Glebe Parks

The Park at Lansdowne
Glebe parks spring cleanup



The Park at Lansdowne

By Al Grice

As construction at Lansdowne is nearing completion, I felt it might be useful to outline some of the aspects of the Park at Lansdowne, particularly what Glebe residents can expect over the next months. We saw many of the Park’s attributes prior to the snow falling, but construction has continued on several important features throughout the winter.

We are welcoming three new neighbours into our midst. First, the City of Ottawa Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department will have a bigger presence in the Glebe. Because of the number and variety of facilities and the many new activities that are possible, a new Lansdowne Park Office has been formed, complete with permanent staff. They are currently in temporary offices in the Aberdeen Pavilion, but will eventually move to the second floor of the Horticultural Building.

A second new neighbour is the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG), the body set up to administer Lansdowne, excluding the park, although as part of the overall agreement between the city and OSEG, they will perform maintenance and servicing of the park.

The third group of new neighbours is the significant number of new Glebites who are starting to move into the 280 residential units within Lansdowne. I hope that they will embrace the wider community and all it has to offer. We welcome them as Glebites.

Representatives of the Glebe Community Association have met with both OSEG and City officials responsible for Lansdowne Park, and multifaceted consultative groups have been established to continue mutual consultation.

Park Facilities at Lansdowne

In the division of jurisdiction between OSEG and the City, OSEG is the facilities manager for the whole of Lansdowne and will manage TD Place and the Shops at Lansdowne. The park facilities will be programmed by the City’s new Lansdowne Park Office. The city park comprises the green space and its attractions, the heritage Aberdeen Pavilion and Horticultural Building, and the courtyards adjoining the heritage buildings.

Most of the park facilities are currently in operation, and the park is available for use from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. During the construction phase, certain areas may be unavailable and construction traffic may require extra caution. For up-to-date information about the park, see www.ottawa.ca/lansdownepark.

West Court: Forming the main entrance to the park from The Shops at Lansdowne, it is an open space that can host many occasions. One of the first was a rededication of the monument commemorating the centenary of the raising of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry who mustered at Lansdowne Park prior to their embarkation for France in 1914. The monument is outside the west entrance to Aberdeen Pavilion.

Aberdeen Pavillion. Photo: Jock Smith

Aberdeen Pavillion. Photo: Jock Smith

Aberdeen Pavilion: The venerable “old lady” of Lansdowne built in 1898, it is one of the last Canadian examples of a Victorian exhibition hall and is the oldest surviving venue for a Stanley Cup competition, held in 1904. This landmark can accommodate 2,800 people for special events in its 3,000 square metres. While reserved for the use of OSEG on game days, it is available for use by community or rental by private groups at other times. Booking is done through the City Recreation personnel currently located in the Pavilion. Events hosted by the Pavilion recently include a Hogmanay celebration, the winter market and a Winterlude Polar Heroes competition.

Aberdeen Square: The courtyard immediately north of the Aberdeen Pavilion, it is an open space planted with urban trees and will be the home of the Ottawa Farmers’ Market.

South Court: Between Aberdeen Pavilion and The Great Lawn, features planters, urban trees and benches, with space for smaller public performances.

The Hill: This feature is a backdrop to TD Place and overlooks the Great Lawn. It is surmounted by the installation “Moving Surfaces” created by artist Jill Anholt. It currently projects moving light patterns evocative of the reflection of light off the Rideau Canal.

The Great Lawn: the centerpiece of Lansdowne Park. It is an open, pentagonal grassed area of 1.04 hectares (120m X 105m), slightly smaller than the lawn on Parliament Hill. It will hold up to 17,000 people for anything from family play to festivals. It has already seen moonlight yoga, Polar Heroes and the Hogmanay fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

Water Plaza: Bordering the Great Lawn to the northeast, it will feature a water play area with jets of water shooting up from the Plaza and cascading fountains from the “Uplift” monument. Currently under construction, completion is expected later this year.

