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Old January 12th, 2006, 03:47 AM   #21
goravens
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name is too long I liked the Corel Centre name, especially since it is an Ottawa-based company.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 10:15 PM   #22
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Apparently, the plans for Rideau Centre are going to proceed. There was an article recently on Viking Rideau not waiting for the Congress Centre to expand.
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Rideau Centre expansion plans to be unveiled early in 2006
Date September 27, 2005
Brief Photo:5152,left,;Rideau Centre is one step closer to its long-awaited retail expansion.
Viking Rideau Corp., owners of the downtown centre, say the expansion has "entered a new phase in the planning process."

"The owners of Rideau Centre are



Rideau Centre is one step closer to its long-awaited retail expansion.

Viking Rideau Corp., owners of the downtown centre, say the expansion has "entered a new phase in the planning process."

"The owners of Rideau Centre are moving forward aggressively with the planning, leasing and financing of the retail expansion of Rideau Centre. It is our intent to finalize all required elements by late spring 2006 and commence construction of the retail expansion shortly thereafter," Michael Herman, managing director of Viking Rideau, said in a statement.

The mall's expansion will be in the range of 100,000 to 150,000 square feet, and will add between 30 and 40 stores, says marketing and leasing director Cindy VanBuskirk. The expansion plan will include a mix of larger-format stores as well as more traditional tenants.

"We're seriously moving ahead," says Ms. VanBuskirk told Ottawa Business Journal.

Architects and consultants are working on drawings and detailed cost estimates, leasing is underway, and the corporation has begun moving the project through the municipal approval process at City Hall.

Ms. VanBuskirk says Rideau Centre will announce specific details of the expansion project including size, configuration, new retailers and construction schedule early in 2006.

Talk of an expanded Rideau Centre has been going on for at least 10 years, but Ms. VanBuskirk says the project is as far along as it has ever been. She says the expansion is moving ahead regardless of the outcome of negotiations for an expanded Ottawa Congress Centre.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 10:17 PM   #23
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Haven't they built that thing yet?
Date December 06, 2005
Brief Photo:15788,left,;Some major projects in Ottawa have faced more than their share of hurdles and given fresh meaning to the word 'patience'
The Congress Centre expansion has meandered along for more than a decade, while the Palla



Some major projects in Ottawa have faced more than their share of hurdles and given fresh meaning to the word 'patience'

The Congress Centre expansion has meandered along for more than a decade, while the Palladium Auto Park is picking up steam and the Train Yards development is .... well, who knows?

While it's not uncommon for a development, construction project or renovation to stay on the drawing board for a number of years, there have been good and bad news of late for some outstanding projects around the city.

PALLADIUM AUTO PARK

2500 Palladium Dr.

History: The auto park was first proposed 15 years ago. The idea behind the development is to host up to a dozen competing car dealers occupying an area the size of 50 football fields. In 2002, local auto dealer Tony Graham said that six rival dealers had already agreed to open showrooms in separate buildings at the auto park. Chief partners in the project were Mr. Graham, operator of Tony Graham Lexus Toyota and Graham Nissan; Fern Turpin, founder of Turpin Pontiac Buick and Turpin Saturn Saab Isuzu; and John Mierens, owner of Carling Motors. The partners were seeking site plan approval from the city in June of 2002 and expected the mall to open within two to three years.

Update: The auto mall's first dealership, Kanata Toyota, which is owned by Mr. Graham, opened its new 21,500-square-foot location on Nov. 18. That was only a few months off from the timeline provided to the OBJ in April 2004 by Jean-Yves Laberge, vice-president and general manager of the Turpin Group, but progress has obviously been slow.

Turpin Pontiac Buick also recently announced its plans to build a new dealership at the auto park after selling its Carling Avenue location to Canadian Tire. It is expected to move out of the location in the fall of 2006. Turpin has been a fixture at Carling and Clyde for almost 40 years but the decision to move both its Pontiac Buick dealership and Turpin Saab to Kanata was prompted by Canadian Tire's offer for the property. Turpin plans to build a 40,000-square-foot building for its Pontiac Buick operations and an adjacent 23,000-square-foot facility to house the Saturn dealership.

Patrick Graham, president of Tony Graham Lexus Toyota, says there are currently three other auto dealers committed to the project. He won't disclose the identity of these dealers, but he adds that plans for completion of the entire auto park still call for 12 dealers. He adds that his company's success in becoming the first dealership to open was due to assistance from Toyota's Canadian headquarters.

