Why are PSPC and Canada Lands collaborating on this project?
We are excited to launch the Confederation Heights Master Plan process, which is one of the collaboration projects between PSPC and Canada Lands to redevelop federal lands in the National Capital Region. The partnership leverages each organization’s respective strengths to deliver a Master Plan that will benefit Canadians and the Government of Canada.
Who is assisting Canada Lands and PSPC on this project?
Assisting Canada Lands and PSPC is a consulting team led by Fotenn Planning + Design from Ottawa. Fotenn is accompanied by a group of professionals of various technical disciplines to support the Master Plan.
Why are we talking about ‘realizing the potential’ of Confederation Heights?
Confederation Heights is governed by several federal and municipal policies that have evolved over the years to encourage a greater number of people and jobs to be located on existing urban, serviced lands, particularly in proximity to existing or planned public transit. This site has the potential to deliver a complete community. There is already one operational Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route that runs along the eastern edge of Confederation Heights, parallel to Sawmill Creek. Two additional planned transit projects include the conversion of the O-Train line that bisects Confederation Heights in a north-south direction into Light Rail Transit (LRT) (underway) and the future development of a new BRT route along Heron Road, which cuts east-west across the Confederation Heights.
In October 2021, the City of Ottawa Council approved a new Official Plan for Ottawa, which will guide growth in the City for the next 25 years. The new Official Plan identifies Confederation Heights as a “Hub” due to its proximity to transit, a designation which is planned to provide a mix of uses at transit-supportive densities.
Pedestrian and cycling connectivity within Confederation Heights and to surrounding areas is currently characterized by barriers such as elevated and wide, busy roads and transit corridors, as well as below-grade crossings in select locations (which are not fully accessible). There is an opportunity to improve these connections to benefit all users (present and future) of the site, including those arriving by transit, walking or cycling. Pedestrian and cyclist-friendly connections would help integrate Confederation Heights into the broader community.
Given the above, there is an opportunity to better understand and realize the potential of the Confederation Heights for the 21st century. As well, the Government of Canada is evolving its accommodation needs; here and now is the time to discuss these matters and the future of the site.
What is a Master Plan and what does it contain?
The Confederation Heights Master Plan will establish a long-term vision for the federal employment node and the potential opportunities for mixed-use, sustainable communities. The plan will consider such aspects as the location of federal office and mixed-use land uses, minimum and maximum building heights, minimum and maximum densities, housing, the location and size of parks and open spaces, pedestrian, cycling, transit and vehicular connections, and guidance for heritage preservation, commemoration, and wayfinding. It is anticipated that the Master Plan will inform a new municipality-approved Secondary Plan.
It will also include urban design guiding principles that will provide direction and enough flexibility to guide how the plan will evolve over time. Based on the Master Plan, additional site-specific plans could be developed which may subsequently require approval from the City of Ottawa.
What approvals are being sought?
PSPC will be seeking Master Plan approval from the National Capital Commission (NCC). NCC approval of the Confederation Heights Master Plan could result in land transactions, leading to the redevelopment of properties based on the Master Plan outcomes. Following NCC approval, if some parcels are deemed to be surplus, PSPC will remain responsible for the federal employment portions of the site, and surplus lands approved for disposal will be acquired by Canada Lands Company. Canada Lands will then seek municipal planning approvals for any the development portions of the site it acquires. This will happen in a phased approach working closely with the community, Indigenous groups, stakeholders, and the City of Ottawa.
Are Canada Lands Company and PSPC engaging with Indigenous peoples on this project?
Yes. Engagement with Indigenous communities and organisations will be organised. Any potential disposal will also require PSPC to consult with various Indigenous communities and organisations.
What other stakeholders are involved in the master planning process?
The partners are working with Canada Post, Health Canada, the NCC, City of Ottawa, public utilities, federal tenant groups, and the RA Centre, among others.
Are there other initiatives being undertaken in the study area?
The City of Ottawa is currently rebuilding the light rail transit station and adding double tracking, as part of the Stage 2 expansion of the system. As well, the City is planning a bus rapid transit route along Heron Road and Baseline Road.
Will NCC parkland along the Rideau River be impacted by this project
The Master Plan will look to enable new and improved connections between Confederation Heights and the NCC parklands, which include Vincent Massey and Hog’s Back parks. The Master Plan will not drive changes to the size, ownership orprograming of these parks, and no development will be proposed on these lands as a part of the master planning process.
Will there be affordable housing on the site?
The Master Planning process for Confederation Heights will seek to identify the potential for residential land uses. Residential land uses will allow for affordable housing requirements to be incorporated. PSPC and Canada Lands in collaboration with the City of Ottawa and the Federal Lands Initiative through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will define the delivery of affordable housing which would include the type and number of units.