Monday, November 21, 2011

Changes to Lansdowne plan have me worried

As other blogs and media outlets have reported, a few more details about the Lansdowne Park redevelopment have emerged. Crate & Barrel will be the tenant of the space at Bank and Holmwood.

There are some other small changes to note in the Trinity Developments map. First, along Holmwood there are now five larger buildings instead of six smaller buildings. Also, the central plaza in between the Whole Foods/LCBO and the Aberdeen Pavillion is gone.

I'm still a supporter of the plan (it's better than what's there now) and I'd really enjoy CFL football, NASL soccer and Whole Foods, but to be honest I'm less excited about it.

The Central Plaza was a big selling point for me. How many plazas and public squares does Ottawa have, especially where you can have a drink or a bite to eat with friends? This feature is what really set this project apart from a big box development for me. I actually used to fantasize about bringing my friends from out of town to eat at the Central Plaza at Lansdowne. It looked like it would've been an exciting meeting place; the coolest place to eat in the city.

The plan on a whole has been very watered down from what we saw a year ago, partly out of compromise with the neighbours and the need for the development to remain profitable.

Now, for the first time since this project was proposed, I'm actually not 100-percent certain this thing won't end up looking like something in Orleans or Barrhaven. The recent changes to the plan seem to be going in that direction although all we're going off of is a map not renderings.

Let's hope they get the urban design and architecture right or else we'll be hearing "I told you so" from the Friends of Lansdowne and Clive Doucet for the next ten years.

OSEG, please don't let us down.

Kevin Bourne


  1. Too many compromises to accommodate as many people as possible is most likely one of the best way to kill the creativity and enthusiasm of the designers. Hopefully they'll overcome it.

    There's still space to create something fun and unique that most people can enjoy and appreciate. Maybe they'll take clues from Dix30 to make sure the retailer get the required square footage to be viable and the final product ends up being something to be proud of.

  2. Besides Whole Foods, you can add Empire Theatres (something I feel you can be excited about, seeing movies). I'm excited about that too, so I can have another option besides South Keys (the closest multiplex to my house, and I am in Nepean at present). But still, I've got the same basic idea as you. And they should have thought more about rail for Lansdowne.