"We had immense support from Toyota in assisting us to get in and from their personnel who actually came and helped us organize," he says. "They bent over backwards to send us the vehicles we required in order to open in time."

The concept of the park isn't new and was adopted from similar sites in Western Canada and the Toronto Area. The east end of Ottawa has also been home for a number of years to the Orleans Auto Mall.

"The benefit for our customers is that they'll be able to come to one central area to view all of the premiere models from all of the premiere manufacturers and it's basically a shopping mall for automobiles," Mr. Graham adds. "They don't have to spend an hour driving from place to place to place and the Kanata area is great because it has a lot of restaurants and retail right nearby."

CONCERT HALL

150 Elgin St.

History: A $27.6 million concert hall, at this point called Festival Hall, was proposed in 2004 by the Ottawa Chamber Music Society as part of a larger development of the site by Morguard Corp. The company is planning a 24-story, 300,000-square-foot space combining apartment units with commercial and public space.

The choice of the Morguard proposal by city staff came as something of a shock to the development community, considering that Bill Teron's proposal for the site include an $80-million concert hall that he had intended to build at his own expense and donate to the OCMS.

Julian Armour, chief executive and artistic director of the OCMS, describes the would-be concert hall as a world-class facility capable of attracting tourism dollars from around the world. Plans call for two halls, with 925 seats in the main building and 350 seats in the renovated First Baptist Church, which currently shares the site with Friday's Roast Beef House and a parking lot. The project requires funding of $6.5 million from both the federal and provincial governments to add to the City of Ottawa's contribution of $5.5 million. The OCMS had set Dec. 31 as the deadline for funding agreements.

Update: The future of the concert hall became uncertain last week after federal funding for the project wasn't secured before the non-confidence vote toppled the Liberal government's minority government. Ottawa Centre MP Ed Broadbent described the failure to commit funding by the outgoing government a "disgrace," adding that Ottawa is in the unfortunate position of being the only capital in the western world without such a world-class concert hall.

However, Mr. Armour says the OCMS board is still optimistic because of strong support from local federal politicians and solid backing for the hall's business plan.

"We're very confident because we have support from some many different sectors and it's so needed that we're sure it will happen," he says. "This does represent a delay because we don't expect any opportunity for an announcement until there's an actual government in place. We're going to wait and see, but the Morguard development has been approved by committee and council, so everything is unfolding as it should."

Mr. Armour adds that the society is pleased with its campaign to attract public contributions, with current totals exceeding the $1 million mark and a number of large sums promised once government funding is secured. The concert hall is still expected to open in 2008.

OTTAWA TRAIN YARDS

South side of Terminal Avenue near Caledon Place

History: The site, which is located south of the Alta Vista VIA Rail Station, calls for a 36-hectare mega-complex development featuring a mix of retail and office space. Plans in 2001 for this $233-million project called for 1.1 million square feet of office space, employing 4,400 workers, with 520,00 square feet of retail and 70,000 square feet of industrial space.

However, development efforts encountered a roadblock in 2004 when the city's planning and environment committee vetoed a site plan put forward by retail giant Wal-Mart Canada for a 133,000-square-foot store. City staff said the site plan favoured automobiles and didn't have enough focus on public transit, pedestrians or cyclists. Concerns were also raised about how the proposed retail development would mesh with office space also slated for the site. After the issue went to the Ontario Municipal Board, a compromise was reached that incorporated a number of changes, including more green space and walkways.

Update: Marty Koshman, president of the Ottawa Train Yards, says the subdivision plan was registered on Nov. 26 after receiving final city approval. Wal-Mart's site plan and building permit applications are being considered in counterpart with that application. He says he expects to hear soon about the approval, meaning construction could get underway this spring.

"This does mark a big change for us and we're able to more aggressively go out into the field," he says. "Now that we're very close to actually proceeding with this building, we can offer firm targets. We're had a number of (retail) people waiting on the sidelines and until they could see firm dates then they were reluctant to commit. It's a bit of a domino effect that will start with this real stake in the ground for planning purposes."

Mr. Koshman adds that the delays faced when dealing with the city have been discouraging.

"This has been quite a long process and it's been complicated by many factors, including amalgamation, a change in philosophies at the city and implementation of the 20/20 plan, which still hasn't been approved," he says. "We've been caught up in this and these issues have really caused a number of slowdowns."

