NCC 50-year capital plan slowly taking shape

More waterfront access, a Confederation Square makeover and a tweak of the Rideau Street intersection in front of the old train station.

Those are among the ideas the National Capital Commission has collected to shape a new 50-year “vision” for the National Capital Region.

On Tuesday, Stephen Willis, the National Capital Commission’s executive director of capital planning, gave the city’s planning committee an update of that plan.

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It’s still early yet. The NCC is wading through all the public feedback on 17 “milestone projects” that have yet to be decided on for 2017-2067.

“What we’re trying to do is plant the seeds of some great ideas that could happen in the next 50 years,” Mr. Willis said.

So far, the top issue is more waterfront access where paddlers can launch and tie up kayaks and canoes. That’s something the NCC seems keen on implementing.

Another recurring message: improve on the current public spaces, like Confederation Square for future Remembrance Day ceremonies.

“People are down Wellington Street, down Elgin Street, down Rideau Street,” said Mr. Willis. “They can’t actually see what’s actually happening and participate in a meaningful way in the ceremonies that are going on.”

Coun. Jan Harder, the planning committee chair, praised Mr. Willis for his role in improving the NCC’s relationship to the city.

“I’ve been elected for a very long time and we have never had an open door policy with them,” she said. “Not only are we seeing a change with (NCC CEO Mark Kristmanson) and certainly with Mr. Willis, but we’re seeing a change with the new MPs.”

The NCC will release a public draft of the plan by May and wrap-up consultations come fall.

This article originally appeared on on Feb. 23.

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