Tunney’s Pasture Plans

Monday evening Sept 17 saw the underwhelming revelation of two options for the future of Tunney’s Pasture. This so-called public consultation consisted of display panels with one or two consultants available to explain them. A Show but no tell, with no presentation with an opportunity for comments and questions in an audience situation (where one question or comment can spark another). In addition the public was presumably supposed to choose between the marginally different two options. The web site gives the following as the goals, objectives and principles:

Goals and Objectives of the Master Plan

  • Create a leading-edge employment community
  • Achieve high standards in urban design, planning and sustainable design
  • Be a connected, transit-oriented development
  • Guide long-term investment
  • Complement the NCC and City of Ottawa long-term plans
  • Contribute to the federal image in the National Capital Region

Guiding Principles:

  1. Be a landmark environmentally sustainable employment site.
  2. Be an integrated and valued part of a larger community.
  3. Be an attractive, safe, and complete employment site.
  4. Be a connected and public transit-oriented development.
  5. Provide a diverse mix of uses and arrangement of buildings.
  6. The Master Plan should be flexible in its application to the site.
  7. Maximize federal government values and new opportunities.

These seem not to include the goal of creating a mixed use community and to emphasize the role of Tunney’s Pasture as an employment site.

Both options are discussed below with their minor differences pointed out. Firstly we will give the broad picture of both options. Both option show any housing in the near future placed along the Parkdale face of the Pasture. (Both options have some segments for future development designated as either housing or office). Both options have a hub of service retail placed opposite the transit station. Both options have the same amount and placement of Labs and designation of some existing buildings as heritage (Brooke Claxton; Health Protection, and Statistics Canada Main buildings plus the Central Heating and Cooling Plant). Other than some minor retail the rest of the Pasture would be assigned as Office or Lab, with slightly different amounts and placements of these and greenspace. A path through to our Champlain Park is shown and both options include a thick green buffer on the western border of the site.

This interpretation of mixed use with blocks of office /labs taking up most of the space in the area west of Parkdale frontage and north of the immediate vicinity of the transit area, i.e. with retail and housing mainly on the periphery seems somewhat out of kilter, Why not have made one of the interior streets a residential one mixed with office and retail? Or placed more of the retail along the western half of Tunney’s Pasture Parkway (the boulevard area)? Perhaps even planning a few high rises to take advantage of the river and hills views at the northern end of the Pasture?

To go into the differences between the two options I will cite some numbers first as follows:

Item Option 1 Option 2
Housing: 800 1000
Office total: 726,000 m2 GFA 641,000 m2 GFA
(gross floor area)
Labs total 42,000 m2 GFA 42,000 m2 GFA
Office new: 453,000 m2 GFA 368,000 m2 GFA
Retail total 52,000 m2 GFA 49,000 m2 GFA
Retail Hub 49,000 m2 GFA 38,000 m2 GFA
Future dev. 110,000 m2 GFA 100,000 m2 GFA
Total: 930,000 m2 GFA
800 units
832,000 m2 GFA
1000 units

As the Option with the most housing and I believe greenspace Option 2 seems preferable. However as suggested earlier neither option seems to be truly mixed use and the concept plan lacks imagination and more detailed principles related to ensuring sunshine on the street, avoidance of wind tunnels and other design factor related to encouragement of pedestrian use. A hint of a possible water feature in the boulevard area of Option 2 is one of the few suggestions of a plus factor.

Residents are encouraged to make comments before Oct. 9.

By Post: Tunney’s Pasture Master Plan Project, Real Property Branch, Public Works and Government Services Canada, 191 Promenade du Portage Gatineau, QC, K1A 0S5 Canada or

By Email tunneyspastureplan.planpretunney@pwgsc-tpsgc.gc.ca