Mr. Koshman adds that the development still has 1.1 million square feet zoned for office space and they are actively pursuing a number of opportunities for what he describes as a "very desirable location."

RIDEAU CENTRE/CONGRESS CENTRE EXPANSIONS

50 Rideau St.

History: Viking Rideau Corp., owner of the downtown shopping mall, has had expansion plans in the works since 2001. An addition of up to 240,000 square feet was planned in conjunction with changes to the Congress Centre, which involved building on top of the mall.

Update: However, years of delay and an alteration in the Congress Centre's design last year to build on top of the existing building prompted Viking Rideau to proceed with its own plans for the mall this past spring. The expansion size was scaled back, with plans calling for an addition in the neighbourhood of 100,000 to 150,000 square feet and space for between 30 to 40 new stores.

The centre's marketing director, Cindy Van Buskirk, says the expansion plan will include a mix of larger-format stores, as well as more traditional tenants. She adds that architects and consultants are working on drawings and detailed cost estimates, leasing is underway and the corporation has begun moving the project through the municipal approval process at city hall.

"Our next communication with the media/public will be early in 2006, possibly February, when we will formally announce the details of the expansion - size, configuration, key tenants and schedule - and introduce the project team," she says.

As for the expansion of the Congress Centre, discussions continue between the board of directors and Viking Rideau, who owns the land on which the centre and the mall sit. After requesting a number of extensions throughout the summer and fall, centre officials said in early November that they needed another two weeks to close the deal. No new deadline has been sent.

"The negotiations continue and we're hopeful that there will be a positive outcome," says Joan Culliton, the centre's executive vice-president and the expansion's chief operating officer.

The expansion plans, which would triple the size of the current centre, have encountered a number of roadblocks, as well as recent criticism about the board's experience and decisions made during the tender process. In June, a revised cost estimate was announced that could inflate the anticipated $95-million project to as much as $115 million. The original plan for a horizontal design was scrapped last year due to rising costs and a vertical structure was approved. The federal, provincial and municipal governments have all agreed on how to finance the planned expansion, but private sector involvement has always been a sticking point.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 10:44 PM   #24
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Not sure what the height limit is though, though there are definitely buildings taller than the Peace Tower. I think it's due to the airport?
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Old January 18th, 2006, 11:12 PM   #25
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Downtown showdown in the works
Federal government, city could square off over architecture
Zev Singer and Dave Rogers
The Ottawa Citizen

Monday, January 16, 2006


CREDIT: Rod MacIvor, The Ottawa Citizen
Citizen architecture columnist Rhys Phillips has described the office tower at 269 Laurier Ave., above, as a prime example of an ugly, cheap-looking federal building. 'It is just a box covered in metal and glass that could be built anywhere in the world by any cheap developer,' he says.
A potential federal building boom and the city's new downtown design plans are on a future collision course, some city councillors say, with the casualty likely being the top-tier government's commitment to steer away from ugly glass boxes.

The showdown could come over proposals for a possible 800,000 square feet of new downtown office space, recently being hinted at by the federal Department of Public Works.

Although the federal government has never been legally obliged to follow the city's planning rules, it has long followed a tradition of voluntarily seeking city approval through the same channels any private developer would.

But now that the city has set its standards higher, city planning committee chairman Peter Hume worries the federal government's nod to city rules will be overpowered by its desire to produce the cheapest architecture available -- a return to "banal, boring" buildings in the downtown core.

Last year, the city adopted a set of rules aimed at ensuring any new buildings in the city core enhance rather than detract from the look of the city. Proposals that don't measure up can be rejected. Among other things, they call for better landscaping and more detailed and interesting building structures.

"What will be most interesting is how soon they will abandon their 'Oh, we're your partners and live by your rules,'" Mr. Hume said of the federal government.

Diane Holmes, the city councillor for the downtown core, said she is not yet a believer that the federal government will change its previous building habits.

"Public Works has a directive to build the cheapest buildings possible," she said. "The federal government has no interest in the urban design of the city, in making the capital city a jewel."

She said the potential federal building boom will be a test for the resolve of city council.

"It will depend on how strongly council feels about it," she said. "Whether they're happy with this dark, dirty, dank, boring downtown that they have now or whether they want to upgrade that into something that tourists would be interested in, that would really make a statement about an exciting downtown for Ottawa."