Childrens’ Play Area: Continuing north from the Water Plaza is the Childrens’ Play Area with swinging, sliding, balancing and climbing structures with a knee and elbow friendly rubber surface. Also included are skateboard ramps, already popular with local youth.

Skating/Basketball Court: The third artificial ice skating surface in the city. In the summer it will house a basketball court, except during major events at TD Place when it will be used as a bicycle corral.

Heirloom Orchard: Perhaps the unexpected hidden gem of Lansdowne Park. It will feature 41 heirloom apple trees. City staff are working with local groups to develop park programming around local horticulture, the growing of flowers, herbs and food, and harvesting.

Civic Gardens: A quiet spot alongside the Horticultural Building it will feature local flowers – a lovely spot for a picnic.

Horticultural Building: The second major heritage jewel at Lansdowne. It is a century-old structure (built in 1914), one of the few prairie-style buildings remaining in Canada. It currently rests 140 metres east of its original site, moved by a well-watched project two years ago. After extensive renovations, it provides a spectacular medium-sized space already in demand and has hosted its first wedding. As with the Aberdeen Pavilion, city staff can provide advice for possible rental. The front of the building will be leased for commercial use and individual hubs on the second floor will be available for monthly rental.

Activities

Lots of programs and activities are planned or underway for venues within Lansdowne. As expected, Lansdowne was busy during Winterlude, with snowshoeing and horse-drawn sleigh rides on the Great Lawn, the Ottawa Museum Zone in Aberdeen Pavilion and the Community Snow Sculpture Contest on Aberdeen Square. The Ottawa Farmers’ Winter Market will be in Aberdeen Pavilion Sundays until April 26.

The Horticultural Building has been busy as well, with Artful Stories combining a book reading and crafts, a Family Hip Hop workshop and Winter Green, a craft session for such masterpieces as Lost Mitten Monsters. Information on the activities and recreation programs can be found at www.ottawa.ca/lansdownepark. City staff are also open for suggestions.

Lansdowne: “It’s your park; enjoy it!”

Al Grice is a member of the Glebe Community Association Parks Committee.

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Glebe parks spring cleanup

By Zoe Sutherland

Once a month, community volunteers representing each park in the Glebe get together. They discuss park maintenance, park designation and funding as well as hot topics like dog waste disposal, the “adopt-a-park” program and potential post office box locations. As part of the City of Ottawa’s “Clean Up the Capital” campaign, each volunteer leads two park cleanups each calendar year in the spring and fall. The campaign, sponsored by Tim Horton’s and others such as Glad, EMC, the Ottawa Citizen, Swish and Giant Tiger, aims to clean up the city after the winter thaw and fall leaf drop. Some parks also have issues with cigarette butts, beer cans, graffiti and broken glass that need to be addressed at least twice a year.

Kids and adults alike have fun cleaning up Glebe parks. Volunteers are needed for this year. PHOTO: ZOE SUTHERLAND

Kids and adults alike have fun cleaning up Glebe parks. Volunteers are needed for this year.
PHOTO: ZOE SUTHERLAND

Lead volunteers register their parks and a date with the City and in return they are provided with black sacks, plastic gloves, paper leaf sacks and graffiti removal kits, if required. Then it is up to the lead volunteer to round up more volunteers through neighbours, family and friends to assist with the task of cleaning the park. It is a fun, community-building way to spend time out in the fresh air. In the case of the larger parks some refreshments are provided. After the park cleanup has taken place, the lead volunteer files a report to the City and is entered into a draw to win a prize. After the fall 2014 cleanup, Lionel Britton Park was a winner.

So why not grab a rake, a tin can for collecting glass or a blue box for plastic recycling and join a very worthy and fun endeavour? The full schedule can be found here.

The Glebe Parks Committee (GPC) is a sub-committee of the Glebe Community Association (GCA) and is the only one if its kind in the City of Ottawa. For more information please visit www.glebeca.ca/committees/parks.

Zoe Sutherland is a member of the Glebe Community Association Parks Committee.

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