NCC releases short list of Ottawa Hospital development properties

Tunney’s Pasture, Lincoln Fields and several parcels on the Central Experimental Farm are among the dozen locations floated by the National Capital Commission as a new home for the Ottawa Hospital’s Civic Campus.

Monday’s announcement was the latest step towards constructing a new hospital to replace the medical facility on Carling Avenue, parts of which are a century old.

The project is expected to cost at least $2 billion.

A panel of health-care experts believed the Central Experimental Farm was the best option in 2007 when the hospital began looking for land, Ottawa Hospital CEO Jack Kitts previously told OBJ.

The former Conservative government agreed in 2014 to hand the hospital 60 acres of land at the Central Experimental Farm, near the current Civic Campus, for the project.

However, the move was controversial among some Ottawa residents and Dr. Kitts later apologized for the public backlash.

“I am very sensitive to the concerns that have been raised by our community … and we are working closely with the city of Ottawa and the federal government to address these concerns. I deeply regret that the issue of where has almost overpowered our vision of what we can achieve together,” he said in February.

At the time, Dr. Kitts said parts of the current Civic Campus are permanently closed because they are unsafe. He also said the hospital’s research facilities are “squeezed and struggling to meet international standards” and its aging infrastructure requires constant maintenance.

“It’s time Ottawa had a modern, 21st-century hospital,” he said. “The best talent and the largest amount of research dollars flow to cutting-edge facilities.”

Of the 12 locations released by the NCC Monday, four are in the Central Experimental Farm. Another three are within the Greenbelt:

1. Tunney's Pasture – Scott Street

2.Lincoln Fields – Pinecrest Creek

3.West Hunt Club Road (north) – Highway 416

4.West Hunt Club Road (south) – Highway 416

5.Woodroffe Avenue – West Hunt Club Road

6.Merivale Road /Woodroffe Avenue corridor

7.Central Experimental Farm – Baseline Road – Merivale Road

8.Existing Ottawa Hospital – Civic Campus

9.Central Experimental Farm – Carling Avenue (west)

10.Central Experimental Farm – Carling Avenue (central)

11.Central Experimental Farm – Carling Avenue (east)

12.Booth Street complex

The NCC said the properties were named based on several factors, including access to roads and highways, the impact on green spaces, agricultural lands and recreational areas, costs to the federal government and proximity to other health institutions, among other criteria.

Dr. Kitts said in February that the new Civic campus is expected to open between 2025 and 2030.

The NCC has scheduled an open house to present its plans on Sept. 22 at the Canadian War Museum between 3 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Officials will make a presentation and take questions from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.