The Citizen's architecture columnist, Rhys Phillips, said several architects have told him that in the past, senior government officials have told them to design buildings that look cheap.

"The government wants to make it look like it is spending taxpayers' money wisely," Mr. Phillips said.

He added, however, that government buildings need not be built that way.

"In Vancouver, the taxation people got a building done by one of the top architects that won a Governor General's award," he said.

Mr. Phillips said a prime example of ugly, cheap-looking federal buildings is a new office tower at 269 Laurier Ave.

"It is just a box covered in metal and glass that could be built anywhere in the world by any cheap developer," Mr. Phillips said. "On the Albert Street side, they turned it literally into a strip mall with strip mall parking.

"Many of the new buildings are just reflective glass boxes."

Pierre Teotonio, a spokesman for Public Works Canada, said the suggestion that the federal government is planning 800,000 square feet of office space downtown is speculation.

"No decision has been taken to build the office space because we are still in strategic planning," he said.

Mr. Teotonio said on Friday he could not immediately say whether Public Works would respect the city's architecture guidelines.

Ned Lathrop, the deputy city manager in charge of planning, is more optimistic that the federal government will honour the new process.

"We've actually had discussions with Public Works about design and design guidelines and I think they're on side to doing a better job about designing buildings that they lease and rent," Mr. Lathrop said.

He said too many federal buildings are in the vein of a cheap and simple "square box that sits on the ground." He doesn't believe that will happen again.

"They have to go through a process now to prove and tell us how they're going to enhance the city," he said. "That process in itself won't give us what we've had in the past."

Ms. Holmes said she'd like to see council stand firm and make the federal government decide whether to follow the guidelines or ignore them and admit it doesn't care.

"We've never tested them," Ms. Holmes said of the federal government.
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Old January 18th, 2006, 11:13 PM   #26
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LRT debate finds fresh fuel with provincial report
By Ottawa Business Journal Staff
Mon, Jan 16, 2006 12:00 AM EST

The results of the province's environmental assessment of Ottawa's north-south light rail proposal have left a conspicuous trail of overjoyed public officials and furious residents in their path.

"We've received last week from the province their initial review and assessment of the EA," beamed City of Ottawa director of economic development and strategic projects Réjean Chartrand. "And that initial assessment fully supports the city's direction on every aspect of the light rail program.

"We need to move forward and this really gives the city great confidence to move ahead, because the approval of the EA process is a significant milestone," he continued, adding that residents are free to debate the results with the city until Feb. 3.

And debate they will. Just days after the provincial report was received and released by the city, a closed-door meeting with Coun. Dianne Deans and the Emerald Woods Community Association convened to discuss the land usage involved within the north-south corridor.

At issue was the recommendation to use green space along the Airport Parkway and between Emerald Woods in South Gloucester as a site for the for the North-South LRT's maintenance yard, as opposed to brownfield sites at the Walkley rail yard or Leitrim.

"The Greenboro rail yard has been offered at a price, but city staff prefer the green space because the city owns it," said Peter Hillier, a resident who attended the meeting. This, according to the city, makes the usage more cost-effective, but residents argue it makes sense to run it though existing rail yard facilities at Walkley.

"The residents aren't so happy with it," he went on. "This was supposed to be a strategy meeting between the residents and Counc. Deans, to determine the way forward in influencing the decision to use the Walkley site instead of interrupting a greenspace and residential community."

Instead, he said, it was made clear to residents that the decision has already been made by the city.

The proposal up for assessment was reviewed under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and includes 31-kilometre of twin-track, access to 34 stops and stations, four new park and ride lots, and 17 electric substations to power the trains.

City officials say proposals between three main bidders for the LRT project – expected to cost around $725 million – are to be received by the end of February with a contract tendering not long after. Construction is set to begin this coming August, and Coun. Peter Hume, a member of the project's contract selection committee, says it's right on track.

"The light is at the end of the train tunnel, so to speak," he said. "We're still moving along, and nothing has caused us to deviate from our schedule."

Just which company scores the city contract is premised entirely on what is called "performance specifications," which means essentially the city has told them the requirements of what they need completed. Now, all the companies need to do is come up with a pass/fail proposal.

City officials say they're also developing the legal agreements required for any contracts in a parallel process – essentially pre-negotiating the contractual agreements concurrently with the bidding stage to save time.

