More work to do to ensure Lansdowne is ready for thousands of fans

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Alison Sandor, CFRA News

There's still work to be done ahead of July 18th to ensure the first home game of the Ottawa Redblacks goes smoothly.

That's the message from the Lansdowne Transportation Monitoring and Operations Committee following Wednesday's open house at the stadium for ticket holders.

Capital Ward Councillor David Chernushenko told CFRA even though they've been promoting bus service and cycling to Lansdowne, not everyone was getting the message during the official opening Wednesday.

"We've been trying to get the message out for weeks, if not months now," he said. "If you don't already have a VIP box-holding parking pass underground, there is no parking at the site. You still had people coming in saying 'where do I park?' We know we've got to keep spreading that message."

He did say, however, there were a fair number of people who did test out alternate means of transportation to the site.

"The percentage of people was 35 to 40 per cent of attendees came using some form of OC Transpo, STO from Gatineau, shuttles, park and rides," he said. "If that percentage holds true for the 24,000 event on July 18th, that's great. That is the target."

He said by-law officers will strictly be enforcing parking on side streets during events at TD Place.

Crews will also put out better signage to indicate where people should be locking up their bicycles and will complete the sidewalk in front of Lansdowne before next Friday, in the hopes that fewer pedestrians will be jay-walking across the street from the Bank Street Bridge.

Get riding. TD Place to offer 1,000 secure bike parking spots for fans

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Amy Yee, Metro Ottawa

The countdown to the opening of TD Place at Lansdowne Park continues with fans being encouraged once again to leave their cars at home and take alternative transportation to games.

Bernie Ashe, CEO of Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG), announced Sunday that 600 on-site parking spots will be available for cyclists riding into the park. For events with more than 10,000 fans, the park will have 1,000 spots available, partnering up with Wheel-Up to offer supervised and secure bicycle parking. The zone will open two hours prior to an event and close when the last bike is picked up.

The Lansdowne area now has a 20 km/h speed limit and super sharrows are now painted southbound on the bridge. This designates the outside lane for cyclists and requires cars to either follow behind them or pass onto the inside lane

“(Biking) is possible, it’s safe, it’s attractive and for the most part it’s actually the most convenient way, the fastest, simplest way to get here,” said Coun. David Chernushenko.

“Cycling is no longer an afterthought, it is now a consideration in all of our planning and you’ll see that reflected here at Lansdowne.”

À vélo ou en bus à la Place TD

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Julien Paquette, Le Droit

À quelques jours du premier match du Rouge et Noir, la Ville d'Ottawa et l'Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) poursuivent leur offensive pour encourager l'emploi du transport actif et du transport en commun pour se rendre à la Place TD.

Le football canadien sera officiellement de retour dans la capitale le 18 juillet. Malgré les nombreux avertissements, la crainte de voir un embouteillage monstre autour du parc Lansdowne le jour du match demeure importante du côté de la municipalité et du promoteur.

Le conseiller du quartier, David Chernushenko, ne croit pas au désastre, mais croit que plusieurs n'auront pas saisi le message de la Ville à temps. Il entrevoit un bouchon de circulation qu'il interprète comme un «passage obligé».

«C'est un changement de culture important pour certaines personnes. Ç'a longtemps été un automatisme de se rendre en voiture au match. Au mieux, on faisait du covoiturage», affirme M. Chernushenko.

Le conseiller soutient que les automobilistes ne la trouveront pas drôle et continue de les encourager à explorer les alternatives qui s'offrent à eux pour se rendre au stade.

«Si jamais le premier événement est un désastre, je crois que la plupart des gens qui ont décidé de conduire vont changer d'avis. Espérons pour les équipes qu'ils ne décideront pas simplement de ne plus venir à Lansdowne», explique David Chernushenko.

Hoping for cycling 'culture shift' for football games

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City pushing resident to ride bikes

By Megan Gillis, Ottawa Sun

Don't drive to Lansdowne.

