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  #121  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2015, 12:35 AM
MoreTrains MoreTrains is offline
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Perhaps a purge of NCC owned property to allow better continuity in the city? Or just a purge of the NCC so they stop wasting money on themselves.
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  #122  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2015, 9:47 PM
Uhuniau Uhuniau is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketphish View Post
[B]NCC wants your big ideas about the national capital of the future
Symbols, grass, and vistas.

Same old NCC crap as always.

Abolish the NCC.

Abolish, abolish, abolish.

Abolish the living snot out of the NCC.

Abolish it and salt the earth so it never returns.

Incidentally - what, exactly, do they intend to do to "improve sightlines" around the cenotaph?
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  #123  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2015, 3:05 PM
teej1984 teej1984 is offline
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Didn't this square get renovated within the last 10 years?!
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  #124  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2015, 9:23 PM
Richard Eade Richard Eade is offline
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Confederation Square was rehabilitated (new paving stones, ramps, and some busts) a few years ago, but I get the feeling that the NCC would like to radically change the entire area so that it would better accommodate 30,000 people and clear the views of the monument from traffic signs and signals, and bus shelters.

I wonder how close to the Rideau Canal they can push the canal's bank? Could they 'fill' (probably with a structure so that the NCC can have space underneath for parking emergency vehicles, elevators, utilities, storage, etc.) the area east of the square (and maybe over the canal to connect to the Convention Centres) to provide plaza space? That could also benefit the NAC since it would then have an area to program with outdoor concerts.

Is 'Confusion Square' a place that could become restricted for cars?
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  #125  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2015, 12:03 AM
Norman Bates Norman Bates is offline
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It is true that all those traffic signals and bus shelters do a disservice to the monument. It is our arc de triomphe, Piccadilly Circus, Washington monument, etc.

Not trying to be a jerk here - but what about a largish Edmonton-style roundabout? It would certainly add space, remove traffic signals and bus shelters. Just not sure how you'd get pedestrians across the traffic flow.
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  #126  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2015, 7:11 PM
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Ideas wanted for a big 2067 national bash in Ottawa

Roy MacGregor
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Dec. 11, 2015 7:50PM EST | Last updated Friday, Dec. 11, 2015 8:33PM EST



Welcome to the Ottawa of the future – the City of Big Ideas.

All 17 of them.

Board the giant ferris wheel back of the Centre Block and, from the top of your ride, watch tourists zip-lining from Parliament Hill to the Museum of History across the river.

Visit the all-night street markets. Take a tour of the Museum of Political History. Here you can view the niqab that tilted the 2015 federal election, watch the attack ads that doomed Stéphane Dion and Michael Ignatieff, see the Inuit sculpture that Jean Chrétien wielded against that intruder, walk into Mila Mulroney’s shoe closet, catch the football that Robert Stanfield dropped and see Nigel Wright’s framed $90,172 cheque that he handed over to Senator Mike Duffy.

These are just a few of the early suggestions in the National Capital Commission’s campaign to come up with 17 incredible ideas for 2017, the country’s sesquicentennial year.

The NCC wants to look another 50 years ahead, all the way to the bicentennial celebrations of 2067, and it would like to see the nation’s capital transformed as dramatically as it was during and after the 1967 centennial, when Ottawa and Hull (now Gatineau) went on a museum, art gallery and theatre binge.

Canadians are being asked to send in their ideas, either by e-mail or else under the Twitter hashtag #Capital2067.

If the NCC is known by most Canadians for anything, it is for the care and repair of the official residences, chief among them that fixer-upper known as 24 Sussex Dr.

It would be less known for its unfortunate connection to the placement of the Memorial to the Victims of Communism cheek-by-jowl with the Supreme Court building – but that silly idea seems mercifully dead, lacking only an official announcement that will surely be cheered as widely in NCC offices as in the country at large.