Mr. Chartrand, too, is insistent the project will go ahead as planned now that it's gotten a provincial green light and positive EA. "We had a very exhaustive consultation process over the summer," he said. "And I think it's fair to say that the great majority of businesspeople are comfortable with the direction that the city took."

Mr. Hillier and his fellow residents, however, aren't impressed. "No one is suggesting that the LRT isn't a good idea," he said. "It is a good idea. However, the north south route only serves one community, really, and that's the Riverside South.

"And you have communities in between that are being negatively impacted."

By Jim Donnelly
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Old January 19th, 2006, 10:07 PM   #27
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Set deadline for Congress Centre deal, says TOP
By Ottawa Business Journal Staff
Thu, Jan 19, 2006 8:00 AM EST


Patience is wearing thin over delays in approving the expansion of the Ottawa Congress Centre.

The Ottawa Partnership says it's time to set a deadline for an agreement among all the parties involved in the negotiations, and come up with a "yes" or "no" decision. TOP co-chair Chris Henderson suggests the deadline should be the end of February.

The negotiations over the expansion involve four parties – the city, the province, the federal government and Viking Rideau Corp., owners of the Rideau Centre shopping mall.

Joan Culliton, vice-president of the Congress Centre, says a dispute with Viking Rideau over parking is holding up a final agreement.

Mr. Henderson says the delays are not only hurting the tourism and convention business but are also hurting the city's image as a whole.

TOP has also settled on three major economic priorities, one of which is boosting tourism and business from Asia. It also wants to boost research and commercialization and increase the region's base of skilled workers.
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Old January 21st, 2006, 12:38 AM   #28
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New big-box retail complex coming to Gatineau
By Ottawa Business Journal Staff
Fri, Jan 20, 2006 9:00 AM EST

Construction is expected to begin by the end of the year on a new big-box retail complex in Gatineau.

First Pro Shopping Centres says the $50-million project will be located on the west side of Highway 50 between Boulevard Archambault and Boulevard de la Gappe. The development will offer slightly more than 400,000 square feet of retail space, about the size of First Pro's South Keys complex at Bank Street and Hunt Club in Ottawa.

The tenant mix is likely to include Wal-Mart, Loblaws and Future Shop as well as a number of restaurants and smaller retailers.

The development will include a bus station that is part of Gatineau's proposed bus-only transitway system.
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Old January 21st, 2006, 07:00 AM   #29
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another big box centre

http://maps.google.com/?ll=45.465428...8,0.019956&t=h

it would be great to have an Otrain line going through there. Is that rail line where to gatineau transitway will go

http://www.firstpro.com/site_summary/Gatineau_ss1.pdf site plan
http://www.firstpro.com/site_summary/Gatineau_ss2.pdf aerial photo
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Old January 21st, 2006, 10:19 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goravens
name is too long I liked the Corel Centre name, especially since it is an Ottawa-based company.
Should've gone with Scotia Centre. I like that so much better & that's off the top of my head.
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Old January 21st, 2006, 01:01 PM   #31
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Gatineau is planning a BRT similar to Ottawa's Transitway. I believe it's to be called Rapibus. As time goes on, they plan on converting to LRT, which will use some of the train tracks in the city, I believe.
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Old January 25th, 2006, 11:34 PM   #32
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Will they ever build this bridge?
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Wed, January 25, 2006
City on its own for canal bridge bill, U of O says
By DEREK PUDDICOMBE, OTTAWA SUN

Taxpayers will likely be on the hook for the $5.2-million pedestrian bridge to span the canal across from the University of Ottawa.

Council told city staff in January 2005 to find ways, other than tax money, to pay for the bridge, but the search has been fruitless.

However, in a memo sent to members of the city's corporate services and economic development committee, deputy city manager Ned Lathrop said the city is continuing discussions with the university to find sponsorship for the bridge.

Although the memo suggested the university has indicated an interest in working with the city to find a sponsor, a U of O spokesman said the university has no intentions of handing over any money.

"It's a myth we are coughing up any money," said Bob Le Drew. "It's a public works project."


One of the biggest fans of the bridge, Somerset Coun. Diane Holmes, said the project -- originally proposed in 1980 as part of the transitway -- is much-needed and would become a popular link for university students, giving them quicker access to Elgin St., and cyclists.

Holmes said it's worthwhile looking into private funding, but adding it isn't necessary.

"There is no obligation," she said. "It's part of the transitway. It's a public government's responsibility."

