The sites, close to Ottawa’s downtown core, present a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to address issues of urban reintegration, quality of life and factors important in designing the places where you live, work, learn and play.
The site was occupied by the Department of National Defence beginning in the 1920s. In 1968, the site was re-designated Canadian Forces Base Rockcliffe and in 1972, it was renamed Canadian Forces Base Ottawa (North), as part of the amalgamation of Defence properties in the city. The base saw continuous downgrades throughout the 1970s and 1980s until it was eventually reduced to primarily housing. The base was decommissioned in 1994.
Canada Lands purchased the site in 2011. Its redevelopment is made possible by the 2010 Algonquins of Ontario (AOO) – Canada Lands Company Participation Agreement, which provides a framework for an ongoing relationship and the realization of mutual benefits as Wateridge Village is developed.
Specifically, the agreement provides opportunities for cooperation between the two groups, including commemoration of the history and connection of the Algonquin people with the site, AOO engagement in all stages of concept development, land use planning and detailed design, and the opportunity for AOO to acquire lots or blocks under the municipally-approved plan, as development takes place.
Since acquiring the site, the company has developed 92 acres (37.2 hectares), has sold one six-acre (2.4-hectare) parcel to the French-language public school board and has built two public parks. Canada Lands’ builder partners are active on the site with approximately 230 residential units under construction. Since 2016, more than 250 homes have been built and occupied.
Canada Lands is now servicing phase 2 which will offer 80 townhomes, single detached and semi-detached dwellings, along with more than 500 mid-to-low-rise apartment and stacked townhomes. This phase includes a 0.3-hectare park to be built in the coming years: Veterans’ Park/Parc des anciens combattants. Canada Lands is also starting construction of its third park, Parc Eugene Martineau Park, which it anticipates will be completed and opened in summer 2021.
The timing of the sale of the next phase remains to be determined as the impacts of COVID-19 on the real estate market are being monitored.