Originally Posted by reidjr
Part of the issue in Ottawa is there is an obession with parks and green space if you look at comments when a project comes up more times then not people say that would be a great spot for a park or we need a big garden etc it really gets silly at times.
Ottawa isn't just like any other city. It's a single industry town (data processing died 10 years ago and the wood industry 60 years ago). The city's one and only employer is the federal government and it provides the pay checks for over 100,000 employees as well as feeding all the lobbying and related industries in town.
The only other industry of relevance in town is the tourist industry. Tourists do not come to Ottawa to visit shopping malls and suburbs and tall condos. They come here and spend money here to see historical buildings, historical structures like the Rideau Canal, historical areas like the Market, Chinatown and Little Italy and, yes, green space and parks.
We are lucky to have the NCC to foot much of the cost of our tourist industry with Canadian taxpayers’ money (think Winterlude). Most Canadian tourist cities (think Vancouver, Halifax) do not have that privilege.
With 20,000 Ottawa federal jobs to be axed within the next 5 to 10 years (source CCPA), there will probably be a glut of condos in Ottawa. There will be less money going around and tourist dollars will be very valuable for the City help to pay for its infrastructures, old and new.
So, I wouldn't put down parks. There may be too much unused green open space along the Ottawa River, I agree. The NCC has been sitting on LeBreton Flats for the past 50 years and a plan to redevelop the Ottawa Chaudiere islands for at least 20 years. The city’s Strathcona Park is a gem and so are each and every one of possibly over a hundred protected areas that the city has for its citizens to use for leisure and play. Quality of life is what defines a city and parks are part of it.
The City has probably reached its optimum size anyway. Any bigger, the City may end up by spending much more to maintain itself that it can take in, even if taxes are increased considerably. Development can't go on forever in Ottawa. There is a limit to the number of jobs and to disposable income.
So, maybe we need a new planning model.