Glebe residents say 'slow the train down' on proposed Lansdowne 2.0

·2 min read
In this rendering for Lansdowne 2.0, fans look eastward toward the new arena/indoor concert venue at TD Place, which would have a green roof matching the existing berm at Lansdowne Park. To the left, new residential buildings tower over a reconstructed north-side stands. (OSEG - image credit)
In this rendering for Lansdowne 2.0, fans look eastward toward the new arena/indoor concert venue at TD Place, which would have a green roof matching the existing berm at Lansdowne Park. To the left, new residential buildings tower over a reconstructed north-side stands. (OSEG - image credit)

Some residents who live near Lansdowne Park say the proposal for further redevelopment, termed Lansdowne 2.0, is moving too fast and they want more time to review the plan.

Capital ward Coun. Shawn Menard held a public meeting on Monday evening about the plans unveiled last week by the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG). The city has yet to hold a public consultation on the recently-announced plans, but Menard wanted to hear from his constituents.

"We need to press the pause button on the Lansdowne 2.0 proposal," said Alexandra Gruca-Macaulay, who attended Monday's meeting.

"So that all of Ottawa residents who didn't have a chance over the weekend to read the proposal can understand and assess the impact that the proposal would generate on them."

The proposed park makeover would include a new arena and newly constructed north-side stands, plus 1,200 living units — and cost an estimated $330 million.

Councillors will discuss the plan at the city's finance and economic development committee on Friday, where they will be asked to approve $8 million in funding to come up with a fine-grained plan and to consult broadly on the proposal. It would also enable staff to seek bids for air rights.

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If carried, the new Lansdowne proposal will go to full city council at the end of May, although the final decision on the project won't be made until the next term of council.

"I do hope that one of the councillors at [the committee] will move a motion to just slow the train down," said Anthony Carricato, a member of the Glebe Community Association, who is also a citizen transit commissioner.

"Again, you've had nine months. We've had less than nine days."

Menard wants all major decisions made after October election

Ten per cent of the 1,200 new residential units will be affordable housing, OSEG has stated. According to city officials, affordable is defined — in this context — as 80 per cent of the city-wide market rate.

You've had nine months. We've had less than nine days. - Anthony Carricato, Glebe Community Association

Menard has made it clear he believes council should hold off on any major decisions until after the fall municipal election.

While the councillor likes some aspects of the proposal, he sees problems with how these buildings are supposed to be "tax neutral," calling it an incorrect narrative. OSEG CEO Mark Goudie has called the proposal "self-financing proposition and proposal."

Similarly, Menard would like to see a transportation plan attached to the proposal and has concerns about the commitment of private partners.

"We're setting ourselves up for commitments here that I think should wait until we've had that robust public consultation," the councillor said.

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