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Is the new Lansdowne complex a boon or a bust?

By Alejandro Bustos on August 4, 2015

The new Lansdowne complex in the Glebe is pretty much complete.  While there are still some restaurants that have not opened yet, for the most part the urban village that was long promised to Ottawa residents is now up and running.

But has it been a success?  If you are a glass half-full type of person you can focus on some of the great restaurants, like LOCAL Public Eatery and Joey Lansdowne, interesting events (e.g. winter beer festival, the Women’s World Cup, modern circus acts, etc.) and – in a reverse Joni Mitchell – how an ugly parking lot was ripped up and replaced by a lovely green field.

For the glass half-empty crew, however, there are many legitimate reasons to complain.  For instance, the skateboard park was foolishly placed right next to a children’s playground, making it almost a certainty that a teenager practising an ollie will crash into a toddler who accidentally waddles into his or her path.

Then there is the new water plaza that is turning out to be a giant embarrassment for the City.  Not only was this much hyped feature scaled back to its currently mediocre state, it has now become a symbol of anti-fun.  A recent article in the Ottawa Citizen captures perfectly how municipal bureaucrats have messed up what should have been a great experience.

I was at the water plaza this weekend with my children and can confirm that the Citizen article is true.  My jaw dropped when I saw a security guard – yes, security guard – prevent children from using the full water plaza on the grounds that touching the giant sculpture at the new site was dangerous.  (Meanwhile, it’s apparently OK for two-year-olds to waddle into the path of skateboarders, but I digress).

So, given these mixed results, the crew here are Apartment613 decided to ask what our readers think about the new Lansdowne complex.  Share your thoughts below.


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