Lansdowne Park Review

In October 2007, the City decided to initiate a redevelopment of Lansdowne Park. This was partly due to the condition of the lower south grandstand of the stadium, which had structural problems. Ottawa mayor Larry O’Brien suggested that local developers be invited to submit proposals to redevelop the area. Ottawa councillors Peter Hume and Clive Doucet opposed the idea and proposed a design competition for the site, which Council approved, entitled “Design Lansdowne”. By January 2008, a web site was set up for public consultation. The goal of the public consultation would be a report by the City which would detail what the future Lansdowne Park was to contain. A request for proposals would then be made for bidding by outside developers, whom would construct the project, under a “right to develop” contract. The Ottawa Regional Society of Architects criticized the plan, suggesting it was not a true design competition. In the City process, developers would hire architects to build to their specifications, while a ‘true’ design competition would see design firms and architects create designs first, which would then be judged by a jury to determine the best solution. The City would then put out tenders for construction.

Public consultations for the first stage were concluded by May 2008. City of Ottawa staff then began developing a report for Council. Before completing the Request for Proposal, the Design Lansdowne process was suspended in June 2008 while studies were done whether the Stadium and arena were worth saving.It was determined that the Civic Centre and the main grandstands of Frank Clair Stadium were sound, but the lower south-side grandstand of the stadium, built in 1960, would have to be replaced. The City proceeded to demolish the condemned lower grandstand, using a controlled implosion, in July 2008.

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