The stands and arena on the north side of Lansdowne should be demolished, city staff say – .

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The stands and arena on the north side of Lansdowne should be demolished, city staff say – .


OTTAWA – The arena and north side stands at TD Place would need to be demolished and replaced for Lansdowne Park to be successful as a destination, according to a new report from the city.

Facilities ‘are approaching functional obsolescence’ and are expected to be replaced with an arena, housing, and smaller commercial and retail space as part of the site’s revitalization, which has at times struggled to attract traffic pedestrian on non-game days.

The recommendation is part of a comprehensive report on the future of Lansdowne Park as a sustainable business for the next 33 years.

The city and Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group run Lansdowne as partners. This partnership ended the 2019-2020 fiscal year with a loss of $ 11 million, mainly due to the pandemic.

This spurred the creation of two task forces to examine the future of Lansdowne and examine options to improve its long-term viability. One includes only municipal staff, the other includes both municipal staff and OSEG representatives.

The main conclusion is the recommendation to demolish the Civic Center, where the Ottawa 67’s play, and the stands on the north side of TD Place, home of the Redblacks.

The stands and arena were built in 1967 and although they are structurally sound, they are fraught with problems.

The toilets are so old that 50 port-a-pots are brought into the stadium for the Redblacks game. The ceiling of the arena is leaking. There are persistent foci of mold. The roof and arena hall are not insulated, resulting in a cold ice rink and high operating costs.

The changing rooms are small, there are accessibility issues, no press box and a lack of adequate ventilation for the concessions.

“This already old facility is approaching functional obsolescence,” the report says. “Even if kept in its current state, (it) would in fact continue to fall even further behind customer expectations in a competitive market. “

Three options considered

The working groups considered three options for the stands and arena: maintain the status quo, renovate them or replace them with new, modern structures. They chose the replacement option.

The report recommends exploring an option that would replace the arena and grandstands with a smaller 5,000-seat multi-purpose event center, which it says is a more appropriate size for OHL games and medium-sized musical and cultural events.

To help fund the project, the city would sell air rights over existing structures that remain to build new housing, some of which would be affordable housing. It would also make room for new commercial or retail spaces.

The report does not contain any estimate of the cost of demolition and replacement.

The old grandstands on the south side were demolished in 2011 and replaced with brand new grandstands with club seats, a large hall and modern vending machines.

The review also looks at ways to draw crowds to Lansdowne on non-game days, which has proven to be a challenge at times since its revitalization. In particular, he stresses that the space should be more welcoming for pedestrians and cyclists.

The report also includes a public engagement plan to ensure the community is involved in decision making for Lansdowne.

The Lansdowne report will be discussed at the city’s finance and economic development committee on July 6.

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