This is, however, a massive Crown corporation. The NCC oversees 1,600 properties, including six official residences. It owns two inter-provincial bridges and 40 other bridges within its 473-square-kilometre base. It has the experimental farm, the Rideau Canal skating rink, Gatineau Park, the Green Belt and leases land to six golf courses. Its 400 employees operate under an overall budget of $105-million a year – $69-million of which is taxpayers’ money approved by Parliament.

So it should be of some considerable interest to Canadians.

Curious as to exactly what Canadians outside of the national capital area thought of this powerful entity, the NCC commissioned Environics to conduct a survey this year. The full results will shortly be available on the commission’s website – http://www.ncc-ccn.gc.ca – but, generally speaking, there was far more good news than bad, though few knew exactly what the NCC does.

The polling of more than 2,000 Canadians by telephone found that fully two-thirds of Canadians have positive feelings toward the national region and six in 10 Canadians see it as an important national symbol.

“We found we were better known and better liked than we expected,” says CEO Mark Kristmanson.

The farther West one goes, the more likelihood of negative feelings, 7 per cent of British Columbians dismissing Ottawa as “too cold.” Others found it impossible to separate the office that owns the buildings from the politicians who live and work in them.

“Ottawa,” in fact, is as much a minor Canadian swear word as it is a minor North American city.

“It’s a word usually followed by something like ‘raises taxes’ or ‘cuts spending,’” says NCC chairman Russ Mills, a former publisher of the Ottawa Citizen.

Still, there were surprises in the survey. Allan Fotheringham may have tagged Ottawa as “Ennui-on-the-Rideau” and “The Town Fun Forgot,” but when respondents were asked for a single word to describe the National Capital Region, “welcoming” was closely followed by “dynamic” and “inspiring.” (Mind you, the only other choices were “relevant to me” and “reflects the entire country” – Mr. Fotheringham’s choices noticeably absent.)

Nine out of 10 Canadians, from coast to coast, agree that it’s important for the nation’s capital to have “a distinct and internationally recognized identity.” And that brings us back to the quest for 17 Big Ideas.

The ones that have come in so far range from the practical – places for the homeless to go to the toilet – to the ridiculous.

Mr. Kristmanson believes there is a public appetite for “a new élan” that would make the region more cosmopolitan and more appealing. He’d like to see the poor, abused Ottawa River designated “Canada’s National River,” cleaned up and restored so that the magnificent Chaudière Falls once again become an important tourist attraction.

While nothing has been decided, the commission is also keen on a magnificent illumination project for Parliament Hill. There have long been plans to turn Victoria Island into an aboriginal culture centre. And there is sympathy for redoing the National War Memorial square. The memorial will be 100 years old in 2039, and recent crowds have grown to a point where thousands are unable to see the Remembrance Day ceremony properly. The NCC envisions a square that could hold 25,000 and offer excellent sight lines.

Then there is the long-delayed, highly controversial redevelopment of LeBreton Flats, that unused tract of industrial lands across from the War Museum. On Tuesday, details will be released on the four proposals for the massive redevelopment, including a plan that would involve the Ottawa Senators moving their rink downtown from the Western suburbs.

“There’s no big, magical ‘ideas’ room,” says Mr. Kristmanson. Yet one big idea, from outside, has found willing ears at NCC headquarters. That idea is to turn Laurier Avenue into a “Prime Ministers’ Row,” which supporters are calling “Canada’s first street museum.”

This “museum” would be multimedia, in part a virtual museum, in part live events that would involve programs, conferences, speaker series and public art.

“In essence,” the supporters of Prime Ministers’ Row say, “an area once home to Canada’s political leaders will now become a space for every Canadian to discuss, debate and shape Canada’s public policy.”

It’s a wonderful, if potentially expensive idea, but also one that we feel obliged to point out already exists.

