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waterloowarrior
Oct 27, 2007, 2:23 PM
Ottawa Congress Centre Expansion - Proposed
Demolition of exiting facilities and construction of new 3-storey complex; narrowing of Colonel By to accommodate the expansion
Developer: Federal/Provincial/Municipal Governments
Location: Rideau Centre
Web: Not available
Rendering: (from the Congress Centre Website)

http://www.ottawacongresscentre.com/_images/home.jpg



very nice addition to the downtown.... I like how they are narrowing the street and having a pedestrian oriented front

cityguy
Oct 28, 2007, 12:21 PM
Are thet still arguing over funding?

p_xavier
Oct 28, 2007, 2:35 PM
Are thet still arguing over funding?

Yes they are, and our Mayor suggested that probably they won't get the extra funding, so much for his swagger!

eemy
Oct 28, 2007, 3:05 PM
Yes they are, and our Mayor suggested that probably they won't get the extra funding, so much for his swagger!

I think reality hit him pretty hard when he entered that Mayor's office.

Jamaican-Phoenix
Oct 28, 2007, 4:45 PM
I think reality hit him pretty hard when he entered that Mayor's office.

Yeah, but he can still get some swagger in this city. Namely by helping to fund/build projects like this.

p_xavier
Oct 31, 2007, 12:36 AM
Yeah, but he can still get some swagger in this city. Namely by helping to fund/build projects like this.

I love that proposal, especiall the underground network that accompagnies it. If I can save the walk in winter to Rideau Centre outside, I'll be so glad.

Jamaican-Phoenix
Oct 31, 2007, 2:48 AM
While I'm not sure about where this project stands on construction, I know for sure that they are telling people not to book the centre next year. I can only assume that it is a sign of progress and another step closer to a new Congress Centre. :)

AuxTown
Oct 31, 2007, 4:04 AM
While I'm not sure about where this project stands on construction, I know for sure that they are telling people not to book the centre next year. I can only assume that it is a sign of progress and another step closer to a new Congress Centre. :)

I can second that notion. My fiance and I are starting to plan our wedding for 2009 and they told us not to bother. Obviously they still have high hopes that things may work out....who knows?

waterloowarrior
Nov 14, 2007, 6:12 PM
report to Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee (http://ottawa.ca/calendar/ottawa/citycouncil/csedc/2007/11-20/ACS2007-PTE-ECO-0023.htm)

click on the pictures for the high-res version

http://ottawa.ca/calendar/ottawa/citycouncil/csedc/2007/11-20/ACS2007-PTE-ECO-0023_files/image004.jpg (http://ottawa.ca/calendar/ottawa/citycouncil/csedc/2007/11-20/ACS2007-PTE-ECO-0023_files/image003.jpg)



http://ottawa.ca/calendar/ottawa/citycouncil/csedc/2007/11-20/ACS2007-PTE-ECO-0023_files/image006.jpg (http://ottawa.ca/calendar/ottawa/citycouncil/csedc/2007/11-20/ACS2007-PTE-ECO-0023_files/image005.jpg)



http://ottawa.ca/calendar/ottawa/citycouncil/csedc/2007/11-20/ACS2007-PTE-ECO-0023_files/image008.jpg (http://ottawa.ca/calendar/ottawa/citycouncil/csedc/2007/11-20/ACS2007-PTE-ECO-0023_files/image007.jpg)

Jamaican-Phoenix
Nov 14, 2007, 8:24 PM
Well it seems like they're moving along with it. :)

agrigentum
Nov 15, 2007, 1:26 PM
They sure are!


$40 million extra promised for Congress Centre overhaul (http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=f407e5fa-e1f4-4d60-b4c8-4fc1c9988f4e&k=32183)

By Randall Denley
Ottawa Citizen


Thursday, November 15, 2007


The ambitious expansion of the Ottawa Congress Centre will take a huge step forward Thursday with federal and provincial announcements that will boost the two governments' contributions to the project to $100 million. Only an increased contribution from the City of Ottawa is required to make the project a go.

The federal government will announce that it is increasing its support for the project by $20 million for a total of $50 million, a senior government source told the Citizen.

"We have been competing with Red Deer and Moncton for too long," the source said. "We're the nation's capital and the fourth largest city. We need to compete with the big boys."

Environment Minister John Baird and Transportation Minister Lawrence Cannon are to make the announcement today with other area Conservative MPs.

This evening, Premier Dalton McGuinty will say that his government is also boosting its donation by $20 million to $50 million, a Liberal spokesman said.

"The province is in," the spokesman said. "We've picked the right people to do the job and we're serious about it."

The Congress Centre board is pushing a plan for a $159-million convention centre that will entirely replace the existing 24-year-old building and enable the city to host large conventions that are beyond the building's scope.

It would feature lots of glass and a ballroom that would frame a view of Parliament Hill.

The new centre could open by April 2011, but it is contingent on the federal, provincial and city governments increasing their financial commitments. The city is expected to contribute $40 million, which is $15 million more than originally planned.