Bell-South Nepean Coun. Jan Harder said the bridge is a waste of money and a luxury the city can't afford. "People would have been willing to wait a couple of years," she said. "Actually, it could have waited longer than that."

Holmes said 25 years is long enough, adding: "This is another example of suburban councillors unable to consider the needs of another ward."
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Old February 1st, 2006, 10:09 PM   #33
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New War Museum attracting large crowds
By Ottawa Business Journal Staff
Mon, Jan 30, 2006 2:00 PM EST


Canadian War Museum
The new Canadian War Museum is fast becoming one of the region's more popular tourist destinations.

The museum has welcomed 500,000 visitors since it opened in May 2005, well ahead of pre-opening estimates.

"Our initial projections were 400,000 visitors yearly, and we surpassed that estimation during Remembrance Week 2005. Compared to the last few years at the Sussex Drive location, we have more than tripled our visitorship, demonstrating that Canadians are very interested in their military history," museum director and CEO Joe Geurts said in a statement.

The War Museum is operated by the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation.

Combined, the two museums have already attracted over 1.7 million visitors for the 2005-2006 fiscal year.
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 10:39 PM   #34
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The Marketplace: Ottawa's swelling population leaves lots of room for food retailers
By Ottawa Business Journal Staff
Wed, Feb 1, 2006 4:00 PM EST

Grocery shopping is a $2-billion-a-year business in Ottawa and the competition is intense.

When Market Fresh closed its four remaining stores in the city recently, some news reports suggested it was a victim of this competition, unable to survive in a market dominated by industry giants Loblaws and Loeb.

Market analyst Barry Nabatian disagrees. As general manager of Market Research Corp., he follows the Ottawa retail scene as closely as anyone in the city. He's not sure why Market Fresh shut down its four Ottawa stores, leaving its staff in the lurch with almost no warning, but does not believe it was killed by the competition.

"Market Fresh may have over-extended itself," he says. "I do not agree that there is too much competition."

Market Fresh's owners said they would continue to operate four smaller stores in west Quebec. Perhaps one problem was the locations of the Market Fresh Ottawa stores, including one at Bayshore Shopping Centre, which is a big draw for fashion-conscious shoppers, but perhaps not a place people think of for food shopping.

Mr. Nabatian points to the success of Farm Boy, another locally-owned chain of food stores. Farm Boy, and several other relatively small food retailers, have gained customers from the supermarket chains by specializing in fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and deli items.

Farm Boy remains a family-run business, as it was in 1981 when Jean-Louis and Collette Bellemare opened a tiny fruit and vegetable shop in Cornwall. Since then, Jean-Louis's brothers, Norman and Daniel, have joined the fast-growing business, which will open its eighth store this spring in Barrhaven.

Farm Boy's management "runs a very tight ship," says Mr. Nabatian. "They are shrewd and very good businessmen. They maintain a family atmosphere in their stores. They have good quality, and they have good prices."

As evidence that there is room for large and small players in food retailing, Mr. Nabatian cites the region's population growth in the past year. The region has 22,000 more residents than it did this time last year, and that will result in an additional $40 million in food spending this year, he says.

The capital region's population exceeds one million. With average spending of $1,800 a year on food for every man, woman and child, some $2 billion will be spent on food in 2006.

Loblaws will get the biggest chunk. Mr. Nabatian estimates the Loblaws group, including Your Independent Grocer and other related stores, has 60 per cent of the retail food business in the city. Loeb has about 27 per cent.

There's more to food retailing than price alone, which is one reason for the success of specialty food stores. Many of their customers are convinced they can buy fresher produce in a small store than in a large supermarket.

But what about prices? To check, I drew up a shopping list of fresh items and compared prices at a Loblaws store and a Farm Boy in Kanata. I was surprised at how much lower the food bill was at Farm Boy.

No two such surveys would produce the same result. But the survey suggested that a relatively small independent chain can compete for price with the supermarket giants.

