A stadium for Ottawa

Lansdowne Live? Scotiabank Place? LeBreton – Bayview?

I am not a fan of a new stadium at Lansdowne Park. It is not accessible enough – the neighborhood streets are narrow, local-style shopping and residential streets. It is not on the Qway nor the transitway. Open air concerts and mass public events are just not compatible enough with the residential area. A major park, including residential development (yes, expensive condos) to help pay for it all, is better. A massive city expenditure on a fancy park just for the Glebe, no. I suggest we continue the urban fabric along Bank Street and maybe on the north side too, with condos and commercial spaces sold to fund the development of the parkland. Do a great job, not a cheap job (the condo sales will help determine the budget).

ScotiaBank Place? A better choice than Lansdowne, for sure. It just makes sense for two major sport facilities to use the same parking lot and eventually the same transit station (extend the transitway out there sooner rather than later, bus rapid transit if necessary but LRT would be best). Open air concerts and games would not be so intrusive on neighbors simply because so much space around the Place is commercial or freeway. And we want our suburbs to be more than dormitory dead zones, so putting another major cultural centre in Kanata makes sense in diversifying their/our economy. And if I recall right, Scotiabank Place is pretty much the geographical centre of the city anyway, and stadiums of this size draw from a wide region.

I realize that the recent city report into stadium locations put three highly rated possible locations in my neighborhood: Bayview, Somerset, and Carling sites. Only Bayview seems large enough to me. But I dont want the noise of the open air concerts (Noisefest is intrusive enough, being permitted to exceed the city’s noise bylaws by 100% isn’t exactly a subtle musical atmosphere). Nor do I really want all the on-street parking that would accompany every game or event. And Bayview isn’t on the Qway but it will be the meeting point of the east-west and north-south and interprovincial transit system. I also lack faith that the city could ever develop a dense enough project, that they couldn’t really integrate it into an urban fabric – I fear we would have a big building surrounded by dead space and parking lots (see Scotiabank, and any city funded building elsewhere). Smart growth remains all talk, little action in this city.

So, with some misgivings, put it in Kanata.

2 thoughts on “A stadium for Ottawa

  1. A Kanata stadium is by far the worst option on the table, if you ask me. The fact that we haven’t done well in the past isn’t an argument for not trying to do better in the future, and a Kanata stadium would basically signify us throwing up our hands in defeat. And personally, I feel that saying that because there’s no one around, it’s a better spot for an open-air stadium is missing the point. Tons of people live around or near some of the world’s most famous open-air stadiums, such as Wrigley Field, Fenway Park and Old Trafford. Even Montreal’s Molson Stadium, widely regarded as the best place to see a game in the CFL is smack-dab in the middle of the city, residential areas included.

    For my money, Bayview is the best option. It’s close to downtown, and can take advantage of Ottawa’s topography to give spectactors an impressive backdrop for games. It will be right at a major transfer station between our two planned light rail lines, and is accessible for people driving in from the east, west, south and Gatineau. It’s the clear winner, in my mind.

  2. I have to say it again because some people still don’t get it: it’s not about the stadium.

    The two issues are:
    – What to do with Lansdowne Park? (And who will pay for it?)
    – Developers wanting permission for highly profitable developments that are tied somehow to a stadium plan.

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