Planning committee approves Booth Street development, sound stage project

soundstage
A rendering of the incoming $40-million sound stage. Provided by the Ottawa Film Office.

Two sizeable projects got the green light from Ottawa’s planning committee Thursday.

The committee gave its thumbs-up to the proposal for a $40-million sound stage off Woodroffe Avenue in Nepean, which required approval for changes to Greenbelt lands.

The joint project between the Ottawa Film Office and Toronto-based TriBro Studios will occupy 8.4 hectares of space previously used by Agriculture Canada and will feature four 20,000-square-foot sound stages plus space for workshops and post-production work. When finished around mid-2020, the sound stage is expected to create some 500 jobs in the film production and animation sector, according to the city.

Closer to the downtown core, planning committee also approved zoning and official plan changes to accommodate the heights of a multi-tower proposal for the Booth Street Complex. That proposal would see multiple towers as high as 25 storeys rise above 6.5 acres of land bordered by Rochester, Orangeville, Booth and Norman streets. The mixed-use development, which also contains plans for green space, will feature more than one million square feet for residential, commercial and retail use.

Booth St Complex
A rendering of Canada Lands Co.'s Booth Street redevelopment proposal.

The space, owned by the Canada Lands Company, is currently home to numerous vacant laboratories and government facilities. Canada Lands is a federal Crown corporation that’s responsible for selling surplus government properties to maximize both the community value of the land as well as the financial return to taxpayers.

The full proposal would see many of the land’s heritage buildings maintained and restored alongside the new builds.

Contaminated land beneath the proposed development requires remediation before construction can begin. A CLC representative told OBJ last summer that once the land has been remediated, the property will be sold off in parcels to private developers, likely between 2020 and 2022.