Business leaders throw their support behind Lansdowne 2.0 proposal

Lansdowne 2.0
A render of the proposed retail podium and mixed-use towers in the updated Lansdowne 2.0 proposal. (Supplied)

In a letter to Mayor Mark Sutcliffe and council, the leaders of three local business associations have thrown their support behind Lansdowne 2.0, calling it a “trifecta of city building.”

“As representatives of the Ottawa business, tourism and tech sectors, and as economic  partners in the region and across the country, we understand the impact that a revitalized Lansdowne will have on our community, today and for the next generation,” write Sueling Ching, president and CEO of the Ottawa Board of Trade; Michel Tremblay, president and CEO of Invest Ottawa; and Michael Crockatt, president and CEO of Ottawa Tourism, in a letter dated today. 

In the letter, the leaders argue that “innovative infrastructure” such as Lansdowne benefits visitor spending and the tourism economy, which includes hotels, restaurants and local entertainment venues, and supports initiatives such as “Bid More, Win More, Host More.”

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“This strategy promotes Ottawa as an outstanding host destination for major events with a focus  on inclusive sporting events, boosting our local economy and building our brand for diversity,” the letter states.

The leaders also say that, “A revitalized Lansdowne expands opportunities that support downtown transformation and benefit every Ottawa neighbourhood, creating a more resilient and vibrant cityscape.” 

Calling Lansdowne a “trifecta of city building,” they cite “commitment to enhancing lifestyle, creating cultural and recreational spaces, and driving innovation.”

An investment in Lansdowne 2.0 is key to being “smart planners” for the long term, the three leaders say. 

“The immediate economic benefits and job creation from events and local business activity is critically important during these uncertain times,” the letter states. “One of our greatest opportunities is to be known as a premier destination for hosting major inclusive sporting  events and cultural festivals.” 

While TD Place Arena has attracted major events such as the 2023 World Curling Championships and the 2025 IIHF World Junior Championship bid, in addition to the Professional Women’s Hockey League team, the three leaders recognize that “as the city infrastructure at Lansdowne continues to age, attracting such prestigious events is increasingly challenging.” 

As other cities with more modern facilities compete for the same events, the letter argues, “If we allow TD Place to further deteriorate, if we don’t act now, we will miss out on these opportunities to elevate Ottawa’s global profile, generate significant economic benefits, and impact our community.”

The Lansdowne 2.0 proposal will be considered at committee tomorrow. The updated proposal presented by the city and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) includes plans to tear down and replace the northside stands at TD Place Arena, build mixed-use towers that include residential units, and construct a 5,500-seat event centre east of the stadium.

While several cuts have been made to the original plan, the cost of the project has increased to $419.5 million, compared to the original estimate of $332 million.

Last month, OSEG president and CEO Mark Goudie said the updated plan is the way forward.

“What we need to be able to do is attract more events to Lansdowne and have a facility that people want to come to,” he said. “We’ve got people we’ve worked with that said we can’t keep coming back to this facility . . . They love the (Lansdowne) Market, they love the location. The only concern they had was the state of the arena.”

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