Responding to the announcement, Mayor Larry O'Brien said "I applaud the government for this initiative. They are stepping up to the plate on a very important project for Ottawa."

The mayor cited more jobs in the hospitality industry, increased hotel room demand, more visitors, and hundreds of jobs in the construction of the centre as its key advantages.

"Clearly, we should dig deep into our city's resources and increase our funding by $15 million," Mr. O'Brien said. "We need this project."

Jim Durrell, who chairs the Congress Centre board, said of the announcements, "This is exciting news. It's a huge step forward for our city."

The effort to expand the Congress Centre has gone on for years, but with a new board and an experienced project team, the plan has taken on new life. If it goes ahead, the expansion will put Ottawa on a par with cities like Calgary, Edmonton and Quebec City. It will be able to handle events with 5,000 to 6,000 delegates, enough capacity for major national political conventions.

Mille Sabords
Nov 15, 2007, 1:27 PM
Good! :tup:

Jamaican-Phoenix
Nov 15, 2007, 1:37 PM
I saw this morning on Canada AM that both the Federal and Provincial governments are pledging $50M each to the Congress Centre project! :)

p_xavier
Nov 15, 2007, 3:25 PM
I saw this morning on Canada AM that both the Federal and Provincial governments are pledging $50M each to the Congress Centre project! :)

Yes! That's great news!!! :D

ac888yow
Nov 15, 2007, 8:56 PM
Not enough. The feds and province are swimming in surpluses while the city is broke. I hate to rain on the parade but I still don't see how the city is going to come up with its $40 million (up from $25 million) contribution.

ajldub
Nov 15, 2007, 9:31 PM
Why not put some condos on top of this baby? Think of the views! $1 million each!

Jamaican-Phoenix
Nov 15, 2007, 9:57 PM
Not enough. The feds and province are swimming in surpluses while the city is broke. I hate to rain on the parade but I still don't see how the city is going to come up with its $40 million (up from $25 million) contribution.

Actually, I believe that Scary Larry made a comment in today's paper of adding $15M to the project from the city. :)

the capital urbanite
Nov 15, 2007, 10:09 PM
Actually, I believe that Scary Larry made a comment in today's paper of adding $15M to the project from the city. :)

..and we all know that O'Brien's word is as good as (Fool's) gold.

Jamaican-Phoenix
Nov 15, 2007, 10:47 PM
..and we all know that O'Brien's word is as good as (Fool's) gold.

:haha:

True, but here's hoping... :)

Cre47
Nov 15, 2007, 11:29 PM
It's about time that the Conservatives are doing something good for the City core.

Aylmer
Nov 15, 2007, 11:34 PM
have you seen the headlines?

PM to cities: Drop Dead.

I don't think that Mr. Harper gives a dam* to cities.

Jamaican-Phoenix
Nov 17, 2007, 4:17 AM
Some VERY good news... :)

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/city/story.html?id=855354d7-cd4e-4b42-b1ea-1b260111d1e4

p_xavier
Nov 17, 2007, 7:02 AM
Some VERY good news... :)

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/city/story.html?id=855354d7-cd4e-4b42-b1ea-1b260111d1e4

And the hotel room tax is a sensible solution. I approve the plan. It seems that the people against the congress centre are not against it per se, but against putting that before the cuts in the city.

Skyway
Nov 19, 2007, 5:31 PM
It's about time that the Conservatives are doing something good for the City core.

I hope the Rideau Centre gets going again too and begins to plan their expansion soon. Did the plan go on hold or is it dead?

Mille Sabords
Nov 19, 2007, 6:22 PM
I hope the Rideau Centre gets going again too and begins to plan their expansion soon. Did the plan go on hold or is it dead?

It's on hold. It will never be dead, there are too many retailers clamouring to get into this market. Viking-Rideau will not leave that money on the table. But their plans are on hold until they get in a better mood about the idea that the City won't let them turn Rideau Street into yet another slice of suburbia.

We should have an international design competition for the Rideau Centre expansion, in fact. Retail architecture nowadays is right up there with some of the most exciting stuff being built in many parts of the world.

ajldub
Nov 19, 2007, 7:06 PM
I know I've said it before elsewhere, but this time I'm serious: if Viking Rideau wants to do something really amazing with the Rideau expansion, they should put a condo tower on top. It would bring more people to Lowertown, add density to the towers going up down there, and would be a great spot for a really tall (35+ storeys) building.

p_xavier
Nov 19, 2007, 8:20 PM
It's on hold. It will never be dead, there are too many retailers clamouring to get into this market. Viking-Rideau will not leave that money on the table. But their plans are on hold until they get in a better mood about the idea that the City won't let them turn Rideau Street into yet another slice of suburbia.

We should have an international design competition for the Rideau Centre expansion, in fact. Retail architecture nowadays is right up there with some of the most exciting stuff being built in many parts of the world.

They previously said that they were waiting for the completion of the Congress Centre before submitting a new proposal, so ~ 2011.

