By David Reevely, The Ottawa Citizen
OTTAWA — The provincial heritage agency that controls key aspects of the Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park can live with the redevelopment planned for the property as long as the historic centrepiece of the site is preserved and enhanced, according to an agreement it's reached with the city.
No final agreement has been reached between the city and the Ontario Heritage Trust, but they do have a deal on broad principles that allow planning work on the Lansdowne project to continue. Although city staff reported to councillors last week that they'd reached that deal, neither body wanted to release its terms — spokesmen for each said they were afraid of offending each other, and the negotiations are delicate.
But in essence, the agreement lets Lansdowne Park be redeveloped as long as the result is to put the Aberdeen Pavilion in a more attractive setting that gets more use than the sea of parking that surrounds it now.
The trust bought a crucial degree of control over the city-owned Lansdowne Park in 1992, when it contributed $2 million toward the $4.5-million repair of the pavilion at a time when the former city of Ottawa was scrounging for money. It secured not only the city's promise to protect and preserve the Aberdeen Pavilion, but also wide sightlines to the building from Queen Elizabeth Drive and Bank Street.