Lansdowne delays are an opportunity to offer ideas, not lay blame

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It may be convenient to label Glebe residents as anti-anything at Lansdowne Park, but that does not make it true. People here have co-existed for many decades with the traffic, noise and exciting energy that characterize this public venue, and they are more interested than anyone in seeing Lansdowne Park redeveloped as a vibrant hub of culture, enterprise, recreation and sport. 

Indeed, local residents are positively bursting with constructive ideas about how to redevelop this public space to offer opportunities for athletes, businesses, artists and others. Not once in many weeks of campaigning in Capital Ward — and not once since — have I heard a single citizen say they want to leave Lansdowne Park as it is.

Lansdowne Park is arguably Ottawa’s most important public space, and many continue to believe that it should be redeveloped in a way that achieves the very best results for the public good, remaining in public hands.

As for the delays, it is equally convenient and untrue to attribute these to the court challenge. I sit on the Lansdowne Design Review Panel and can tell you that everything is well behind the original schedule. This is a big and complicated project, and delays have been encountered in all most every aspect of the design work, the legal agreements and the search for commercial tenants.

But delays are not always a bad thing. Used constructively, delays offer us a chance to question, revisit and improve on what has been proposed to date. Delays also provide an opportunity to listen to the many ideas that previously went unheard at open houses that were more sales pitch than consultation. The best ideas could still be adopted, the rest rejected.

The outcome of the court challenge will not be known for months. Let's use the intervening time to improve, not to blame.

–David Chernushenko

Lansdowne sport fields suggested

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Include soccer, ball facilities, residents tell consultants

By Sneh Duggal, Ottawa Citizen

Residents expressed concern Thursday that the design for a new urban park at Lansdowne does not include designated sporting areas such as soccer fields.

"We're going to spend a lot of money, but we're not going to have any soccer fields or baseball diamonds," said resident Fraser Pollock.

"There are some practical elements that just aren't there."

About 25 people turned out for round two of public consultations being held for the urban park that will be part of the Lansdowne Park redevelopment.

Accompanying the park will be a refurbished Frank Clair Stadium and the development of 340,000 square feet of commercial space -being overseen through a public-private partnership between the city and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group.

A group with Phillips Farevaag and Smallenberg (PFS) are in Ottawa this week to get public input on their proposed design plan. The Vancouver-based firm beat out four others shortlisted in the design competition for the public space.

Glebe residents urged to put green thumbs to work in proposed Lansdowne park

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Area residents examine a map of the proposed design for Lansdowne Park. It would have 10 different areas, including a Great Lawn and community gardens. Photograph by: Jean Levac, Ottawa Citizen

By SNEH DUGGAL, Ottawa Citizen

In order for the planned urban park at Lansdowne to move forward, a group of passionate locals with green thumbs might have to step forward to help care for an on-site orchard.

“What we’re trying to explore is giving residents in the neighbourhood an opportunity to participate in the park,” said Marta Farevaag, a partner of the firm designing the public space, adding that the idea is open to change pending public input.

About 60 residents packed into the Glebe Collegiate cafeteria on Wednesday night for the first of two public meetings on the urban park. The refurbishment of Frank Clair Stadium and the development of 340,000 square feet of commercial space — being overseen through a public-private partnership between the city and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group — are also part of the plan for the project.

Architects with Phillips Farevaag and Smallenberg (PFS) are in Ottawa this week to get public input on their proposed design plan. The Vancouver-based firm beat out four others shortlisted in the design competition for the public space.

The urban space would have 10 different elements including the Aberdeen Pavilion, the Horticulture Building, a Great Lawn that would hold about 10,000 people, as well as a children's garden, an outdoor curling rink and community gardens. The planned rink would be placed east of the Aberdeen Pavilion.

"I think with the small portion of land that they have to work with, they put a lot of thought into it," said resident Linden Holmes, who stirred the rest of the room into applause. "I'm quite impressed with the plan."

Holmes said one thing she would like included in the space is a more natural area for people to walk through.

Several programming ideas for the space were also discussed. They included having the Ottawa Farmer's Market on site throughout the year, hosting the finish line for the Ottawa Marathon and holding Winterlude activities.

The Horticulture Building would be home to studio space, a skate rental booth, a café and offices needed for park management, said Jeffrey Staates, a principal at the firm.

The firm's original proposal included an artificial island in the middle of the canal and a bridge that would connect the site to Old Ottawa East, but these two elements were eliminated when the design was first selected.

After some residents expressed concern last year about how the existing Sylvia Holden Park at the corner of Bank Street and Holmwood Avenue would fit into the redevelopment, architect Greg Smallenberg said many of its features were "very comfortably residing in our drawings."

Meanwhile, a court challenge, launched by Friends of Lansdowne, is threatening to push back the start date for construction. The group claims bylaws and resolutions approved by city council last June are tainted by "illegality."

While the challenge was set to be heard early next month, it has been postponed until late June.

Work on the stadium was to have started in May and been completed by June 2013. The disputed move of the horticultural building was set to happen between May and September, but this might also be delayed until the fall.

The firm will be developing a detailed design plan for the park within the next few months. Various programming ideas are being considered and will go before city council this summer.

The next meeting will be held tonight in the main hall of the Ottawa South Community Centre from 6-9 p.m.

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Glebe+residents+urged+green+thumbs+work+proposed+Lansdowne+park/4493397/story.html#ixzz1S63O7QkX

Old Ottawa South Moose take Capital Ward Cup

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Capital Ward Cup winners the Old Ottawa South Moose with Councillor David Chernushenko, who refereed the tournament.

 

The Old Ottawa South Moose won a hard-fought final by a score of 10-9 over the powerful Old Ottawa East Hosers (defending champions) to take home the Capital Ward Cup on Sunday Jan. 30.

 

Councillor David Chernushenko refereed this fourth annual version of the Capital Ward Cup, initiated by his predecessor Clive Doucet. This year's event was hosted by the Glebe at Mutchmor Rink. The other participating teams were the Glebe Goal-Getters and the Heron Park Hackers.

 

The Capital Ward Cup will be displayed at the Old Firehall Community Centre for the coming year, bringing pride to Old Ottawa South and inciting Heron Park, the Glebe and Old Ottawa East to return with a vengeance next year. The 2012 tournament will be hosted by Heron Park.

 

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Capital Ward Cup finalists the Old Ottawa South Moose (in blue) and the Old Ottawa East Hosers (in green) with Councillor David Chernushenko.


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The final game.

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The Glebe Goal-Getters (in black) take on the Heron Park Hackers (in red).


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