The Skating Court at Lansdowne Park. BRUCE DEACHMAN / OTTAWA CITIZEN
Bruce Deachman, Ottawa Citizen
Lansdowne Report Card: PUBLIC SPACES
The Skating Court: With the lights of the Aberdeen Pavilion and the rest of Lansdowne as a backdrop, this is perhaps the most picturesque skating rink in Ottawa, at least among those measuring less than 7 km in length.
The Great Lawn: Whether you’re into solitary yoga or a concert with your 15,000 closest friends, this is a great outdoor space.
Playground: For all of Lansdowne’s supposed grandeur and inclusiveness, youngsters got the short end of the planner’s stick.
Aberdeen Pavilion and Horticulture Building: Arguably the two most attractive buildings at Lansdowne, they require more, and better, usage.
The design competition for the urban park at Lansdowne came quite late in the years-long process to settle on a redevelopment plan, leading critics to charge that the public areas were simply an afterthought to appease those opposed to the boxy commercial buildings.
Still, the $42-million publicly funded project – which included moving and refurbishing the Horticulture Building – was a far cry from the original plan to split $5 million in landscaping costs with OSEG. The results are meeting with mixed reviews, although of the all elements at the new Lansdowne, the public spaces can be easily improved over time with more programming and additional components.
Here’s a look at the public spaces and how they have fared.