The Ottawa Planning Committee has approved The Ottawa Hospital’s plans for a parking garage for the new Civic Campus at Dows Lake.
In a nine-to-two vote at the end of an eight-hour meeting – one that saw councilors come and go to deal with the convoy protest – the committee approved the site plan for the garage of four stories with 2,500 parking spaces and a rooftop park and returned it to city staff for finalization.
The city council had already last fall approved the master plan for the entire campus of the $2.8 billion hospital, which is set to open in 2028 and become one of the costliest projects ever built. in Ottawa.
Part of the reason the hospital wanted to maintain approvals, executive vice president Joanne Read said, was to start construction and avoid losing purchasing power as costs rose.
The first structure to be erected on the new campus will be the parking lot at the east end of Carling Avenue, Preston Street and Prince of Wales Drive at the top of the Trillium O-Train line.
If construction begins this spring, the garage could be finished by the end of 2024, project manager Graham Bird added.
In sketches, the hospital’s architects outlined how the parking garage would include 310 indoor secure bicycle parking spaces and another 225 outside. A winding path would lead to a rooftop park with a play structure, an aboriginal garden and four courts for the DARA tennis club, as it will lose its longtime location to the future hospital.
3 dozen speakers
More than three dozen people gave public delegations, from doctors and patients to neighbors and conservationists.
Many feared that the two inland routes would create bottlenecks and traffic jams and had not been properly surveyed.
Accessibility was another major issue given the almost half-kilometre long connection between the current Carling O-Train station and the entrance gates of the future hospital. A “high-line” path would eventually cross the roof of the garage and arrive at the level of the hospital doors.
Others called the replacement of Queen Juliana Park with a rooftop space a “green wash”. Members of a group of young environmentalists prepared a video with background music about their desire to save trees at the Central Experimental Farm.
But doctors and patients at the hospital said parking is important for families looking to park at difficult times in their lives.
‘Important for me’
“Parking, as vulgar as it sounds, is important to me,” said Marcie Stevens, a survivor of the 2019 bus crash at Westboro Station who completed a full rehabilitation at The Hospital. Ottawa.
Hospital visitors don’t just live in the city with access to public transit, Stevens said, noting that her family has visited rural villages and outlying areas.
Capital County Shawn Menard requested that city staff discuss with the hospital ways to improve accessibility, such as adding benches and outhouses, and including the community in the study to manage the circulation.
River Ward County. Riley Brockington, who represents the area, asked that staff work to improve cycling connections. Kitchissippi County Jeff Leiper also asked staff to work with the hospital on a construction management plan and require it to maintain the park in the winter and maintain the landscaping long term.
Ultimately Councilors Brockington, Scott Moffatt, Glen Gower, Laura Dudas, Allan Hubley, Tim Tierney, Catherine Kitts, Cathy Curry and Jean Cloutier voted in favor of the site plan, while Leiper and Menard voted against.