The following are answers to some frequently asked questions about the Revised Concept Plan and the need to build an even better Lansdowne. We will continue to update the FAQ as the conversation around the Revised Concept Plan takes place this fall.
Historically, Lansdowne has been one of Ottawa’s most popular special event destinations, and more recently has become THE gathering place for residents and visitors alike. Since re-opening in 2014, the site has welcomed over 25 million people for sporting, cultural, and community events and everyday activities with almost 600 residents calling it home. It is regarded as a safe, accessible, and vibrant destination in the heart of the city.
The revitalization, and consequently the reinvigorated popularity of the site has brought strong community growth and support for local businesses and organizations throughout the Glebe Business Improvement Area and the larger Ottawa business community all year-round. Lansdowne is a unique economic development driver for tourism and entertainment, and these much-needed dollars create jobs that support families, help put students through school and ensure area residents have the services and conveniences of a capital city. The site currently houses over 50 businesses, has created over 4,000 full and part-time jobs, and is one of the largest youth employers in the city. The current economic impact of the Lansdowne is estimated between $270-$530M annually.
The revised concept plan will build on this impact by supporting more event days a year, more retail, more residents, and additional use of the stadium and Event Centre to create new employment opportunities and economic benefit.
Building an even better Lansdowne will have an important economic effect on the region. An independent economic impact analysis of the Lansdowne proposal estimates that the broader economic impacts include adding $565 million to Ottawa’s GDP and approximately 5,000 new jobs.
Tourism is Ottawa’s third leading economic driver, and a major employer in Ottawa. Activities carried out by business that serve tourists represent over 30,600 full time jobs, with employees earning $1 billion in direct wages and salaries.
Lansdowne is a major destination within the city, drawing over 25 million tourists and residents every year to sporting, cultural and community events, and to enjoy the public spaces and retail amenities on site.
Building an even better Lansdowne will support continued growth within Ottawa’s tourism industry. An independent analysis of visitor spending on the regional and provincial economy estimates that the new plan for Lansdowne will contribute $51 million in GDP, and almost 850 jobs.
The revised concept plan proposes investments to the site that are sustainable and will benefit Ottawa today and for generations to come. Through this investment, Ottawa will get new, state-of-the-art City-owned facilities to host more major and community events, and new public realm enhancements, including a new plaza that will further animate the site. Unlike other city-owned assets, the cost to operate and maintain Lansdowne will come out of revenues generated from ticket sales and the site’s economic activity – not with tax dollars.
The plan is supported by the City of Ottawa’s current private sector partners. Lansdowne is made possible through a 40-year partnership between the City of Ottawa, who own the land and facilities, and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) who have helped redevelop the site and operate and maintain the City’s infrastructure.
The City’s local, community-minded partners support the long-term viability of the site and are committed to building on Lansdowne’s proud history as Ottawa’s gathering place. In addition to operating and maintaining the infrastructure, OSEG are committed community builders, with the OSEG Foundation contributing more than $3.7M in programming and community investments, and REDBLACKS and 67’s players investing over 7,000 hours every year engaging with Ottawa residents.
The aging Civic Centre/North Stadium Stands complex, built in 1967, is at the end of its serviceable life and considered “functionally obsolete”. Functional obsolescence means that, while the building is structurally sound, it is below acceptable modern building standards. Some of the most pressing issues include:
• A history of water penetration and damage
• Seating, aisle widths, and washrooms that are not up to current code or accessibility standards, or expectations for the modern fan/visitor experience.
• The building is one of the largest and most inefficient energy consumers in the City’s real estate portfolio.
City Council approved the need for the replacement of these City-owned assets in 2021. Further to this, the City requested that OSEG develop a concept plan for the replacement of these assets and the broader renewal of the site, which OSEG delivered, and City Council approved in May 2022.
The Civic Centre/North Side Stands complex is old, approaching functional obsolescence, and even maintained in its current state, will continue to fall further behind guest expectations of an event centre within a competitive marketplace.
Recognizing this, the City of Ottawa considered several options including: status quo (basic maintenance), renovation/refurbishment of the existing structure, and the development of new, modern, sustainable, and accessible facilities. All options were reviewed by experts and discussed as part of a consultative process with the City, Councillor Working Groups, and consultation with the community in 2021.
Both the status quo and renovation options were discounted on the basis of a business case analysis that demonstrated they were not feasible and would not address the underlying functional deficiencies of the building.
Instead of “band-aid” measures that provide little return on investment, the City asked its partner to work with them on a long-term solution and a vision for modernizing the site. City Council approved the replacement of these City-owned assets in 2021. Further to this, they requested that OSEG develop a concept plan for their replacement and broader modernization of the site, which OSEG delivered, and City Council approved in principle May 2022.
The replacement of the Civic Centre/North Stands complex provides an opportunity to think big, beyond the current constraints of the site, and to create an even better Lansdowne.
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.
Building on this proud history, the plan is to continue to support Lansdowne as a gathering place in the heart of the city. Its location is consistent with best practices in urban planning, where stadiums, event centres, and mixed-use destinations are planned in central locations to encourage active transportation, and increase the social, cultural, and economic impacts to the broader community. The site is also supported by transit both on event and non-event days.
