History-Making Project Planned For Southwest Ottawa

Planning has stepped up concerning a mammoth project in the southwest part of Ottawa worth hundreds of millions of dollars, industry sources say.

A consortium of at least three parties is proposing to construct a densely built small city that would stretch from the Manotick area, through Rideau and Goulbourn and up near West Carleton and Kanata. It could encompass at least 4,000 acres and would have a town centre. If approved, it would be one of the largest developments in Ottawa history.

The project keys around whether the city could drive western light rail to the development. That would have to happen within about a decade for the plan to be successful. Sources say principals behind the project are prepared to pay as much as the city portion of the cost extending light rail beyond Baseline station to the project if the federal and provincial government would come up with one-third each of the remaining expenses.

The development comes as the city reconsiders the municipality’s official plan and its controversial urban boundary that limits city development from stretching into the countryside. The plan needs to be ready in time for the creation of the new OP. The development would likely create an enormous debate about extending the urban boundary and intensification. Principals behind the project are prepared to build a dense development peppered with high-rises and townhouses.

The plan is so secret that not even the office of Mayor Jim Watson knows more than scant details about the project.

The project has been the talk of rural areas southwest of the city as empty land has been purchased by the consortium.

In 2011, a firm called Walton International said it was purchasing land south of Highway 417 and west of Highway 416. It said: “Walton has assembled a significant land position in Southwest Ottawa and is developing planning concepts for the area to reflect the highest and best use potential of the land.”

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  1. Walton will entice you with plans for a dense community but build low-density sprawl instead.

  2. Great idea in theory but matched to a very bad location. Where did you hear this, anyway? Didn’t O’Brien blurt out this idea once?

    The swath of land being proposed is, as usual, high quality farmland and most of it lies between two far-separated corridors of the rapid transit system. It would be centred roughly on the Fallowfield-Eagleson intersection. It’s bad enough that the farmland between Kanata and Stittsville is being destroyed; we don’t need to add this area to the south to it as well. Just to lend an idea as to how large 4000 acres is, it’s a square of 4 km per side and would approximately encompass all of Ottawa north and west of the Rideau River and east of the O-Train plus the ‘Île de Hull’ on the Quebec side.

    I don’t even see how they could think this location would be serviceable by light rail; assuming the line to Baseline Station is built, the only possible route is west along Hunt Club (and maybe Knoxdale from Woodroffe to “cut the corner”) and then southwest along either Hwy 416 or Old Richmond Rd through the Greenbelt. That’s a minimum of 15 km of new track in corridors that have never even been remotely considered for a rapid transit line in the past.

    It’s not like the geographically vast City of Ottawa is short of land for this kind of project, either. The area generally west of Stittsville and the Hwy 417/7 interchange for instance is pretty close to useless and it is already served directly by a freeway while the old rail corridor to Carleton Place that runs through it could be resurrected for a commuter rail line. Or there are the similar scrubby lands in Osgoode south of Greely to which an O-Train extension could easily serve.

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