Ottawa

City eyes baseball stadium, Tom Brown arena for development

Tom Brown arena, the Bob MacQuarrie recreation complex in Orléans and the baseball stadium on Coventry Road could one day be redeveloped for affordable housing, according to a new city inventory of 20 sites that are within walking distance of future light rail stations.

20 publicly owned sites near LRT stations could be used for affordable housing

The Ottawa Stadium, which has hosted a number of baseball teams, could face redevelopment. (Google Street View)

Tom Brown arena, the Bob MacQuarrie recreation complex in Orléans and the baseball stadium on Coventry Road could one day be redeveloped for affordable housing, according to a new city inventory of 20 sites that are within walking distance of future light rail stations.

"With the launch of LRT, we now have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to locate a number of affordable housing projects on public lands near transit stations," said Mayor Jim Watson during his state of the city speech in January.

For the past year, a working group has been taking stock of publicly held lands within 600 metres of Stage 1 and Stage 2 light rail stations for future development of affordable housing units.

Some of the sites are contaminated former landfills and others are federally owned. 

Staff divided the 20 sites into three groups based on how complicated they would be and how quickly they could be made available.

They're eyeing six sites that show the most potential for affordable housing within the next eight years:

  • A small site near Pimisi station between the future central library and a parcel the NCC intends to put out for redevelopment as part of its new approach to LeBreton Flats.
  • A federal building at 1010 Somerset St. West in Little Italy that attracted controversy a decade ago as a possible location for a parole office, and is next to a large mixed-income community that Ottawa Community Housing plans to build
  • The site of the Forward Family Shelter in Mechanicsville, which the city closed last year.
  • A federal site on Lanark Avenue behind Westboro station.
  • A small gas station site the city expropriated at 1181 Richmond Rd. between the future New Orchard and Lincoln Fields LRT stations.
  • A 2.4-hectare site on Greenbank Road in Barrhaven near the existing Strandherd and  Longfields Transitway stations.

The RCMP complex on Vanier Parkway, park-and-ride lots at Greenboro and Place d'Orléans, and several parcels around the Innovation Centre and Bayview station also made the list.

The Bob MacQuarrie complex and Tom Brown arena are seen as long-term opportunities, where the city might replace aging recreation facilities as part of bigger redevelopments.

The notes for the baseball stadium property, on the other hand, suggest the city could eventually "disengage from stadium uses."

Staff also wants to look at which community housing groups might make good partners to build the units, and figure out how to finance it all.

The staff report will be considered Tuesday by the city's finance and economic development committee.

now