If you’ve been staying up nights wondering what Ottawa’s redesigned Lansdowne Park would look like, well, wait no longer: You now have a selection of generic-looking renderings of various elements of the park to choose from. The revamped Frank Clair Stadium looks a bit freaky, merging an older structure on one side of the field with a modern one on the other, but at least now it’s clear what that “cedar veil” wall will look like. (Pretty much a curvy wall. Made of cedar.)
While most of the media ooh and aah over the pretty pictures, the controversy remains whether spending $129 million and turning over a chunk of a public park rent-free to a mall developer is worth it in order to “revitalize” a downtown public space. “The issue becomes what is good use of public land,” Michael Tiger of Friends of Lansdowne Park told CTV. “Should public land be given to four developers at no cost free over 30 years to build a shopping complex?” (The main shopping outlet is amusingly called “Pure Foods” in the renderings, but you can guess who it really is.)
The deal is expected to be voted on by the Ottawa city council on June 28, and then immediately proceed to a pitched court battle.