Deez
Nov 19, 2007, 9:44 PM
Speaking of Rideau Centre, I remember reading somewhere that the dilapidated parking garage at the corner of Daly and Nicholas is soon to be replaced by....wait for it.....a BRAND NEW parking garage! Rejoice!

p_xavier
Nov 19, 2007, 10:09 PM
Speaking of Rideau Centre, I remember reading somewhere that the dilapidated parking garage at the corner of Daly and Nicholas is soon to be replaced by....wait for it.....a BRAND NEW parking garage! Rejoice!

And that would have been the perfect chance to build a transit tunnel underneath.

Mille Sabords
Nov 20, 2007, 2:44 AM
They previously said that they were waiting for the completion of the Congress Centre before submitting a new proposal, so ~ 2011.

That's been the official line. In fact, they walked out in a huff over the City's design review committee feedback. They might've been hoping for a new Mayor to arrive and get the bureaucrats out of their hair, and I also heard through the grapevine that Viking-Rideau was having cash flow problems (how exactly I don't know, since that mall is a money printing machine).

capitaldensity
Nov 20, 2007, 4:07 AM
an article on ottawabusinessjournal.com, "Big Day for Congress Centre project", had an cool size comparison of the new congress centre sumperimposed on the old one and i was wondering if anyone knew where it was from or could get a larger version of it?

AuxTown
Nov 20, 2007, 4:11 AM
Committee Approves $40 Million for Congress Centre
Josh Pringle
Monday, November 19, 2007

Ottawa's Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee is writing a cheque to the Ottawa Congress Centre.

Councillors unanimously voted to give the Congress Centre an additional $15 million for the $159 million expansion project.

Ottawa taxpayers will now contribute $40 million for the plan.

Since the City of Ottawa doesn't have the funds available in reserves, it will have to borrow the money over 25 years. It will add $2.9 million to Ottawa's budget.

Congress Centre Chair Jim Durrell says an increase in property tax revenue from new businesses spurred on by the development will more than make up for the $40 million contribution.

The Committee has instructed staff to find creative ways to plan for the yearly investment. Ideas include parking surcharges and having the Ontario Government pay the city grants in lui of property taxes for the Congress Centre.

City Council must still approve the plan.



I never would have expected a project this large to get approval so quickly. Yay for the city doing the right thing for its future for once. :)

harls
Nov 20, 2007, 2:29 PM
an article on ottawabusinessjournal.com, "Big Day for Congress Centre project", had an cool size comparison of the new congress centre sumperimposed on the old one and i was wondering if anyone knew where it was from or could get a larger version of it?

here's my low-tech solution..

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2193/2049501311_9bbb1b2b8a_o.jpg

movebyleap
Nov 20, 2007, 3:33 PM
This is great news! I'm still skeptical about narrowing the street in front. It's already a bottleneck at certain hours what with the closing of the road under DND...hmm...seems like it's going to be a bit cramped there.

Is the rendering "official"? Is this actually what the building will look like? I like all those funky non existant towers in the background!

Jamaican-Phoenix
Nov 20, 2007, 5:53 PM
Actually, all those towers do exist. The tallest is the Westin, and the one next to it is either the one that is home to the Elephant and Castle, the one across the street(and second-tallest overall) is 700 Sussex. The tower in the corner is the Chateau Laurier and the funky building below it is the Government Conference Centre/Old Train Station.

ajldub
Nov 20, 2007, 5:59 PM
I think he's talking about the rendering included in the first post of this thread, JP.

Mille Sabords
Nov 20, 2007, 6:24 PM
This is great news! I'm still skeptical about narrowing the street in front. It's already a bottleneck at certain hours what with the closing of the road under DND...hmm...seems like it's going to be a bit cramped there.

I think it's a very positive facet of this whole project. Without fanfare, Ottawa will be applying an old Dutch technique to congestion. Basically, when a road gets too congested in Holland, they narrow it by a lane (instead of widening it as we usually do here). The message is simple: the road is too congested? Take transit. Personally, I'm very happy that the new Congress Centre will narrow Colonel By, it will be easier to cross on foot and get to the canal-side will be much more pleasant.

the capital urbanite
Nov 20, 2007, 6:29 PM
It's on hold. It will never be dead, there are too many retailers clamouring to get into this market. Viking-Rideau will not leave that money on the table. But their plans are on hold until they get in a better mood about the idea that the City won't let them turn Rideau Street into yet another slice of suburbia.

We should have an international design competition for the Rideau Centre expansion, in fact. Retail architecture nowadays is right up there with some of the most exciting stuff being built in many parts of the world.

If Union station is to be used as a rapid transit station there will need to be some awesome architectural and urban design to incorporate it into the Rideau Centre and the new Congress Centre.

Jamaican-Phoenix
Nov 20, 2007, 6:30 PM
Yep. It's definately a step forward in terms of waterfront development. :)

Dado
Nov 20, 2007, 8:56 PM
And that would have been the perfect chance to build a transit tunnel underneath.
Yes, let's hope the City and everyone involved listens to David Jeanes on this one as there isn't anyone who knows more about that part of the city than him. To miss out on this opportunity to build an underground station (even if not used for a few years) in conjunction with work on the Congress Centre would be a serious mistake.

