LeBreton wish list includes park, daycare, affordable housing

The City of Ottawa has set out its wish list for LeBreton Flats when that prime federal land is developed over the coming years, including a major new city park, affordable housing, and a child-care centre.

NCC plans to develop the land over many years and phases

The first parcel the NCC wants to redevelop at LeBreton Flats is located between Pimisi Station and the future central library. (Kate Porter/CBC)

The City of Ottawa has set out what it wants to build at LeBreton Flats when that prime federal land is developed over the coming years, including a major new city park near the Ottawa River, affordable housing, and a child-care centre.

The National Capital Commission intends to develop the large site west of downtown over many years and phases.

The city's new central library is already being built there, but a community group has pushed for many more so-called community benefits to go along with new housing in such a key part of the city. Some of that will be in the NCC's control.

The municipality has a role there, too. In a report that goes before planning committee on Sept. 23, staff detailed which facilities the city will need and how to get the money to pay for them.

The wish list includes a 2.5-hectare city park at Nepean Inlet complete with a sports field with artificial turf, basketball and pickle ball courts, playgrounds and a splash pad, a permanent outdoor skating rink, skateboard park, dog park, and community building with change rooms.

Staff peg that park at $6.25 million in today's dollars, with another $3 million for the community building, and would intend to build the park portion when a quarter of the expected 4,000 housing units at LeBreton are in place.

Recreation staff at the City of Ottawa have created a preliminary design for what might be included in a future city park at LeBreton Flats. (City of Ottawa)

A special development charge or levy on tax bills might be required to build the park, staff say. They have used such tools in other parts of the city, including light rail in Riverside South and the Stonebridge golf course in Barrhaven.

The need for affordable housing comes up in many discussions about the future of LeBreton Flats, and policies require 25 per cent of units to be affordable, say city staff. That might happen by offering land to non-profit groups for a small amount, or requiring units from developers.

City staff also see the need for a new child-care centre at LeBreton Flats, whether it's built by the city or a non-profit organization. They plan to report back to councillors next spring after further study of the idea.

There is a longer wish list developed by the city during a workshop with the community, and that is attached to the staff report in a big grid, though it's not clear how those items would be built.

The longer list includes federal parks, plus everything from pathways and community gardens to grocery stores and space for non-profit groups.


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