LeBreton designs could still evolve, says neighbourhood association president

It’s too soon to say which proposal is the best option for LeBreton Flats, according to the neighbourhood’s community association.

By Lucy Scholey.

Michael Powell, president of the Dalhousie Community Association, was among hundreds who packed into the Canadian War Museum on Tuesday for a first-hand look at the two flashy designs for 21.6 hectares of land. 

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Devcore Canderel DLS Group – which is backed by Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte and Quebec billionaire Andre Desmarais, among others – and Ottawa Senators group Rendez Vous LeBreton are proposing an NHL-calibre arena and central library.

“I think I really want to digest it. There’s a lot in here and we’re looking at 20 or 30 years,” said Mr. Powell. “One thing that we’ve seen of other proposals of this scale is they tend to evolve over time, as well.”

Before the great fire of 1900, LeBreton Flats was a bustling, vibrant community. It’s the people who make it that way, noted Mr. Powell. One thing he’ll be watching out for is how well the development integrates with the adjacent neighbourhoods.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson had a second look at the designs on Tuesday, after an earlier briefing this week. He said both look promising for that vacant land.

“I’m going to be a bit like Switzerland and remain neutral and let the public have their say,” he said.

The city will be working closely with the National Capital Commission on the file. Eventually, council will have to make a decision on the project, but not until after a proponent is picked early next year.

This article originally appeared on metronews.ca on Jan. 26.

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