Got it yet?

As the city counts down to the first home game for the CFL's RedBlacks, the city and Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group have been warning fans to take the bus or use park and ride shuttles — free with a ticket — to avoid traffic snarls, virtually no on-site parking and little on Glebe streets.

Now they're saying ride your bike, with Coun. David Chernushenko leading a cycling convoy to the new stadium Sunday, touting a host of new safety features nearby and demonstrating free, gated bike parking for major events, like the RedBlacks' sold-out home opener before 24,000 fans.

Though OSEG says 750 ticketholders have already told them they'll bike and 1,000 are expected to do so, Chernushenko admitted it may take a bit of a "culture shift" to get football fans to trade tailgating for two wheels and perhaps some annoyance July 18.

"My best guess is there will still be a lot of people trying to drive despite our best efforts and maybe that's a necessary step for us to go through — oh, I shouldn't have done that, next time I'm going to walk, cycle, take the bus," he said, though he hastened to add he thinks planning will avert the outright "traffic chaos" on streets many residents fear will become parking lots.

The avid cyclist pointed to a traffic signals crossing Queen Elizabeth Dr. at Fifth Ave. that are decades in the works but soon complete, reduced speed limits on Bank St. and "super sharrows" on the Bank St. Bridge.

They signal drivers to stay behind cyclists and slow to 20 km/hr or change lanes to pass on the bridge.

But Alex deVries of Citizens for Safe Cycling is skeptical after visiting the bridge and finding cyclists still walking their bikes on the sidewalk, pushed off the bridge where the city has nixed bike lanes.

Meanwhile, the city has quietly distributed maps on how to get to Lansdowne suggesting that the bridge is part of a "walk your bike" zone.

"It's quite contradictory," deVries said.

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

Local residents get first look at new TD Place stadium

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Extended: TD Place taken shape
The TD Place stadium at Lansdowne will officially open July 18, 2014 for the Ottawa Redblacks sold out home opener.

CTV Ottawa

The countdown is on with just a little more than a week to go until the Ottawa Redblacks play their first home game.

The doors to the new TD Place stadium open on July 18. But residents of the Glebe, Old Ottawa South and Old Ottawa East got a sneak peek at the new stadium Sunday afternoon.

“I live in the Glebe, so it wasn't really exciting at first when we found out what was going to go on with the traffic and so on, but I think it's going to be great,” said one Glebe resident.

“I have to admit I’m pretty impressed, I have to say they’ve organized it quite well,” said another resident.

The 24,000-seat stadium is just about ready for the highly anticipated Redblacks’ home opener, which is sold out.

A new bike parking lot was unveiled with room for more than 600 bikes.

More than 15,000 people are expected to flock to the stadium for concerts and games.

Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group is encouraging people to take free public transit and shuttle services to get to and from major events at the stadium at Lansdowne Park.

For ticket holders to major events, OC Transpo will be free three hours before events at TD Place, and three hours after they end.

Work is continuing on the urban park space at Lansdowne Park, which will feature an apple orchard, benches, shrubs, a children’s play area, and 800 trees.

The official opening of Lansdowne Park is August 16.

Glebe residents reject fire station pathway

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By Laura Mueller, Metroland

A proposed multi-use pathway alongside the Glebe fire station drew criticism at a meeting where residents got a look at plans for a cycling network for the neighbourhood.

The path is the biggest-ticket item and city staff said it's the best way to complete the north-south cycling facility on O'Connor Street, which will stretch from Parliament Hill to Lansdowne Park. The section of path in question would divert cyclists off the one-block stub of O'Connor just before Lansdowne. It's a one-way northbound street and there isn't enough room to put bi-directional bike lanes on the street to let cyclists move north and southbound from Lansdowne.

But the path would connect with an existing recreational pathway in Sylvia Holden Park, which would result in cyclists zooming through the middle of the park with children crossing and playing all around, said Glebe residents.