AuxTown
Nov 21, 2007, 3:48 AM
I think he's talking about the rendering included in the first post of this thread, JP.

I think those towers (judging by location) are just stylized versions of the Westin and DND. Too bad they don't look like that.

movebyleap
Nov 21, 2007, 5:05 AM
[QUOTE][when a road gets too congested in Holland, they narrow it by a lane (instead of widening it as we usually do here). /QUOTE]

Odd. I guess it makes sense if there is an alternate route (bus etc) going in the same direction. There's nothing like it in Ottawa'a case.

Are you absolutely positive that they actually GET RID of a lane in Holland? Because I've read that in Britain and France they're coping with congestion by adding an extra lane "on the cheap" by narrowing the existing lanes.

Mille Sabords
Nov 21, 2007, 5:10 PM
Odd. I guess it makes sense if there is an alternate route (bus etc) going in the same direction. There's nothing like it in Ottawa'a case.

Are you absolutely positive that they actually GET RID of a lane in Holland? Because I've read that in Britain and France they're coping with congestion by adding an extra lane "on the cheap" by narrowing the existing lanes.

Yes, you're right, there has to be an equivalent investment in transit to avoid making things unbearable. We have a good trunk BRT but the rest of our regular routes could use higher frequencies. That's the Ottawa equivalent we'd need.

As for France and Britain, depends where. Most french cities have put in tram lines on congested corridors. The most recent example is the Parisian tram line on the Boulevard des Maréchaux. There are now 4 tram lines in Paris with plans for line extensions and new lines.

Adding lanes "on the cheap" can give you more capacity but will result in lower speeds. Your lateral comfort zone is smaller so you don't take as many chances. Also it's harder and takes longer to perform multiple lane changes when you need to turn.

The most extreme example I've seen of "adding lanes on the cheap" were in Cairo, Egypt. It's really interesting, their major arteries have no lane markings on them at all. Cars behave as pedestrians, they just go where there is space, everything moves at about 20 km/h, there are very few signalized intersections and a lot of roundabouts, so things keep flowing, and everyone uses the horn all the time because cars have squeezed out as many lanes as traffic demands depending on the time of day and you have very little space between moving cars. Plus, every other car is a dented Fiat 1500 from about 1960. :D

movebyleap
Nov 22, 2007, 8:05 PM
Since most of my family lives in the fair city of Krakow, Poland, I also tend to follow that town's Skyscraper Page.

Most recently Krakow held a competition for a brand new congress centre. The winner, along with 2 runners up were announced last week.

I thought you might be interested in checking out the 3 top designs. They just have so much more panache than the glass thingy they're proposing here in Ottawa.

Check out the link: http://www.ronet.pl/konkurs_Centrum-Kongresowe-w-Krakowie_147.html

The website is in Polish but it's fairly self explanatory. Just click on the image of each winning design and then scroll down to see the rest of the images/renderings of each proposal.

The 1st proposal is the grand winner.

Mille Sabords
Nov 22, 2007, 8:39 PM
Since most of my family lives in the fair city of Krakow, Poland, I also tend to follow that town's Skyscraper Page.

Most recently Krakow held a competition for a brand new congress centre. The winner, along with 2 runners up were announced last week.

I thought you might be interested in checking out the 3 top designs. They just have so much more panache than the glass thingy they're proposing here in Ottawa.

Check out the link: http://www.ronet.pl/konkurs_Centrum-Kongresowe-w-Krakowie_147.html

The website is in Polish but it's fairly self explanatory. Just click on the image of each winning design and then scroll down to see the rest of the images/renderings of each proposal.

The 1st proposal is the grand winner.

Thanks for posting this. I can see why the grand winner won the competition, the design really seduces me. :D The third one looks like an airport right out of the 1960's and the second one looks "the most likely to be a Canadian project" (pardon the sarcasm). I really like the winning design for its flow and transparentness, and for its curves (another attribute I tend to appreciate, when I look at buildings, among others).

movebyleap
Nov 22, 2007, 9:02 PM
Interesting that you should make these comparisons. Actually, the THIRD prize reminds me a lot of the new Vancouver Conference Centre expansion currently underway:

http://www.vccep.bc.ca/theproject/renderings.html

Some data about the new Krakow Centre: the main hall will fit up to 2100 people. The other three halls will fit up to 1800, 600, and 300 people. Furthermore, the main hall can double as a concert hall. There will also be a complex of halls that can be made larger or smaller as needed. Total area: 464,400 m2.

I'm not sure how this compares with Ottawa's new centre. Krakow, by the way, has approximately 1 million inhabitants. I really like the organic look and flow of the winning design. It's certainly eye catching!

the capital urbanite
Nov 28, 2007, 4:52 PM
muncipal funding has been approved....vote is 22-2

m0nkyman
Nov 28, 2007, 5:01 PM
^ Good news

Aylmer
Nov 28, 2007, 5:02 PM
Maby they can build a new hotel near the congress center!

The current delta is UGLY!

