Thursday, September 20, 2007


That's a nice attitude the Ottawa Business Journal is showing toward this city's sports stadia: Let's just bulldoze everything.

The wishful thinking of a couple of thousand diehard fans shouldn't stand in the way of a redevelopment that will better serve a much larger segment of the community. If we include Lebreton Flats and Lynx Stadium, we have three premium locations with which to develop projects that make some kind of economic sense, by either boosting local business development or tourism spending.
Now, this isn't coming from a business guy (being a business guy is in conflict with our career goal to never have a job that requires having to tuck your shirt-tail in), but how did those spots get to be "premium locations" to begin with? It probably has a lot to do with having public space that brought people to those areas and encouraged businesses to settle there. High-rise apartments don't accomplish that.

Sorry, condo complexes that block out the sun and big boxes do not a livable city make. Arts and athletics do and so does having green space — and FYI to the OBJ, no one is going to want to watch baseball in a covered facility in the middle of July. That's part of why the Expos fell by the wayside.

(To clarify, the "wishful thinking" seems more in reference to the revival of the CFL in the Ottawa region, but come on.)

Time to employ some creative destruction (Ottawa Business Journal, Sept. 18)


Dennis Prouse said...

"Boosting local business development" is code for "letting our developer friends build pricey yuppie condos along the Canal".

I'm actually heartened by the general tone of public and elected official reaction to Lansdowne and Lynx Stadium. I thought for sure you would hear from some, "just bulldoze it" types on Council, but so far nary a peep. I think there is a fairly broad consensus that you don't make a city better by bulldozing infrastructure. The goal now, of course, is to ensure we don't get ten years of navel gazing before they finally put a plan into action for Lansdowne.

sager said...

navel-gazing is a line item in Ottawa's municipal budget, is it not?

Pete Toms said...

I know it's a different level of govt, but debate over the future of the former Daly Bldg site went on for what - a couple decades? And what did we end up with when presented with the opportunity to do something with one of the most visible pieces of real estate in our city? Yuppie condos ( nod to Dennis ), our mayor owns one in fact, and high end shopping ( I assume it's high end, I've not set foot in any of the shops ).

My prediction for Lynx Stadium - baseball for the next handful to several years - Council will dither at least that long over the ultimate fate and subsequently more big box ( ugh ).

As for Lansdowne, Council will try to be all things to all people and we'll have a mix of recreational sports ( soccer ) and yuppie accomodations & yuppie shopping ( ugh again ).

As we all know City politics is chaos presently, this will unfold very slowly.

The decaying of Lansdowne is the last nail in the coffin for CFL here, too bad for us regular yobs.