"You're going to have kids running around pell-mell with cyclists biking through," said Elizabeth Ballard, who pleaded with staff and Capital Coun. David Chernushenko to come up with a better solution.

A better solution would be to remove the sidewalk along that oneblock section of O'Connor and make it into a multi-use path along the road with bollards separating it from the park, she said.

Megan Dewar, a parent who lives on that block of O'Connor, was also concerned. She said she'd prefer to see a bi-directional bike lane on the street, which would turn the corner and continue to a bidirectional lane proposed for Holmwood Avenue, which is also a one-way street. Parking would have to be moved to the opposite side of the street, Dewar said.

"The existing pathway is a route around the park," Dewar said, adding that it's use by small children on tricycles who do circuits around the path. Other than the pathway proposal, most residents at a June 25 information said the plans looked fine. The only other downside mentioned by Glebe residents was the proliferation of "sharrows" rather than lines painted to delineate a bike lane. Sharrows are bike and arrow markings indicating cyclists and vehicles should share the space.

Farmers’ market will return to Lansdowne Park in the fall

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Permanent spot in Aberdeen Square and Aberdeen Pavilion in winter

COLE BURSTON/ OTTAWA CITIZEN The Ottawa Farmers’ Market has been held at Brewer Park for three seasons during redevelopment at Lansdowne Park. Vendors will have a permanent home at Lansdowne as of November.

Matthew Pearson, Ottawa Citizen

The Ottawa Farmers Market has reached an agreement with the city that secures permanent space at the redeveloped Lansdowne Park, starting in November.

In a report to the city’s finance committee, which meets Thursday, staff recommend approving the agreement negotiated by the market’s board of directors and the city. It cements a November 2010 memorandum of understanding that “demonstrated the city’s commitment to have a farmers’ market as a permanent element of programming at the revitalized” park, the report says.

The OFM has successfully operated its summer market at Brewer Park for the past three seasons but welcomes the return to Lansdowne, said general manager Linda Cook.

“We’re just hoping that going back to Lansdowne will be even better,” she said Thursday. “We’re looking forward to the new experience.”

The agreement gives the farmers’ market “non exclusive use” of Aberdeen Square for up to seven days a week between May and November, and space inside the adjacent Aberdeen Pavilion to hold an indoor market on weekends from November to April.

The Christmas market will be held this year on the weekends of Nov. 29-30, and Dec. 6-7 and 13-14.

The proposed schedule for 2015 will see the outdoor market open on Wednesdays and Fridays, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Horticulture Building targeted to reclaim heritage designation

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Renovations to the Horticulture Building continue at Lansdowne Park.

Renovations to the Horticulture Building continue at Lansdowne Park.

Matthew Pearson, Ottawa Citizen

The city is taking steps to return the heritage designation to the century-old Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park now that it has been relocated as part of the massive redevelopment.

The building, which is an example of a Prairie-style exhibition hall, was constructed in 1914, and was one of a number of buildings put up there as part of its long history as a fairgrounds.

Council repealed the building’s former heritage designation in 2010 to approve its relocation, but committed then to enacting a new heritage designation once the building was relocated and rehabilitated.

The building was moved 140 metres to the east to its new location in 2012 to form the eastern boundary of Aberdeen Square, an open space that will be the site of the Ottawa farmers’ market.

Work on its rehabilitation for integration into Lansdowne Park is underway, according to a planning department report to be considered at Thursday’s built heritage subcommittee meeting.

When completed, the front portion of the building is intended for restaurant uses and the large open interior space will be for community use. An interior entrance to the underground parking garage will be located at the corner of the building.

The Horticulture Building will be returned to its original colour, but because of the softness of the brick and the technical difficulties involved with removing the current cream-coloured paint, it will be painted red, the report says.

The re-designation “signals the city’s commitment to the building and the historic role it has played in Lansdowne Park and the city of Ottawa,” the report concludes.

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If you don’t find the information you need on these pages, please visit, 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.