Jamaican-Phoenix
Nov 28, 2007, 5:36 PM
The current delta is UGLY!

I think you mean the Westin. :P

Mille Sabords
Nov 28, 2007, 6:23 PM
^ Good news

Yes, two good news from Council today. This and the concert hall.

agrigentum
Nov 28, 2007, 7:01 PM
Unfortunately we'll have to live with the Westin. The building itself is bad, but its made worse by those huge red letters at the top, illuminated at night and completely out of character with its surroundings.

ajldub
Nov 28, 2007, 7:12 PM
Could you imagine we pull off the Congress Centre, Concert Hall, and Portrait Gallery next year? How sweet would that be??

Aylmer
Jan 8, 2008, 12:42 AM
I think you mean the Westin. :P

No I mean Delta.


Has anyone had wind of this? (http://ottawa.ca/residents/planning/design_awards/2007_award_en.html)
(PS: I am talking about the ninth award)

:)

Jamaican-Phoenix
Jan 8, 2008, 5:05 AM
No I mean Delta.

Except the hotel closest to the Congress Centre is the Westin...

hackunion
Jan 8, 2008, 5:15 AM
No I mean Delta.


Has anyone had wind of this? (http://ottawa.ca/residents/planning/design_awards/2007_award_en.html)
(PS: I am talking about the ninth award)

:)

That's a fourth-year project by my fellow students from Carleton University's School of Architecture. Actually, awards 9, 10, 11 are all by Carleton students. My project this semester is to replace the BMO at Sparks & O'Connor with an office-conference centre.

Aylmer
Jan 8, 2008, 12:32 PM
Except the hotel closest to the Congress Centre is the Westin...

Yes, But the current Delta on Qween street is ugly.

Aylmer
Jan 8, 2008, 12:34 PM
That's a fourth-year project by my fellow students from Carleton University's School of Architecture. Actually, awards 9, 10, 11 are all by Carleton students. My project this semester is to replace the BMO at Sparks & O'Connor with an office-conference centre.

So it isn't a proposal?

And I don't get nuber 11...

:)

eemy
Jan 8, 2008, 1:05 PM
So it isn't a proposal?

And I don't get nuber 11...

:)

They are all student projects, so no, not proposals.

I actually find 11 quite interesting as it seems to be proposing a way of bridging two communities with a space comfortable for pedestrians. Tunnels and bridges aren't overly friendly spaces for people, so mitigating their presence is ideal.

Aylmer
Jan 8, 2008, 2:10 PM
Have you done any other projects before?

(Do you have images?)

:)

waterloowarrior
Feb 22, 2008, 2:48 AM
from the Ottawa Business Journal


Search begins for Congress Centre builder
By Ottawa Business Journal Staff (info_obj@transcontinental.ca)
Thu, Feb 21, 2008 1:00 PM EST


The hunt is on for a company to build Ottawa's new Congress Centre.

The board of the Congress Centre began an official search earlier this week for a company that will demolish the existing building, and design, build and finance the new centre.

"This marks a major step forward in our redevelopment process for Canada's new convention centre," OCC chair Jim Durrell said in a statement. "It is our intention through this process to partner with the best in the industry so that we complete the construction and meet every specification, on time and within budget."

Applications for the initial stage, a "request for qualifications," are due by March 17. The board will review the submissions and announce a short-list of three proponents by the end of March.

"The project is moving ahead on schedule which will enable our marketing team to book meetings and conventions for opening day in April 2011 and for years to follow," said OCC president Patrick Kelly.

The short-listed proponents will be asked to respond to a "request for propsal" to be issued in April. The three final proposals are required to be submitted in June, and the successful bidder will be selected by the end of July. Final project agreements are to be signed in September and demolition of the existing building will begin immediately after.

Aylmer
Feb 22, 2008, 12:07 PM
And Not Claridge!

:)

waterloowarrior
Apr 19, 2008, 3:53 AM
article on the congress centre's community outreach (http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=9a031ac8-3490-40c2-8cab-d79bb1dc22df&k=21006)

AuxTown
Apr 19, 2008, 2:57 PM
Ottawa . Plans for the new Ottawa Congress Centre will oblige construction workers hired for the project to contribute money or labour to community improvement projects, the centre's board announced Friday....Building and Construction Trades Council (which represents construction unions), said that the parties would aim for about $300,000 for each year of construction.

Centre spokeswoman Kathryn Hendrick said she hopes the project will set new standards for public buildings. Besides the demands of the winning construction company and its workers, she said, the new convention centre will be environmentally friendly. Toilets, for example, will use collected rain water.

