Aerial View of Lebreton Flats around 1960
Aerial View of Lebreton Flats around 1960
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The NCC expropriated and let Lebreton Flats sits empty for 50 years.
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This aerial comparison of Lebreton Flats and a simulation from Google Earth shows two Lebreton Flats radically different. The archival photo clearly shows the industrial past of the Flats with its numerous light industries and rails in its western section (top of the image). Now that the LRT station has been renamed Pimisi and that Lebreton Flats seems to be the predilection spot for the different levels of government to build memorials of this and that, which brings nothing to the Public Space, we are convinced that they want remove the industrial legacy of the flats from the collective memory.

Despite not having the exact date of the archival photo, we can see that the eastern portion of the Lebreton Flats where the Bradings Breweries were located has already been demolished. The photo was then taken after 1957 but before 1962, year at which the NCC expropriated and completely demolished the neighbourhood and let it rot for more than 50 years.

Note how the route of the Wellington Street was changed. It used to only go through the south section of Lebreton Flats but it has been definitely widened and curved as it is now passing right through the neighbourhood. This configuration is similar to what was done to Saint Patrick Street in Lowertown East which transformed it for the worse.

The NCC said this week that they have an ethical debt (nice euphemism!) toward the Ottawa population to not have done anything for so long.

Proof us wrong, but the lot size for the redevelopment seems to be already done. The city and the NCC would benefit to review its design to allow small developers to be part of the process otherwise it will most likely lead to development that we have seen too many times in the past where one big developer is responsible to build this "perfectly planned community" or "iconic buildings" which in most cases turn out to be grotesque or badly planned.

29 SEP
I agree that it was terrible to completely uproot a community and leave that land completely useless - I see it on a daily basis from where I live in downtown and it is admittedly one of the worst eyesores especially in the summer where all the land is just beige. I am, however, rather supportive of the Ottawa (MacDonald Cartier) River Parkway which extends west of this land as a touristic road which allows for a very pleasant drive year round. This, however, does not excuse the NCC for removing a bustling community from existence and I really hope they do create something worthwhile out of it (personally I feel like Ottawa needs more interaction with its rivers...)
23 FEB
Rosemary Campbell
It is ugly now, and I fear will get even worse, as the city rolls over and plays dead to all the awful developers proposals for change. The only thing that will advance in the plans for development is the cash flow in the pockets of developers, we will not have a better city. Where is the leadership to build a world class city with offerings for the public and tourists, walkways, parks, outdoor concert areas and squares for entertainment, a fishing pier, commemorative gardens, artists, food trucks, instead of more condos and pathetic utilitarian retail establishments, like the awful Lansdowne development? Steven's comment (below) is right on. NCC and Ottawa: use the riverfront for what the people like and enjoy, not condos and retail.
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