Showing neighbourly love to Glebeites

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By Megan Gillis, Ottawa Sun

From sheer dread to giddy anticipation.

Opinion was utterly mixed as people who live in the neighbourhoods ringing Lansdowne Park stepped onto what's still a construction site to tour the RedBlacks new home.

Lynn Townsend happily posed for photos on the astroturf against the backdrop of the unfinished condo tower she'll be moving into.

"What a gorgeous place," she said, adding "my grandchildren live in the Glebe, we'll meet at the farmer's market for breakfast on Sundays."

Current Glebeite Micheline Boyle says most boosters must be football fans.

"The rest of us are saying let's see what happens -- with the shopping centre, the parking, what about the park?" she said, adding that after the bitter battle over the site's future "it's like waiting for a train wreck."

The first home game is July 18 -- the urban park officially opens Aug. 16 -- but residents of the Glebe and Old Ottawa South and East got guided tours Sunday.

"We wanted to reach out to our neighbours - give them a sneak peek of TD Place before anyone else," said Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group CEO Bernie Ashe, adding they're trying to be "good neighbours" after the "big sacrifice" of construction.

Residents passed parked construction vehicles, an unplanted berm and buildings still shells to get to the stadium where they were greeted by pom-pom waving cheerleaders, crossed a footbridge to the south stands and were offered high-fives by Big Joe.

"It was a well-organized open house and a smart PR move for them," concluded Kathi Elborn, who lives a few blocks away.

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Twitter: @ottawasun_megan

If you don’t find the information you need on these pages, please visit ottawa.ca/newlansdowne, or to contact the City directly by email at newlansdowne@ottawa.caor by calling 3-1-1 (press 1 for English, then 5 for the Lansdowne line). If necessary, you may also contact the project manager, Marco Manconi, at 613-580-2424 ext. 43229, or by email.