An Ottawa hub since the city was known as Bytown, the City created Lansdowne Park in 1868 in advance of the first agricultural fair held a year later in 1869. Over the years, Lansdowne has played host to hundreds of important historical, cultural and sporting events:
- The Central Canadian Exhibition was first held in 1888 and ran until 2010 (as SuperEx).
- Canadian troops gathered at Lansdowne before heading to war in the Boer, WWI and WWII conflicts.
- Lansdowne was the site of six federal leadership conventions since 1919, identifying party leaders including Louis St. Laurent, William Lyon McKenzie-King, David Lewis, and Brian Mulroney.
- Lansdowne is the home of Ottawa football, soccer and basketball, and has hosted international soccer, curling and skating events, including Grey Cups and Stanley Cups.
- Dozens of major concerts including appearances by Led Zepplin, Rolling Stones, Whitney Houston, David Bowie, and U2.
- Countless community events that have enriched the day-to-day life of the city.
After decades of under-investment, Lansdowne was underused and in a state of disrepair by the mid 2000s.
In 2009, Ottawa City Council directed City staff to work with OSEG to develop a new vision for Lansdowne Park, which was presented and approved by City Council in the fall of 2009.
In 2012, the City entered a 30-year (now 40) partnership with OSEG to redevelop and revitalize Lansdowne, and then continue to operate and maintain the site.
After two years of construction, the site re-opened in August 2014 with a renewed football stadium, preserved Aberdeen Pavilion and Horticulture Buildings, new green and community spaces, retail and restaurants, and the first residential units.
Faced with ongoing challenges, in 2020 the City directed working groups made up of City and OSEG representatives to explore options for enhancing the sustainability and viability of Lansdowne. A preferred option to take a long-term approach to Lansdowne and completely replace the aging Civic Centre and North Stadium, was approved by City Council in 2021.
In 2022, at the request of the City, OSEG developed and presented a concept plan for the replacement of these City assets and enhancements to the site. The concept plan was approved in principle by City Council in June 2022 with direction for the City to undertake important financial and planning due diligence activities.
The public consultation and due diligence activities have informed the revised concept plan being presented to Committee and Council in November.
If approved, this new concept plan will introduce a world-class Event Centre, new North Side Stands, and new residential and retail spaces, as well as public realm improvements to the site.
The need to build an even better Lansdowne
While the first phase of revitalization greatly enhanced and restored Lansdowne, there is still work to be done. Most pressing is the need to replace the aging North Stadium Stands and Civic Centre complex. Built in 1967, the 56-year-old complex is at the end of its serviceable life and is considered functionally obsolete.
- Has a history of water penetration and damage.
- Is not accessible, with seating, washrooms and general experience not up to current standards.
- Is highly inefficient and one of the most inefficient energy consumers in the City’s portfolio.
- Is expensive to maintain and is increasingly getting more expensive.
This is the opportunity to finish what was started in 2014, and create new, state-of-the-art, accessible, and sustainable facilities that address these challenges and enhance the site. The time is now to build an even better Lansdowne.
In 2021, the City and OSEG committed to implementing a long-term solution for Lansdowne: replace aging, functionally obsolete City infrastructure with new, modern facilities worthy of Canada’s capital city.
Do you support an even better Lansdowne?
Your voice matters! Show your support for investing in an even better Lansdowne by:
- Getting in touch with your Mayor or your ward Councillor to express your support.
- Signing up to show your support and stay informed (provide your name, email and postal code):