The Ottawa Hospital wants to take a fresh look at several potential sites to build a new hospital for its Civic campus.
In addition to the previously preferred land on the Central Experimental Farm, a few other sites across Ottawa will be considered for a new state-of-the-art health care facility to replace the existing Civic campus, according to the Ottawa Hospital.
The re-evaluation comes more than a year after the hospital announced its intention to build on 24 hectares of land on the Central Experimental Farm, across the street from the Civic Campus on Carling Avenue.
But a wave of negative feedback, including from the community and scientists at the farm, led the hospital to reconsider its decision.
In a speech Wednesday morning to the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, hospital president and CEO Dr. Jack Kitts said he regretted how the issue was handled.
"I want to start with an apology for allowing the issue of where we build our great new hospital to overshadow the far more important question of how the new hospital can transform people's lives,"
"I am very sensitive to the concerns that have been raised by our community … and we are working closely with the city of Ottawa and the federal government to address these concerns. I deeply regret that the issue of 'where' has almost overpowered our vision of 'what' we can achieve together."
Tunney's Pasture in the running
As part of its re-evaluation, the hospital will consider four sites to build a new Civic campus of up to 24 hectares in size:
- Tunney's Pasture.
- Central Experimental Farm at 930 Carling Ave, the site of the Sir John Carling Building (demolished in 2014).
- The current site of the Civic hospital.
- A reconfigured spot on the Central Experimental Farm west of the original proposal, "to minimize impact on research soil."
Wherever the new hospital is built, Kitts said the new hospital's footprint "will be respectful of, and in sync with its community and its physical environment."
But he said the new location is important, and that it must be built "where it makes the most sense... on a site that is accessible to highways and transit... [and] close to the centre of Canada's capital."
The Ottawa Hospital said it will host a series of public information sessions beginning March 7.
An earlier version of this article said the hospital was considering a dozen sites after the hospital mistakenly shared with CBC News an earlier list of potential sites, and not the current list.Feb 17, 2016 2:11 PM ET