LeBreton Flats public consultations ending today

Monday marks the final day members of the public can submit online feedback on two competing visions to redevelop LeBreton Flats.

NCC to close online questionnaire after Monday

The Devcore Canderel DLS Group made a linear park called Canadensis the spine of its public use area in its proposal. RendezVous LeBreton's bid has a major event centre and LeBreton Square as its public anchor use. (renderings submitted)

Today is the final day members of the public can submit online feedback on two competing visions to redevelop LeBreton Flats.

The National Capital Commission's online questionnaire asks people to weigh in on what they like and dislike about the two proposals put forward by Devcore Canderel DLS Group — a group backed by Quebec-based billionaires André Desmarais and Guy Laliberté — and RendezVous LeBreton, which has the backing of Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk.

Both proposals for an area just west of Ottawa's downtown core include an innovation pavilion, linear plazas, public squares, a public library, and an NHL-calibre arena.

The DCDLS bid, "LeBreton Re-Imagined," would bring various new attractions to the capital, including a Canadian Communication Centre, a planetarium, a skydiving wind tunnel, a skate park, an automotive museum and a Ripley's aquarium — all linked by "Canadensis," a botanical linear park featuring plants from across the country.

It will be on display at 360 Albert St. from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday.

RendezVous LeBreton's bid, called "Illumination LeBreton," would see five distinct neighbourhoods — Pimisi, Bayview, Quartier LeBreton, Asticou and Aqueduct — centred around a major events centre.

It is set up in section 203 of the Canadian Tire Centre from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday.

Community association weighs in

The Dalhousie Community Association, which encompasses LeBreton Flats, announced Monday it would not be supporting one proposal over the other.

However, the DCA issued a series of recommendations that it felt would make the "vertical subdivision" a well-integrated part of the city — including a grocery store, schools in both official languages, a wide range of housing types, and minimal light pollution.

Go 'beyond the proposals'

Michelle Reimer was one of about 20 urban planners, architects, heritage advocates and other "concerned citizens" who met Saturday at HUB Ottawa to discuss the next steps for LeBreton Flats.

She urged people to go "beyond the proposals" in offering their feedback to the NCC.

"The consultation is taking place at the end of the planning process. It didn't take place early on," she said.

"So now we're put in a position to react to a bunch of ideas, versus really looking at that land and looking at the needs of Ottawa and thinking about the national significance of that space. And really engaging — broadly speaking — [with] what is possible."

An evaluation committee is expected to recommend one of the plans to the NCC's board in March 2016.

Input from the online questionnaire will "be compiled and submitted to the members of the evaluation committee for their consideration," according to a statement on the NCC's website.

The NCC doesn't intend to announce a winner to the public until early 2017, if it has negotiated with the successful bidder and received federal approvals.