This may not be the tallest project in Ottawa currently, but I consider it to be the most important. That area around the canal should be the most spectacular spot in the core and it is currently mediocre at best. The designs for the building look great, we will be able to attract much larger trade shows/conferences, and some of the second-hand benefits (mentioned above) make this the most important project in years for the capital. A LRT project would be nice too :) .

http://www.ottawacongresscentre.com/_images/inside/centre/newLookOfCentre.jpg

http://www.ottawacongresscentre.com/_images/inside/centre/interiorView.jpg http://www.ottawacongresscentre.com/_images/inside/centre/entryProposed.jpg

the capital urbanite
Apr 21, 2008, 3:20 AM
This may not be the tallest project in Ottawa currently, but I consider it to be the most important. That area around the canal should be the most spectacular spot in the core and it is currently mediocre at best. The designs for the building look great, we will be able to attract much larger trade shows/conferences, and some of the second-hand benefits (mentioned above) make this the most important project in years for the capital. A LRT project would be nice too :) .

http://www.ottawacongresscentre.com/_images/inside/centre/newLookOfCentre.jpg

http://www.ottawacongresscentre.com/_images/inside/centre/interiorView.jpg http://www.ottawacongresscentre.com/_images/inside/centre/entryProposed.jpg

...hoping that the chosen design is nothing like these concept drawings!

...it would be nice to see a cafe and/or retail at ground level on the Colonel By side.

adam-machiavelli
Apr 21, 2008, 4:38 AM
I also don't consider the design to be all that inspiring. The style is similar to the new Opera House in Toronto. Don't you agree?

eemy
Apr 21, 2008, 4:47 PM
I quite like it. I'm not sure every street is an appropriate candidate for a retail strip, and I'm not going to fault this design for lacking it. It does have an excellent street presence which is very pedestrian friendly. That alone makes it a billion times better than the existing Congress Centre.

Mille Sabords
Apr 21, 2008, 5:57 PM
I'm with haak on this one, it's a much better looking building than the one there and it will breathe its own type of activity toward the street (and not suck semblances of life into a subterranean tunnel-entrance, etc.).

Bring it on.

Cre47
May 7, 2008, 6:07 PM
http://www.ctvottawa.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20080507/OTT_Congress_Centre_080507/20080507/?hub=OttawaHome

AuxTown
May 7, 2008, 6:56 PM
The Congress Centre will be demolished and replaced by a state of the art facility by 2011 which is expected to be the fourth largest in Canada.


Whether you totally like the design or not, this is great news! I'm very optimistic about our city's future with landmark projects like this moving through council with much less resistance than we would expect to see from those nitpickers. I really like the open-air entranceway, which looks to be at least 3 storeys tall. It will definately be a much more inviting entrance to those looking from the canal than the current situation.

http://www.ottawacongresscentre.com/_images/inside/centre/entryProposed.jpg New vs. Current http://www.pinedaleonline.com/virtualtours/clearcreeknb/bridge1a.jpg

Cre47
May 14, 2008, 6:38 PM
Council approves $40 million funding 22 to 2 with the same two dissents, Doucet and Legendre

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=0f3cc730-b921-474d-ba20-53466b08e504

Cre47
May 17, 2008, 5:48 PM
http://www.ottawabusinessjournal.com/291702345962522.php

AuxTown
May 18, 2008, 2:40 PM
-Ground level will be the main lobby containing administration office, some meeting space and retail.

-Second floor: Approximately 55,000 square feet of meeting space in several configurations bordered by 25,000 square feet of pre-function space.

-Third floor: (Multi-purpose floor) 65,000 square feet of column-free space bordered by 25,000 square feet of pre-function space. Above that pre-function space will be a 23,000 square-foot ballroom on the north-east corner of the building overlooking Parliament and the Canal.



Now that is a lot of meeting space! This will really put Ottawa on the map in terms of conferences and large meetings. I heard that they have already taken a number of reservations for the new facility and it doesn't even open for another 3 years! I guess construction delays are not an option then.

c_speed3108
May 18, 2008, 4:20 PM
This definitely a big improvement to the city

I had planned a not huge (125 delegates or so) conference here about 4 or 5 years ago. It is amazing how few places there are in the city which can accommodate something even that size (I can only imagine the logistics in doing something considerably larger!). In our case the conference had 3 parallel tracks which created the requirement for lots of breakout rooms and such plus we were feeding everyone so we needed dining rooms three times a day on top of that.

We ended up at the Crowne Plaze (and I have little bad to say about the place). We gave them about $25000 in business over 3 days. Our other good possible choice was the Westin. There were a couple others that did not quite make the grade in terms of facilities or cost.

Richard Eade
May 19, 2008, 9:44 PM
Looks like they are making money already: The original estimate for cost was $159M. Fed. = $50M, Prov. = $50M, City = $40M, Congress Centre (CC) = $19M. For that contriburion, the City wanted the CC to squirrel away 1.5% of the total construction cost to help pay for any tunnel Transit station under the CC. This would amount to about $2.38M All agreed.

Fast forward to now: Total to be put aside for the transit station is now a fixed $1.5M. This was justified because the total construction costs have been refined to $115M. (Yes, $1.5M is still not 1.5% of $115M, but the Councillors don't seem to be able to work that out. When Legendre asked, he was told it was "close" by Kirkpatrick and the issue was dropped.) I guess the City will need to cough up the extra $0.9M when the station is built.

