Dream team: NCC chooses firm behind Zibi project to develop LeBreton's library lands

LeBreton garden
Dream LeBreton's concept for the library lands includes a community garden. Image courtesy National Capital Commission.

The developer behind the Zibi waterfront community will lead a group that plans to build hundreds of new housing units at LeBreton Flats, the National Capital Commission announced Thursday.

The NCC said it is selling a 1.1-hectare site between the Pimisi LRT station and the future main branch of the Ottawa Public Library to a team led by Toronto-based developer Dream for $30 million.

Dubbed Dream LeBreton, the partnership consists of Dream Asset Management Corp., Dream Impact Trust and the Multifaith Housing Initiative, a non-profit housing organization. Dream is best-known in Ottawa for spearheading Zibi, a 34-acre mixed-use neighbourhood that’s currently being built on both sides of the Ottawa River just west of downtown.

The project's design team is led by KPMB Architects and Perkins & Will, supported by Two Row Architect and Purpose Building, with PFS Studio as the landscape architect. EllisDon will manage construction, and Innovation Seven will serve as the Indigenous engagement consultant.

The NCC chose Dream’s proposal from among three bidders. The deal marks the first phase of the Crown corporation’s long-term master plan to redevelop the former industrial lands west of the city’s core, which have sat mostly vacant for decades.

Affordable housing component

Dream’s proposal calls for two towers featuring 601 new rental housing units, nearly one-third of which will be accessible. 

The NCC says the Multifaith Housing Initiative will own 130 of the units, which it will rent out at 59 per cent of median market value in perpetuity. Dream LeBreton, meanwhile, will offer 117 units at 79 per cent of median market rents for 55 years.

The plan also includes 600 indoor parking spots for bicycles as well as 200 underground spaces for cars. Other amenities are expected to include retailers such as cafes and food stores and outdoor public space.

Dream says it hopes to obtain the necessary building permits by the end of next year, with occupancy scheduled for early 2026.