The Bulldog Is Horribly Wrong On The Farm: Reader

Frequent contributor The Voter disagrees with The Bulldog’s position on relocating The Ottawa Hospital and the future of the Central Experimental Farm:

You couldn’t be more wrong. The farm acts as lungs for the city among other things.

It’s not a direct comparison but would you pave over Central Park in New York, High Park in Toronto, Mount Royal in Montreal or Hyde Park in London?

Aside from the scientific research being carried out at the Farm, that huge expanse of open space helps keep us all healthy.

How about suggesting to those people driving through the Greenbelt to their single family homes and country estate lots that if they hadn’t selfishly gobbled up all that land, we wouldn’t need to be pushing the city’s built-up areas ever farther into the surrounding farmland?

Like many other Ottawans, I’ve been both an inpatient and outpatient at the Civic over the years and they give good care. That doesn’t mean they should be handed the Experimental Farm to desecrate.

While we’re at it why don’t we put up a couple of condo towers on the front lawn of the Parliament Buildings? That space has been empty for ages and could be put to better use.

Better still, why not turn Lansdowne Park into a shopping mall? Oh yeah, we already did that.

Pave paradise and put up a parking lot …

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7 thoughts on “The Bulldog Is Horribly Wrong On The Farm: Reader

  1. Rather than discarding the concept of utilizing the two major elements of the Central Experimental Farm (one between Carling and Baseline, the other south of Hunt Club), I suggest that we take a more constructive (sorry about the pun) approach to how these two large tracts of land could be further developed.

    For example, the section of farm that is adjacent to the Rideau Canal, from the Arboretum south towards the existing developments near the Heron Road bridge, perhaps including sections west of Prince of Wales, could be set aside as an extensive public park – along the lines of Central Park in NYC, or Hyde Park in London, while allowing commercial/institutional/residential development elsewhere on those tracts. Similarly, the existing forests and wet lands that are south of Hunt Club and west of the 416 should be retained, while the areas along the Prince of Wales, Merivale, Woodroffe, Greenbank and Cedarview corridors could be considered for development, as long was those corridors are expanded to handle the traffic loads (including LRT).

    In short, there are at least 50 shades of green available to the nation’s capital to consider over the next several decades. Let’s not discard 49 of them out of hand.


  2. My vote would be cast for The Voter’s choice, namely to preserve the Experimental Farm property as it is.

    The problem with the suburbs is that they refuse to expand vertically, and rely upon the 1950s model of an automobile culture. This is a failure of our politicians (both municipal and provincial).

    Surely the new Liberal administration (of climate-change warriors) can come up with a better plan than the John Baird hospital blueprint for the Experimental Farm property?


  3. Let me disagree with The Voter. We are talking a hospital not condos. We are talking a hospital for people.

    Maybe if we were talking a veterinarian hospital, we wouldn’t have all this push back. Remember it’s only a portion of farmland. I would like to understand the head space of the Ottawa media and general population when it comes to safety and well-being in Ottawa.

    Last week CTV Ottawa covered a lion killed at a local zoo, (to protect the public’s safety). It gets lead story and six minutes of coverage. Second story: man dies of overdose and friend pleads guilty to dumping body in Kemptville Creek. The story gets 30 seconds of coverage.


    1. Ottawa Centre MP Catherine McKenna (Minister of the Environment) is also not overjoyed by the Experimental Farm option.

      What are the optional locations? Could there be more than the four under consideration? Why only consider federal lands? Indeed with the hospital being so important, can we not expropriate any land that best suits our objective?

      How does public transit figure into this discussion? At least the Tunney’s property is on the Confederation line.

      Kelly Egan (Ottawa Citizen: “The Ottawa Hospital sorry, but eyes still firmly on the Farm”) questions how big this hospital has to be: “In 1975, hospitals ate up 45 per cent of all health care spending in Canada but, by 2014, it was just under 30 per cent, a figure that appears to have flat-lined. So, is the hospital of the future smaller, more nimble, more hub-like, and needing fewer beds than those of 50 years ago? And, more to the point, who decides? The people who have a vested interest in running big hospitals?”


  4. “Aside from the scientific research being carried out at the Farm, that huge expanse of open space helps keep us all healthy.”

    Not sure that’s a good argument against building a hospital.


  5. I have to disagree with The Voter as well on this one.

    He mentions the parks mentioned not being a direct comparison which I think is part of the problem. All the parks mentioned have a relatively high usage factor by the general public while I’d guess that at least 50% of the Farm (the largest of those mentioned by the way at 4km/sq) is inaccessible to the general public. In fact, putting the hospital on the farm would open it up more to the public and allow for more direct comparisons to those parks above.

    So yes, I would pave paradise in this instance.


  6. One question raised…Why Federal Land? It is not just a issue of which government has charge of the land, it is also the cost factor. To that regard, the only affordable choice is gifted land, that will not come from the Province nor our Municipality.

    A new hospital is urgently required. There are issues with the O.C.H. that are not spoken about, if people knew them, they would jump on board this endeavour.

    People keep stating the “research done on the land”. What is actually being done there; certainly nothing visible. Where is the concern about the labs at Tunney’s?

    The needs for our populace are very real and evident, construction on the proposed site is a ‘no-brainer’. Let us just get on with it!


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