PRICE CHECK: Farm bBy, Loblaws Compared

Item Farm Boy Loblaws

Strawberries, 1 lb. $2.99 $4.99

Raspberries, 170 g $3.99 $4.99

Cherries, 1 lb. $3.99 $4.99

Clementines, 1 Kg $2.84 $3.28

Bartletts pairs, 1 Kg $2.84 $3.28

Seedless green grapes, 1 Kg $6.59 $8.80

Walnuts, 1 Kg $5.49 $4.39

Small grapefruit, 6 $2.97 $3.98

Oranges, 1.5 Kg $2.99 $1.49

Golden Delicious apples, 1 Kg $2.84 $3.28

Red Delicious apples, 1 Kg $2.84 $2.84

Green peppers, 1 Kg $5.49 $6.59

Zucchini, 1 Kg $1.96 $3.73

Green beans, 1 Kg $2.84 $5.49

English cucumber $2.99 $2.99

White potatoes, 2 Kg $4.36 $5.68

Parsnips, 1 Kg $4.38 $3.28

Brussel sprouts, 1 Kg $4.39 $4.39

2% milk, 4 L $4.29 $4.79


TOTAL $71.07 $83.25


Prices checked at Kanata locations of Farm Boy, on Hazeldean Road, and Loblaws, on Eagleson Road, one morning in January. It is unlikely a check on another day would produce an identical result.


by Michael Prentice

Special to the OBJ
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 06:45 PM   #35
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My family always shopped at Farm Boy when we lived around Cornwall.. great to see they are doing so well and have great prices too!
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Old February 4th, 2006, 12:49 PM   #36
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It's too bad about Market Fresh. I really liked them. Now there are going to be so many malls with holes in them (St. Laurent, Bayshore, Place d'Orleans)!
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Old February 7th, 2006, 12:25 AM   #37
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Lack of clarity on LRT process divides council
By Ottawa Business Journal Staff
Mon, Feb 6, 2006 12:00 AM EST

The foggy secrecy surrounding city hall's light rapid transit project has exposed a fractured and divided city council, with some councillors defending the process and others openly condemning it.

The $725-million project, weeks away from a contract application deadline for bidding consortia, has been under fire recently by residents unhappy with what they say has been a lack of public consultation by the city. And now, some councillors have joined the rising chorus of concerned voices demanding more openness from city officials.

"I think it started out as a consensus driven process," said Gloucester-Southgate Coun. Diane Deans. "When it started out there was an air of confidence that this would be a consensus-driven process.

"Fast forward to today, and I would tell you my view is that it's no longer a consensus-driven process. It's a time-driven process that has a veil of secrecy overarching it."

It's a process that's proved effective as a strip of sandpaper with the general public. A recent online poll reflected over 90 per cent of almost 2,000 respondents are unsatisfied about the city's enforced secrecy amid rumours the project could top $1 billion when all is said and done.

At issue are a host of concerns involving everything from the placement of stations and maintenance yards in green space, to the trains' method of propulsion (electric versus diesel), to a tunnel through the downtown core and rumours of escalating costs. Just last week, Barrhaven Coun. Jan Harder suggested tacking a $30 million extension on the north-south line to the Barrhaven town centre.

And in all cases, say the city's critics, their suggestions and concerns have been completely railroaded.

"They keep saying this is the biggest infusion of federal dollars into a single project in Ottawa history," said David Jeanes, rail expert and president of lobby group Transport 2000. "And yet nobody really knows exactly what they're doing and why it needs to be so secret."

And secret it is – Ms. Deans says a confidentiality agreement binding council to silence, generated by the city's LRT office and fairness commissioner Howard Grant, has circulated among councillors. The agreement, swearing all who sign into silence "without limit in time," gives the right to peruse countless thousands of pages of consultants' reports and RFP stipulations surrounding the project.

"The people that have signed it, the mayor and the other councillors that have signed it, cannot disclose any information about this project," she said, naming Alta Vista Coun. Peter Hume, Goulbourn Coun. Janet Stavinga, and Mayor Bob Chiarelli as having signed the document. "Not now, not after the award of the contract, and not in the foreseeable future."

Bay Ward Coun. Alex Cullen said it is normal in any business negotiation for there to be a blackout period. This allows each bidding consortium time to evaluate the city's contract criteria while respecting each other's corporate secrets.

"There are very, very strict rules to ensure integrity and ensure the process is fair, but the secrecy element leads to the notion that something is being kept from the public," Cullen explained. "But you cannot run a competitive process where everyone gets to look over your shoulder and sees what you're doing. It's just sound business practice. However, once the RFP process is done and there's a winning bid, then we come right back into transparency and openness and all that."

Mr. Cullen said once a contract is awarded details of everything, from who won the bid, to how it was won, to the elements that went into it and everything that led to a winner being declared will be made public.

