Mayor Jim Watson and ward Councillor David Chernushenko started the spring construction season at Lansdowne by planting one of the trees in the urban park, and then touring progress at the revitalized stadium with Bernie Ashe, CEO Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG).
“On behalf of my Council colleagues, I’m very proud that we are restoring this important public space to a green, urban destination for our community.” said Mayor Jim Watson. “The new 18-acre urban park will be a green landmark along the historic Rideau Canal. Now that spring is here and the trees, shrubs and other plants will start to go into the park, the transformation of Lansdowne from an asphalt parking lot to a real park will become apparent.”
The urban park will feature over 800 trees, including a heritage orchard. A large lawn, about three-quarters the size of the front lawn on Parliament Hill, just south of the Aberdeen Pavilion, will offer many recreation options for residents. The urban park will also feature a farmers’ market square, children’s play area, water plaza, refrigerated skating rink, two new art pieces and several new plazas.
The city is expected to open the urban park to the public in August. A few elements will still be under construction, and full completion is planned for October 2014.
The mayor and guests also visited the stadium field at TD Place to see the progress at the south and north stands and the work now underway to build the new playing field.
TD Place will host its first event on July 18 when the Canadian Football League’s (CFL) REDBLACKS take to the field against the Toronto Argonauts.The stadium is the first element that will be completed and opened at Lansdowne. Construction will still be underway in the retail, residential and park areas, but the site will be clean and accessible for anyone attending an event. Currently in the retail area, the buildings are fully enclosed.
Inside, the base buildings are being finished, so that the tenants’ contractors will be able to start installing the finishes for the new businesses. It’s anticipated some of the retailers will begin to open later this fall.