Denley: Time for a serious look at the alternative plan for LeBreton Flats

By Randall Denley, Ottawa Citizen, December 4, 2018

Don’t give up on redeveloping LeBreton Flats just yet.

The NHL hockey rink/condos/retail plan of local developer John Ruddy and his disgruntled partner Eugene Melnyk seems to be on life support, but the reappearance of the other finalist in the National Capital Commission’s LeBreton competition offers a possible solution.

The alternative bid is worth a serious second look by both the NCC and the public. It is strong on public uses, less reliant on the condo market, and still offers the possibility of an NHL rink, should the Senators ever have an owner who is willing and able to finance a new arena.

The alternative plan is called LeBreton Re-Imagined, a name that seems more appropriate this time around. Its central feature is a winding linear park, a botanical garden that would connect the LeBreton area to downtown. It would be surrounded by attractions including a substantial aquarium, a large band shell, a skateboard pavilion and a wind tunnel for skydiving. The surrounding community would also have a YMCA, a major retirement home and a francophone school.

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