City signs lease agreement to bring back Can-Am baseball

OBJ Staff
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The City of Ottawa has touched home plate in its efforts to bring baseball back to the capital, Mayor Jim Watson has announced.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson.

Speaking Wednesday as part of his “State of the City” address, Mr. Watson said the municipality has signed a lease agreement with the Can-Am baseball league that will see a team play out of the Ottawa Stadium on Coventry Road starting in 2015.

The deal formally brings to an end a years-long process during which the city attempted to find a new tenant for the space.

The stadium has been little used the past few years as Mr. Watson attempted to bring a professional team back to the city. He hoped to convince a Double-A team – two steps below Major League Baseball – to move to Ottawa.

Those negotiations fell apart last fall, however, which forced the city to agree to bring a Can-Am team back to the city. The league previously had a club playing out of the stadium, but the team folded after just one season in 2008.

Mr. Watson also outlined a new initiative to help with the city’s “streetscaping” –  the decorations and other amenities such as benches and flower arrangements that make streets appealing to visitors.

He said he’s received permission from the province to add new murals to the underpasses that take motorists, cyclists and pedestrians underneath the Queensway. The initiative will draw inspiration from the Little Italy-themed paintings that adorn the walls along Preston Street.

“It presents a wonderful ‘streetscape’ image that really brightens the usually dark and dingy overpass,” read a copy of Mr. Watson’s prepared remarks. “A little paint and a lot of creativity can go a long way.”

The mayor said he wants to have new murals along thoroughfares such as Parkdale Avenue and Metcalfe, Bank and Kent streets.

Mr. Watson also declared a plan, outlined in last year’s speech, to reduce the amount of litter along Elgin Street a success.

Increasing the number of disposal options on the street has increased the amount of glass, metal and plastic that gets recycled from 62 per cent to 92 per cent, he said.

He said he plans to replicate the project on Laurier Street East.

Organizations: Major League Baseball

Geographic location: Ottawa Stadium, Coventry Road, Little Italy Preston Street Parkdale Elgin Street Laurier Street East

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Recent comments

  • Anthony
    January 22, 2014 - 15:05

    This city lacks so much imagination! Have they still not learned from our numerous failures regarding baseball in this town? It WILL fail again... sell the land already! Why do we waste so much time with these fruitless endeavors? Get back to your core services. Also, if you want to make the city more appealing to visitors perhaps you should consider things like cutting the grass and weeds along our roads and cleaning up the drug users and paraphernalia strewn about the market. I highly doubt a few flower arrangements and painting some benches and highway underpasses are going to much for Ottawa tourism! Ottawa: The Crown Jewel of Highway Underpasses... get on that marketing!

    • Jayme
      January 24, 2014 - 09:45

      Anthony The Fat Cats did very well attendance wise they did not fail the reason the team is no more is due to the city was pushing for a a double a team. As for selling the land the thing is you do that your more then likely going to end up with a group who wants to build condos or office which many in Ottawa don't seem to support for what ever reason.