NCC board OK's preliminary concept plan for LeBreton Flats

The board of directors of the National Capital Commission has approved the preliminary master concept plan for the long-awaited redevelopment of LeBreton Flats.

Major event centre such as NHL arena remains 'key component'

A rendering of what the Aqueduct District, the heart of LeBreton Flats, might look like. (NCC)

The board of directors of the National Capital Commission (NCC) has approved the preliminary master concept plan for the long-awaited redevelopment of LeBreton Flats.

The plan builds on an earlier draft released in November after a previous plan by RendezVous LeBreton Group, a partnership between Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk and developer Trinity's John Ruddy, fell through. 

The new plan divides the 29-hectare property just west of Ottawa's downtown into four distinct districts:

  • The Aqueduct District, a vibrant cultural and entertainment hub alongside the area's two existing aqueducts.
  • The Flats District, a predominantly residential community with pedestrian-oriented streets and a variety of housing types.
  • The Park District at the west end of LeBreton will function as the area's main green space.
  • The Albert District, a mixed-use neighbourhood anchored by the future central library and a potential event centre such as an NHL arena. There will also be space for homes, offices and shops.

The districts will be developed in phases, the NCC said.

The master concept plan divides LeBreton Flats into four distinct zones. (NCC)

Arena remains 'key component'

"The plan is very clear," NCC board chair Marc Seaman said. "But we also know as a board, we didn't want to necessarily have all of our eggs in one basket, so that's why we're progressing with this type of plan."

Seaman said a major event centre remains "a key component" of the plan. "We have a perfect location for it," he said. 

In a news release, NCC CEO Tobi Nussbaum called the master concept plan "a vision and a guide for a site with a vital role in the future of Ottawa and Canada's Capital Region."

The NCC will soon launch a request for proposals for the Albert District, Nussbaum said Thursday.

"So in some ways you'll start seeing a rolling process with multiple stages of the procurement process being advanced."

Grocery store, farmers market

More than 5,000 people took part in public consultations that led to the concept plan.

In addition to a major entertainment venue, their priorities for the site included affordable housing, a grocery store and a farmers market, board members heard. People also want access to waterways via boardwalks, and possibly a skate park. 

Mayor Jim Watson, who sits as a non-voting member on the NCC board, said he's pleased by the prospect of the 6,500 jobs the area is expected to generate once construction is complete.

NCC officials said they hope to have shovels in the ground by 2021. First, the board will have to approve a final concept plan, likely in the fall.


Krystalle Ramlakhan is a multi-platform journalist with CBC Ottawa. She has also worked for CBC in P.E.I., Winnipeg and Iqaluit.


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