Trouble is, that won't be until at least next April. Critics like Mr. Jeanes and Ms. Deans want details now. Not corporate details, they say – just facts about what the city's committing to, how much they're willing to pay, and how long it's going to take. Mr. Jeanes has already been involved in lengthy consultations with the city and says he's left bewildered by decisions like the city presenting its own custom-designed train specifications to bidders, instead of the other way around.

"When most people go shopping for cars, they go and look to see what the dealers have," he said, adding that the city also requested customized stations he thinks could cost almost $3 million apiece as opposed to the current half-million dollar O-Train stations.

"But here the city decided up front that it was going to describe the ideal vehicle that it would want, and of course that potentially results in a very expensive vehicle because its customized to the city's requirements."

It is assertions like this that have Ms. Deans and other councillors steamed, although bureaucrats at city hall maintain the project is full steam ahead. Rejean Chartrand, the city's go-to guy on LRT, says the city received a thumbs-up environmental assessment from the province last month and is emphatic there's been more than enough public consultation on the matter.

"As you recall, we had a very exhaustive consultation process over the summer, and I think it's fair to say that the great majority of businesspeople are comfortable with the direction that the city took," he said.

But Ms. Deans said she's not satisfied, and neither are her constituents. "There are consultants' reports that have formed the rationale (for the project)," she said. "Why can't I see those? Why can't the public see those? I want the details.

"I want to see what they're using to make decisions, because ultimately the buck stops with council."

Even Mr. Cullen concedes the project has been pushed to the edge of accepted business norms, and sooner or later council's going to have to be publicly updated on the project's proceedings.

"The concern we have is that right now we're in a bit of a... well, we need an update," he said. "We need to be told, given progress reports, told how we're doing in accomplishing our goals. And that's coming.

"We've hit a period of time where there's more rumour than facts, and we do need to be kept up to speed."

By Jim Donnelly
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Old February 7th, 2006, 09:15 PM   #38
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Is Ottawa really ready to extend the O Train? An extended rail network would be great for a city's expansion, but if we are gonna have an extended light rail network, we would need one running east-west as well as north-south. A lot of work, and a lot of money. Really, it should have been started long ago, perhaps at the expense of the Transitway.

I guess what I am saying is that we have the Transitway already; perhaps that should be extended instead. Its practically like a subway on wheels. I like the idea of a light rail system in Ottawa, but for a capital city, it should have been implemented intensively years ago.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 11:48 PM   #39
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Yes, the O-train is going to be extended north to Rideau Centre, then south to Riverside South. That's the inital phase because these are areas that are currently underserved, wheras the E-W routes are well-served (relatively) by the Transitway. I agree this should have happened long ago.
_____________________________
February 7, 2006
Light rail secrecy on meeting agenda
By DEREK PUDDICOMBE, OTTAWA SUN
An Ottawa councillor who says the city's largest construction project is cloaked in secrecy is meeting with the city's fairness commissioner today in an attempt to resolve the issue.

Gloucester-Southgate Coun. Diane Deans and Howard Grant are set to meet today, but Grant said Deans has no choice but to sign an oath of secrecy if she wants to learn the finer details of the city's light rail project.

Deans rang the alarm bell last week when she was told she would have to sign a non-disclosure agreement to find out technical aspects of the city's $725-million transit project.

RIGHT TO KNOW?

She said the public has a right to know why the community was never consulted on decisions that took light rail away from the centre of Barrhaven and why the line will now not extend to Ottawa Airport, calling the decision not to consult the public "fundamentally wrong."

Grant, who was brought into the project as an independent observer to advise and report on fairness aspects of the massive procurement process, said Deans won't be treated any differently from her colleagues who have signed non-disclosure agreements.

"If the information has been made public, she doesn't have to sign anything," said Grant.

Deans said she feels she and her colleagues are being kept in the dark about one of the city's largest public works projects, adding it's important council is properly briefed on the matter.

"This is a public corporation and it's a public process, yet it's cloaked in secrecy," she said.

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Old February 8th, 2006, 03:55 PM   #40
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Well, I can't argue with any extension, because the O Train is a great idea and is being wasted in its present state. Although why miss the Airport when the airport is most or less next to South Keys (where the O Train currently stops). And if you are gonna extend to Riverside South, why not go an extra couple 100 metres west to Barrhaven?

Anyway, its a good start..when it does get started!
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