green space than first thought.

The plans also include a large lawn, the "green heart" of Lansdowne's urban park, where sledding could take place during the winter. Watson called the plan "green" and "not shades of black and grey".

Hovering over the green space, if current plans carry forward, are nine towers with residential and commercial use. The photos provided Tuesday are incomplete, architect John Clifford said, as the towers have not been designed yet.

Revised Lansdowne plans scheduled for release

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Presentation at City Hall to include updated drawings for site

By David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen

New drawings showing updated plans for Lansdowne Park were scheduled to be released at 9: 30 a.m.

The presentation, in the city council chamber at City Hall, was to include the architects and designers working on each of the project's major features: Robert Claiborne on the renovations to Frank Clair Stadium; Jeffrey Staats on the new urban park to replace the parking lots on the southern and eastern parts of the site; Julian Smith on moving the Horticulture Building; and John Clifford on the "mixed-use area," the commercial and residential buildings to be erected on the northern third of the property.

"The 90-minute presentation will cover the details, sightlines, building materials, architecture and landscape plans for Lansdowne Park," said a memo from city manager Kent Kirkpatrick to city councillors. It represents the designers' "completed work," he wrote.

On Monday afternoon, the council chamber was guarded by city hall security guards, who stood in front of the drapes used to obscure the view inside for city council meetings in closed session to consider labour, legal or personnel matters. By evening, the room was open again and as empty as it usually is when it's not in use, suggesting a technical rehearsal had been conducted.

Capital Councillor David Chernushenko said Friday that the public session would be within the next two weeks, sometime before a meeting of city council's finance committee on Feb. 16. That's the same meeting at which the future of the city-owned baseball stadium on Coventry Road is on the agenda, and it was postponed, according to Mayor Jim Watson, because multiple items due for consideration wouldn't be ready. He said at the time that he couldn't remember what the other matters were.