Highrises, park key elements in Colonnade BridgePort’s east-end development proposal

Pickering Place plan
Pickering Place plan

A plan to redevelop five acres of prime real estate near Ottawa’s main Via Rail terminal will likely include a park surrounded by six blocks for mixed-use highrises that could be as tall as 30 storeys, according to an application recently filed with the city.

Ottawa-based real estate firm Colonnade BridgePort says it plans to build a mix of residential and commercial space at 25 Pickering Pl., just east of the Via Rail terminal and the Tremblay LRT station. 

The company partnered with Toronto-based investment firm Fiera Real Estate to acquire the property earlier this year from cleaning product manufacturer Dustbane Products, which will “incrementally leave the site as it is redeveloped,” according to the development application.

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In the first stage of the plan, the developers are seeking to subdivide the land into six lots for buildings as well as a park and one public and one private street.

Under the city’s transit-oriented development guidelines, buildings of up to 30 storeys are allowed on most of the site. The application suggests that the developers want to construct a cluster of mixed-use towers on the property.

Noting there is “currently negligible residential development around (the Via) and Tremblay Stations,” the report says the proposal “is likely to include residential uses and will create a distinct highrise urban community,” adding the final use mix will be finalized through individual site plan applications.

‘Extensive’ pedestrian pathways

According to the application, there will be an “extensive” network of pedestrian and cycling paths to connect the development with the Via and LRT stations. The builders say the park will become the “central unifying feature of the development,” but its size has not yet been determined.

The development’s “identity will emerge in time,” the application adds, “but will be centred on the central park, the tight network of streets and the proximity to the LRT and Via Rail stations.”

The application also suggests the development will cater heavily to transit users. 

“There is no intention to provide vehicle parking beyond the limited amount required by residents and it will be underground,” the application says.

When the land deal was announced in April, Colonnade director of development Stephen Martin told OBJ the land’s proximity to public transit and ready-made zoning for mixed-use highrises made it an attractive development site.

“From a connectivity point of view, there isn’t anything else like it in the city,” Martin said, adding the site has potential for more than two million square feet of residential and commercial space.

Colonnade and Fiera are part of a growing list of developers that see light rail as a game-changer for an area that’s traditionally been on the short end of large-scale construction projects.

RioCan REIT and Killam Apartment REIT, for example, are constructing a block of apartment towers a few kilometres east near the Blair LRT station. Meanwhile, another group of developers recently filed plans to build a 1.3-million-square-foot complex of apartment units and hotel suites a stone’s throw from the Cyrville LRT station two stops east of the Pickering Place property.

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