Decisions were made during the planning of the revitalization project that prioritized necessity over long-term sustainability, and overestimated how long these City assets could continue in their deteriorated state. The Civic Centre/North Stands Complex were, and continue to be structurally sound, however, there are too many drawbacks to continue to invest in its upkeep.
This is the time to address these challenges and move forward with a long-term plan for infrastructure investment that will benefit generations of sports, arts, culture, Lansdowne, and Ottawa enthusiasts.
Yes. The Lansdowne Revitalization launched in 2014 by the City of Ottawa and OSEG has been successful in restoring Lansdowne as Ottawa’s gathering place for sports, culture, and community. Since re-opening in 2014, Lansdowne has welcomed over 25 million visitors to this one-of-a-kind City-owned facility.
Building on a track record of success, and a new vision for the future, there is broad-based support from residents, and business and community leaders from across the Ottawa area for additional investments in Lansdowne as Ottawa’s gathering place.
Visit our “Show Your Support” page of the website to see what our champions are saying, and to learn about how you can show your support for investing in an even better Lansdowne.
The revised concept plan aims to further modernize, enhance, and animate the site, while preserving its proud heritage and history as Ottawa’s gathering place. At the heart of the plan to build an even better Lansdowne are the following features:
1. A new state-of-the-art, 5,500-seat Event Centre offering a modern and accessible experience for people of all ages and abilities, and capable of attracting premiere events to Ottawa.
2. New North Stadium Stands with 11,200 seats.
3. Additional residential density, offering a total of 770 new units in two residential towers in the heart of the City, as well as investments towards affordable housing.
4. A new mixed-use (residential and retail) podium along Exhibition Way
5. City public realm enhancements, including a new urban plaza connecting the Aberdeen Pavilion, Great Lawn, and new Event Centre.
New residential towers are being proposed with approximately 770 units, and important investments towards affordable housing in the city. Increased density at Lansdowne will provide much-needed housing, is in line with the City’s Official Plan, and will help to animate, activate, and foster a vibrant Ottawa.
Yes! The Revised Concept Plan includes public realm improvements that will integrate new infrastructure with the spirit, history, and existing development on site. Central to this will be the creation of a new 27,900 square foot public realm plaza space surrounding – and to showcase – the Aberdeen Pavilion, a prominent landmark and National Historic Site, and integrated with the new Event Centre and Great Lawn. Continued enhancements to the Urban Park will also be prioritized.
The site will continue to emphasize active transportation, and improvements to how visitors access the site – whether by transit, walking, cycling – will be investigated.
Yes! An important driver of the Revised Concept Plan is to replace the current Civic Centre/North Stadium complex given that it is one of the largest energy consumers in the City’s real estate portfolio, and its design is very energy inefficient. Its complete replacement will aid in reducing Gren House Gas (GHG) emissions and energy waste.
The new plan will target LEED certification for both the Event Centre and the Stadium – exploring such features as local and salvaged materials, water conservation, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, recycling of construction waste, heat recovery, programs for recycling and food waste, and partnerships with vendors that exercise sustainable practices. Most importantly, the redevelopment will replace a highly inefficient facility – the current Civic Centre/North Stadium Stands Complex – with a new LEED-certified, energy-efficient design that is sustainable and will reduce operating costs.
Yes! Both the North Side Stands and Civic Centre do not meet modern standards of accessibility, creating barriers for attendance at sporting and cultural events on site.
All infrastructure proposed as part of the new plan will meet modern codes and standards, offering an equitable, universally accessible experience for people of all ages and abilities.
How people get to Lansdowne is just as important as why they come, and we have a plan to ensure that people can access the site easily and conveniently for events and everyday visits, while supporting the surrounding neighbourhoods.
With the initial Lansdowne Revitalization, comprehensive and aggressive modal shares were established through a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plan aimed at encouraging and promoting sustainable transportation for day-to-day activities and for events. With the exception of COVID, OSEG was able to meet and exceed all modal shares for transit, walking and cycling.
Building on experience and lessons learned, and considering the evolving nature of Lansdowne, a TDM strategy has been developed to support the revised concept plan to ensure that transit, cycling, and walking modal shares are met. This includes improvements to pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, improved transit service on Bank Street, free transit service for ticket-holders of special events, and strategies to support new residential and retail offerings.
Some critical decisions have already been made by the City – including the decision to move forward with the replacement – as opposed to status quo or the rehabilitation – of the Civic Centre/North Side Stands complex.
Discussions and decisions made in the fall of 2023 are critical to the advancement of this plan. The revised concept plan will be before Committee and Council in November. Please consult the City website for a complete timeline of the process to date, and information on upcoming meeting dates.
The benefits of the Lansdowne plan cannot be achieved without your support during this planning phase. If you want investments to build an even better Lansdowne, show your support by:
1. Get in touch with your Mayor or your ward Councillor to express your support.
2. Signing up to show your support and stay informed (provide your name, email, and postal code).
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):