Follow Roy MacGregor on Twitter: @RoyMacG


http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...ticle27735473/
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  #127  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2015, 7:20 PM
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Interactive 'street museum' to celebrate former PMs who lived along Laurier Avenue East

Don Butler, Ottawa Citizen
Published on: December 11, 2015 | Last Updated: December 11, 2015 8:56 PM EST


Urban designer George Dark believes it could become a must-see Ottawa attraction. Mark Kristmanson thinks it might be one of the 17 big ideas the National Capital Commission plans to include in its 2017-2067 blueprint for the national capital.

The project generating the buzz is Prime Ministers’ Row, a volunteer-led initiative to turn the stretch of Laurier Avenue East between King Edward Avenue and Strathcona Park into an interactive “street museum.”

Over the past century and a half, no fewer than eight prime ministers and seven Fathers of Confederation have lived on or near Laurier Avenue East, including Sir John A. Macdonald, Wilfrid Laurier, Mackenzie King, John Diefenbaker, Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau.

“One hundred and fifty years ago, it was the place where Canada’s elite walked and discussed politics,” says Leanne Moussa, who co-founded a not-for-profit group to promote the idea this past summer with Suneeta Millington, a federal lawyer specializing in international law.

“We’d like to bring that historical aspect to light by creating an outdoor museum,” says Moussa. “There’ll be a multimedia app and you’ll be able to use your cellphone along the strip to get a better understanding of what was happening 100 or 150 years ago.”

The group’s vision includes public art, statues of famous nation-builders, seating areas where visitors can contemplate the formation and future of the country, and programming, such as speakers’ series and public debates.

“Our idea is for this to become the meeting place between those who shaped Canada’s first 150 years and those who will shape the next 150 years,” Moussa says. “What we envision is when people want to launch a new book on Canadian public policy, this is where they’ll come.”

The group already has about 100 dedicated volunteers and has applied to the Department of Canadian Heritage for funding under the federal government’s Canada 150 program. If successful, Moussa thinks key elements of the project can be in place for Canada’s sesquicentennial in 2017.

Dark, who designed the University of Ottawa’s official plan, calls Prime Ministers’ Row “one of the most fantastic ideas I’ve heard about for a long time.



“From the very first minute I heard about this, I was absolutely sold,” says Dark, who has since signed on as an unpaid adviser to the project’s proponents. “It is such a contemporary idea.”

Because it wouldn’t cost a fortune, the project is “very doable,” Dark says. “The walk today is a fantastic walk. Just being able to pull that street together with something like this would make it a must-do thing in Ottawa.”

Kristmanson, the NCC’s chief executive, also loves the idea. He has encouraged Moussa’s group to put it forward as one of the 17 big ideas the NCC wants to include in its 50-year Plan for Canada’s Capital, currently under development.

While some of the former residences of the prime ministers and Fathers of Confederation no longer exist, several of their houses remain, including three directly on Laurier Ave — Laurier House, where Laurier and King lived, Macdonald’s Stadacona Hall and Diefenbaker’s suite at The Strathcona, an apartment building at 404 Laurier Ave. E.

Others are within a block of Laurier, including Pearson’s Augusta Street cottage and Trudeau’s suite on King Edward Avenue’s Martin Terrace.

At The Strathcona, Diefenbaker lived in the apartment’s right wing and Tommy Douglas, the leader of the NDP, had quarters — appropriately — in its left wing.

“There’s a whole dialogue there,” Moussa marvels. “Can you imagine being able to use your cellphone to hear what they may have been debating during that period? Those are conversations that are still relevant today.”

Momentum is growing behind the proposal. The group just announced eight new members of its board of directors, joining Millington and Moussa. They include renowned architect A. J. Diamond, broadcaster Mary Lou Finlay, writer Esi Edugyan and Zarqa Nawaz, creator of the CBC-TV series Little Mosque on the Prairie.

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http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-...-laurier-ave-e
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  #128  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2015, 11:23 PM
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NCC reaps big bucks (and small) from property rentals

Don Butler, Ottawa Citizen
Published on: November 26, 2015 | Last Updated: December 13, 2015 8:10 PM EST


The National Capital Commission earns as much as $1.3 million a year and as little as $1 over 99 years from some properties in its portfolio of long-term leases, according to documents released under access to information.

