If the Ottawa Senators build a new NHL arena at LeBreton Flats, then Catherine McKenney wants to see a concert hall and art gallery come with it.
The Somerset Councillor says she is all for having the team move into her ward, but wants to make sure the precious downtown land becomes more of an inclusive spot, rather than a place only for those who can afford hockeytickets.
“LeBreton Flats is our last piece of significant public land in the downtown core and we need to see what else is being proposed,” she said. “Whatever we get needs to have a significant public component to it.”
he Senators announced that they were “actively considering” making a proposal to the National Capital Commission (NCC), which owns the 21.4 hectares of land up for redevelopment at LeBreton Flats.
McKenney recognized the potential value an NHL arena could bring downtown with a stadium being walkable and close to public transit lines, but she said public transportation would have to be utilized to cut down on parking and traffic woes that could plague downtown streets 2-3 nights a week in the winter.
She said while residents don’t mind the temporary parking mayhem during the 10 days of Bluesfest in the summer, they might get annoyed if it were a year-round thing.
“You would need to make sure that the parking pressures don’t spill out into the residential neighbourhoods,” she said.
“We want to make sure that what we do here is going to last a lifetime and more and we need to do it right.”
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