Press Release - Councillor Menard - The Enormous Waste that Comes with Lansdowne 2.0

For Immediate Release

November 7, 2023


It has been said that the city needs to invest in and maintain its assets. Doing so avoids costs in the future—this is recognized as good asset management. The same principle is at play with Lansdowne Park. We know that the buildings have lots of life left in them. This information comes directly from the engineering reports that the city and OSEG commissioned with the redevelopment in 2014, confirming that the north side stands and arena would last to 2067, and they have a value over $130,000,000.

Tearing down buildings with life left in them is a social, financial and environmental waste. Beyond the value of the arena and stands that would be torn down, there are other costs that would come with it:

  • The much-loved green berm—which was contaminated soil buried on site from the refurbishment of Lansdowne 1.0—has been covered with fresh soil and grass and is now used as a toboggan hill in the winter and to watch events from afar with family and friends. The cost to remove this berm would be $8 million.
  • The “Moving Surfaces” artwork by Jill Anholt located on the green berm would also be moved at a cost to taxpayers. The iconic public artwork with dynamic illumination is located atop the berm at the edge of Lansdowne Park, to the northeast of the existing stadium. Much effort was spent in conceiving of and locating the work within the prominent and highly-visible berm, where it currently sits. The artwork’s form, scale and relationship to the architectural veil of the stadium and to the public spaces of the park, as well as its visibility and legibility far beyond park borders was also given thoughtful considerations.
  • In 2014, renovations took place, including to the Civic Centre Arena and north side stands, and the city invested $23 million into the steel roof and other deficiencies. If the buildings were to be torn down the city would still need to continue paying down that loan, which had $16.5 million remaining as of the end of the 2022-2023 fiscal year.
  • The brand-new J-Block was built in 2014 and contains some of the only small businesses at Lansdowne, including the popular GoodLife gym. The brand-new building would be demolished, and GoodLife may need to move to the Horticulture Building, which would displace many events which bring in $300,000 in revenue annually.
  • The Lansdowne 2.0 proposal would also take $600,000 every year from the parking reserve fund to pay for parking for the new residential units, that means parking revenues from across the city will be funneled into Lansdowne. 
  • The city would forego Cash-in-lieu of Parkland funding normally paid for every other development in the city, costing the city $4 million
  • The city would also pay $10 million in leasehold payments as a result of construction disruption.

75% of property taxes from housing built as part of the construction—housing that would otherwise develop, albeit slower, in the immediate neighbourhood—would be diverted to pay for Lansdowne 2.0. That tax revenue, estimated at $3.4 million annually, could otherwise be spent in all wards and other city-wide priorities.

  • A proposed Hotel Accommodation tax would be funneled to Lansdowne 2.0 debt instead of tourism Ottawa, $500,000 annually over 40 years.

This summary does not calculate the social and environment cost of proceeding with this plan in haste.

Download this press release here [PDF].

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