So building the new CC is now going to cost $115M. Fed. = $50M, Prov. = $50M, City = $40M, CC = $-25M. So the CC now has government grants totalling $25M more than their refined construction costs. I guess they don't need to throw in their $19M anymore, either.

c_speed3108
Jun 16, 2008, 3:40 PM
Congress Centre promises a green future
Jake Rupert, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Monday, June 16, 2008

OTTAWA - Congress Centre officials want their new facility to be the most environmentally friendly convention centre in North America.

At a press conference this morning, officials announced they are aiming to have the new centre, which will replace the existing facility and is to open in 2011, certified "silver" under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system.

This will involve heat recapturing systems, using outside temperatures for cooling, using locally sourced construction materials, more energy-efficient materials, and a host of other things all designed to lower the environmental impact of the building.

Under LEED, buildings can be classed certified, silver, gold or platinum, depending on several environmental factors such as energy and water efficiency, recycling programs, and building materials.

The centre's board chairman and former Ottawa mayor Jim Durrell said the board wants to pursue a gold certification but because the current and new building is hooked into the federal government's central heating system, the cost would have been prohibitive.


© The Ottawa Citizen 2008.

c_speed3108
Oct 2, 2008, 3:51 PM
Claridge it is!!!!

[okay just kidding]

Flower Power? or the trampled tulip?

Tulip design for Congress Centre

$159M project called Ottawa's 'crystal' palace

By DEREK PUDDICOMBE, Sun Media

It will be Ottawa's "crystal" palace.

The design of the new Ottawa Congress Centre will take the shape of a large glass tulip laid on its side that will eat up two of the four lanes on Colonel By Dr.

The OCC board announced this morning that PCL Constructors and Brisbin Brook Beynon Architects will demolish, design, build and finance the $159-million project expected to be completed and open in the spring of 2011.

The board said the new design will reflect one of the city's most prominent symbols - the tulip.

"The crystal design is in such stark contrast to the gray, concealed building we now have as our convention facility," said OCC president Pat Kelly.

The new congress centre will be 300 ft. long and will have an uninterrupted view of the Parliament Buildings.

The colour palette of the interior will reflect the colours of the Ottawa-Gatineau landscape.

waterloowarrior
Oct 2, 2008, 4:20 PM
http://a123.g.akamai.net/f/123/12465/1d/media.canada.com/gallery/08-10-02occ/occ.jpg

http://media.canada.com/gallery/08-10-02occ/Ottawa%20Congress%20Centre2.jpg

c_speed3108
Oct 2, 2008, 4:57 PM
Congress Centre unveils $160M redesign
Crystal 'bubble' to dominate new look centre
Jake Rupert , The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Thursday, October 02, 2008

OTTAWA - The face of a part downtown Ottawa is about to change dramatically after Congress Centre officials released the final design for a redeveloped facility Thursday.

The new design features a 100-metre long, several-storeys tall crystal bubble running from the MacKenzie Bridge to the Westin Hotel on the east side of the Rideau Canal with new landscaping leading to the historic water way in front of the building.

The bubble is supposed to represent a tulip flower lying on its side, and was designed by Brisbin Brook Beynon Architects, who are working with PCL Constructors on the new $160-million facility.

"The crystal design is in stark contrast to the gray, concealed building we now have as our convention facility," Congress Centre president Patrick Kelly said. "We will, in effect, finally balance the beauty of the west side of the canal with a facility and landscaping deserving of the location."

The design will allow visitors to the new centre to see the Parliament Buildings, the canal, the National Art Gallery and other downtown sites from inside the bubble.

The redevelopment project comes after years of false starts aimed at improving the current facility, which is too small to host major events and was seen as a drag on the city's tourism industry.

The new building will be three times the size of the old one and is expected to be open in the spring of 2011. Demolition of the old building will start at the end of this month and is expected to take six months.


© The Ottawa Citizen 2008

I don't hate the design, although I am not sure I like it there.

harls
Oct 2, 2008, 5:03 PM
Looks interesting, but I don't see the tulip design in those pics.. maybe if I squint harder..

eemy
Oct 2, 2008, 5:28 PM
I quite like the design - it is certainly an improvement - though it does seem to lack a certain je ne sais quoi.

c_speed3108
Oct 2, 2008, 6:20 PM
Looks interesting, but I don't see the tulip design in those pics.. maybe if I squint harder..

I think the steam is supposed to be the bottom of the DND building...

lrt's friend
Oct 2, 2008, 6:53 PM
..

lrt's friend
Oct 2, 2008, 6:56 PM
Actually, it looks like a giant torpedo about to hit DND headquarters.

Aylmer
Oct 2, 2008, 9:15 PM
Aw...

I liked the original design...

:)

Kitchissippi
Oct 2, 2008, 9:26 PM
I don't see a tulip either.

However I see one lip ( a lower lip?) :haha:

http://skinbeautifulblog.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/lips.jpg

http://a123.g.akamai.net/f/123/12465/1d/media.canada.com/gallery/08-10-02occ/occ.jpg

Aylmer
Oct 2, 2008, 10:09 PM
OMG ITS TRUE! ha!

