Brisbin leading Rideau-Carleton’s casino plans: sources

The architect behind the Ottawa Convention Centre and Ottawa International Airport terminal is working with the owners of the Rideau-Carleton Raceway to prepare the facility’s plans for a new casino, several sources say.

Ritchard Brisbin
 of BBB Architects is described by some as a well-respected and powerful partner with a track record of securing the buy-in of approval authorities such as the city and National Capital Commission, as well as community groups for various past projects.

Rideau-Carleton’s bid to host a casino received a major boost earlier this month when Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said he’d ask councillors to support a motion that would only allow a new casino to be constructed if it’s built at the Rideau-Carleton Raceway.

OBJ360 (Sponsored)

Up until then, developers, casino operators and landowners elsewhere in the city had been informally aligning themselves in preparation for a request for proposals that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. was expected to release this summer.

With the option of a new casino downtown, at the airport, near Scotiabank Place, at the Ottawa Train Yards or elsewhere expected to be off the table, companies interested in developing a local casino are now looking to speak with Rideau-Carleton and Mr. Brisbin.

“Ritchard is my new best friend,” joked one industry source.

It is unclear who else – if anyone – is formally part of the BBB-Rideau-Carleton Raceway team.

In an interview last fall, Rideau-Carleton spokesperson Alex Lawryk said the raceway already had a specific casino operator in mind. However, sources told OBJ that as recently as this spring, no general contractor or casino operator had exclusively partnered with BBB or Rideau-Carleton.

Mr. Lawryk declined to speak publicly when reached by phone following the mayor’s announcement. Mr. Brisbin did not return calls seeking comment.

Get our email newsletters

Get up-to-date news about the companies, people and issues that impact businesses in Ottawa and beyond.

By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.