A lot at stake in redevelopment of Lebreton Flats
By Fred Sherwin
according to Ottawa Citizen columnist Andrew Cohen,
Ottawa is the worst capital city in the G7.
that the G7 also includes such world class capitals as
London, Paris, Berlin, Rome and Tokyo, its hard
to argue with him, except when it comes to Washington
love Washington, but theres no way any sane person
would rank it above Ottawa.
difference between Ottawa and the other five capitals
listed above is history, and architecture, and food, and
the arts, and... need we go on?
to dump on Ottawa, as Cohen has done, is to dismiss the
many attributes that Ottawa does have which make it a
truly wonderful place to live and work, starting with
the Rideau Canal. And we have made great strides over
the years in terms of our architecture with additions
like the Museum of Civilization, the National Art Gallery
and the War Museum.
latter being in the middle of Lebreton Flats which will
soon be undergoing a massive redevelopment. In less than
two weeks the NCC will unveil two proposals, that if recent
reports are to be believed will both contain plans for
an NHL arena and a new central library. Both proposals
will eclipse the Lansdowne Park redevelopment in terms
of both scope and cost.
personal wish list would include an aquarium with a tie
in to the nearby riverfront, in much the same way the
Museum of Civilization does and the future Windmill development
on the Chaudière and Albert Islands will do.
far, the NCC appears to be taking its time in assessing
the two proposals. Thats a good thing, because were
only going to get one shot at this. If Ottawa wants to
be a world class city, Lebreton Flats needs to be a world
we also need to guard against the very real risk the a
redeveloped Lebreton Flats will take from the downtown
core. The two have to be kept in balance, which wont
the end of the day, the residents of this fair city deserve
nothing less than the very best.
Flats has been an abandoned wasteland for far too long.
Its potential is off the charts. Its future
is in the hands of an organization which is not exactly
known for its openness.
hoping they do the right thing and build something we
all can be proud of, including the Andrew Cohens of the
9 p.m., Jan. 1o)
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