:)

waterloowarrior
Oct 2, 2008, 10:18 PM
http://www.cbc.ca/gfx/images/news/photos/2008/10/02/ot-081002-ottawa-congress-centre.jpg

slightly bigger

citizen j
Oct 2, 2008, 10:59 PM
I don't see a tulip either.

However I see one lip ( a lower lip?) :haha:

http://skinbeautifulblog.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/lips.jpg

http://a123.g.akamai.net/f/123/12465/1d/media.canada.com/gallery/08-10-02occ/occ.jpg

So, if they expand in future, we'll have a full set of lips? Or two lips?

drawarc
Oct 3, 2008, 12:26 AM
Nice improvement over existing congress centre.

AuxTown
Oct 3, 2008, 12:59 AM
Definately much more spectacular than the previous design. I liked the old one a lot, but aint nothing wrong with another landmark building for Ottawa; to go along with the National Gallery and Museum of Civilization. The previous design was classy, but it wasn't anything unique. Anything to draw some attention away from the NAC and Rideau Centre (Blah!). Should be an interesting couple of years.

c_speed3108
Oct 16, 2008, 3:39 PM
step 1:

Colonel By construction
Ottawa Citizen
Published: Thursday, October 16, 2008

OTTAWA - Drivers travelling on Colonel By Drive will notice a change as of Thursday.

Lanes have been reduced to one in each direction, rather than two, from the Mackenzie King Bridge to Daly Avenue while road work is carried out in connection with the revamped Ottawa Congress Centre. Vehicles will still be able to turn left and right at Daly.

The two lanes will be closed to allow for resurfacing of the two lanes next to the Rideau Canal and provide for an extension west for the final re-location of Colonel By. This work is expected to last until Dec. 1, at which point the two lanes of traffic adjacent to the Congress Centre will be closed in order to allow for construction of the new convention facility, which extends onto this roadway area.

Jamaican-Phoenix
Oct 16, 2008, 10:28 PM
I must say, this new render makes Ottawa look and feel a little more European. Now if only we had a world-class LRT/Mass Public Transit system to go with it...


And Franky, if you say PRT, I will eviscerate you...

c_speed3108
Feb 11, 2009, 8:42 PM
New name for Congress Centre revealed
By Elizabeth Howell, Ottawa Business Journal Staff
Wed, Feb 11, 2009 3:00 PM EST


As of Thursday, the generation-old Congress Centre will have a new name to go along with its new look: The Ottawa Convention Centre, OBJ has learned.

The name will be unveiled on Thursday along with the business plan for the centre, which is undergoing demolition at the moment for a new, green-friendly building on the same footprint.

PCL Constructors Inc. and Brisbin Brook Beynon Architects are handling the $159-million construction, which is expected to be finished in March 2011.

The new facility will triple the size of the old building and include sweeping views of much of downtown, including the Parliament Buildings and the National Art Gallery.
.

eemy
Feb 12, 2009, 2:10 PM
I don't know what I think of this. Congress Centre always seemed more distinctive to me. Every city has a <name of city> Convention Centre.

Davis137
Feb 13, 2009, 12:55 AM
I saw the begining of the demolition of the Col By side started yesterday...some verandas and other sections have been torn off, and there were openings in the walls too...

aesthetic
Feb 13, 2009, 4:14 AM
The Congress Centre website has images of the demolition here (http://www.ottawacongresscentre.com/media_page.html).

c_speed3108
Feb 13, 2009, 1:10 PM
They have been demolishing for several weeks now. I recall seeing the fire stairs coming off in December walking to Rideau Centre to Christmas shop.

I also noticed they have walled-off the connection from inside the Rideau Centre. The only clue is that the Rideau Centre style directional sign still exists.

RoughRider
Feb 13, 2009, 4:02 PM
The old design was a classic example of brutalism with its concrete stairways fronting onto Colonel By and the main entrance being is semi-underground. Even the interior was depressing.

The new design is truly spectacular. What they've been able to do with this project is quite impressive. Not only have they been able to convince the City and the NCC to sell some land that belonged to Colonel By Drive, but to do so under a strict timeline while respecting the surrounding buildings is a mastery in construction and planning.

The facade of the new building will be quite impressive. It will be interesting to see how it communicates with the MacKenzie King bridge and the subsequent view from that vantage point. Furthermore, the front of the building will be more pedestrian friendly. I believe they'll essentially level it with the canal thereby creating more of a link with the heritage site. Unfortunately, Colonel By will still be there, but the idea is to slow down traffic in this area.

Not only is there less of an emphasis on parking, but I believe the idea is to eventually link the new Convention Center with the future Union Station via tunnel. IMO, this Convention Center represents a great leap forward for the City. Future concerts, balls, conventions will finally have a world-class facility that'll be able to showcase the beauty of Ottawa's downtown.

Tor2Ott
Feb 13, 2009, 4:45 PM
I wouldn't go as far as labeling it world-class. After going through the floorplans and renderings on their website, then comparing to convention centres of true world-class cities, this is hardly it. OCC is subpar just on the size alone.

It's a huge step up from what it was before though.