The opportunity to transform one of the most valuable pieces of urban real estate in North America is upon us. With the long-awaited redevelopment of LeBreton Flats taking centre-stage in Ottawa this week, it is time to demonstrate economic vision and leadership. Morphing LeBreton Flats into an iconic, world-class commercial and residential district will enhance Ottawa’s tourist-friendly reputation — and our national and international standing as a G7 capital city.
Ottawa takes pride in being a picturesque, family-oriented place to visit. The thousands of school children that visit Parliament Hill each spring are a testimonial to this, as are the skaters that brave winter temperatures on the Rideau Canal. The LeBreton Flats redevelopment is an opportunity to re-imagine our community as a vibrant, modern place to visit, live and do business. It brings hope that Ottawa is not only keeping pace with the most dynamic communities in North America, but also exceeding many of them.
We understand that hockey may move into the city’s core. We understand that a new central library could be included in these plans. What we know is that we need local leadership that will invest in our community at this time.
We must leverage Ottawa’s most vital strategic assets, such as Light Rail Transit; access to the waterfront and a world-class international airport; and the emergence of a sustainable, innovative business, residential and entertainment district that includes the new Innovation Centre and the Zibi development. These are all critical elements in urban renewal and economic revival. We should embrace these elements as residents of Ottawa, as a business community, and as guardians of our future economic wealth.
The National Capital Commission will host public presentations at the Canadian War Museum on Tuesday, January 26 and Wednesday, January 27, 2016. The business community must be heard in support of redevelopment of LeBreton Flats. Please plan to attend one of the public presentations and be sure to voice your support. You can also contribute by participating in the NCC’s online consultation and questionnaire, which will be available after the public presentations at ncc-ccn.gc.ca/lebreton.
Join the Ottawa Chamber and Ottawa’s business community in supporting local development at LeBreton Flats, as we continue to reimagine an innovative, sustainable Ottawa that puts our community at the forefront.
Ian Faris is the President & CEO of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and is responsible for the implementation of strategic priorities and activities identified and mandated by the Ottawa Chamber Board and its governance organizations.