The redevelopment of Lansdowne Park in Ottawa’s Glebe neighborhood has been facing a certain amount of resistance. The park, which was tapped for redevelopment in 2007 after cracks were discovered in the stands at Frank Clair Stadium, has been the topic of debate at Ottawa city council meetings since last October. But with a project of this magnitude, it is challenging to put together something that the entire city agrees with.
Last Spring, the city council stated that it would not entertain a proposal that included a housing or shopping complex. The Lansdowne Live group – the park’s financer and developer – had submitted a proposal showcasing two five-storey condominium towers, 22 townhouses along Holmwood Avenue, a string of boutique-style shops along Bank Street, and a hotel. However, the residential and shopping components of the plan are still very much in place. All of these facets have received some type of criticism. Many think that the housing aspect is a waste of space, while others think that it is a welcome addition. Capital Councillor Clive Doucet, who represents the Glebe, stated, “Tart it up any way you want. It’s still a mall.” The only element not receiving much criticism? The renovation of Frank Clair Stadium.
In spite of the opposition, the Lansdowne Live group has enjoyed an immense of support as well. There are many members of city council who believe that the development will bring a boost to the area’s economy and give residents an opportunity to start thriving businesses. Mayor Larry O’Brien has been impressed with the project since the beginning, stating, “I think we need this as part of a city-building exercise.”
The next city council meeting for the Lansdowne project will be mid-October.
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