Planning committee endorses new ‘downtown’ concept for Barrhaven Town Centre

A rendering of the future Barrhaven downtown by NAK Design Strategies

A long-term plan to redevelop a Barrhaven retail hub into a “downtown of the suburbs” got the green light from planning committee this week.

The proposed amendment to the City of Ottawa’s official plan, which still requires sign off from council, would see the Barrhaven Town Centre site reimagined for a mix of residential and commercial uses. The 165-hectare plot of land, bound by Strandherd and Longfields drives, the Jock River and a stormwater management facility, is currently occupied by big-box stores such as Walmart and Home Depot as well as grocery stores and a few other amenities.

The site is bisected by OC Transpo’s existing north-south Transitway that will be converted to light rail when phase three of LRT comes to fruition.

Developers Minto Communities and Richcraft Homes, which own land on the town centre site, applied for an amendment to the official plan that would encourage a mix of residential housing on the site and investments in infrastructure to support a future mixed-use community.

The plan anticipates an eventual 11,000 dwelling units on the Barrhaven downtown site, which a staff report projects would represent a 68-year housing supply for the neighbourhood. Commercial uses on the site could provide space for up to 12,600 jobs, according to the report.