by Cleo Ding, The Current
'When the pandemic hit, workers fled the downtown core and emptied high-rise office buildings and condos. As a result, the vacancy rate in office buildings in Ottawa rose from 5.7 to 8.7 per cent from 2019 to 2020, according to the Canada Office and Industrial Report 2020 by real estate firm Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis.
This hiatus is an opportunity for the city to rethink the design of the downtown core, said Emmanuelle van Rutten, an Ottawa-based architect and principal at Moriyama and Teshima Architects, which specializes in educational architecture. In particular, van Rutten is urging city planners to make downtown urban spaces greener and more appealing.