The documents, released to Ottawa researcher Ken Rubin, provide lease details — in most cases, for the first time — for 21 NCC properties in the National Capital Region. They include such well-known sites as the Wakefield Mill, the Rideau Tennis Club, the Mill Street Brew Pub, the former Nortel campus and 700 Sussex, the luxury condo next to the Château Laurier Hotel.

Details of 16 other long-term leases were redacted, mostly because the NCC is renegotiating them with other federal and municipal tenants, some of whom have paid only nominal rents until now.

Those 37 leases represent the majority of the long-term lease agreements in the NCC’s portfolio, which includes close to 600 commercial, agricultural and residential leases in total.

One lease, for the property occupied by Kruger Products Ltd. at 20 Rue Laurier in Gatineau, generated revenues of $1.28 million in 2014-15 for the NCC. Altogether, Kruger will pay the NCC more than $27 million over the 25-year lifetime of the lease.

At the other extreme, the NCC will collect only a single dollar from the Global Centre for Pluralism for its 99-year lease at 330 Sussex Dr., the former home of the Canadian War Museum.

In return, the Aga Khan Foundation, which operates the pluralism centre, is footing the $35-million bill to rehabilitate the 1905 heritage building. The renovations began this year and should be completed by the end of 2016.

The NCC’s single most lucrative lease is for the Chambers Building at 40-46 Elgin St. Allied Properties, the building’s operator, leases the land from the NCC and will pay the Crown corporation $84.5 million in base rent between 1990 and 2056.

In turn, the NCC, whose headquarters are in the Chambers Building, pays Allied rent for the space it occupies but gets a percentage of Allied’s rental income back as part of the ground lease. Overall, though, the NCC still pays out more than it receives.

The NCC’s leasing revenue has steadily increased in recent years, from $17.6 million in 2010-11 to $20.1 million in 2014-15. It expects that revenue growth to continue, said Bill Leonard, the NCC’s director of real estate, despite a “pretty difficult” Ottawa market for commercial real estate, with current vacancy rates hovering around 12 per cent.

Revenue from leases made up more than 20 per cent of the NCC’s operating budget in 2014-15.

“We’re really happy with our lease revenues,” Leonard said. “This allows us to do the great things the NCC does. It allows for our pathways and our parks.”


Here’s a summary of other long-term leases released by the NCC:

700 Sussex Drive
Total value: $4.8 million, prepaid in 2002
Lease length: 66 years (2002-2068)
Context: The luxury condo is on the site of the former Daly Building at Rideau and Sussex. The prepaid amount represented the net present value of the $31.2 million the NCC otherwise would have received over the lease’s 66-year term.

33 George St./20 York St.
Total value: $10.5 million in base rent plus a percentage of revenues.
Lease length: 66 years (1999 to 2065)
Context: The property includes Clarendon Lanes, a luxury apartment complex, as well as ground floor retail.

489 Sussex Dr./12 Clarence St.
Total value: $400,000 base rent plus percentage of rental revenues
Lease length: 66 years (1995 to 2061)
Context: There are condos on the upper floors and ground floor retail in these buildings. The base rent was prepaid but the NCC will receive as much as 30 per cent of the rental revenue in the lease’s later stages.

Tubman Funeral Home, 3440 Richmond Rd.
Total value: Base rent of $750,000 plus percentage of revenues
Lease length: 15 years
Context: Tubman paid the NCC more than $1.9 million between 2002 and 2014-15 because of the percentage payments.

106 Sparks St.
Total value: $10.99 million
Lease length: 66 years (2009 to 2075)
Context: The property was formerly occupied by a bank, but it was demolished to make way for a new Ashcroft condo and hotel development, the re Hotel and Residences, now under construction.

Clarendon Court
Total value: $3.95 million base rent
Lease length: 25 years (1997 to 2021)
Context: Located at the corner of George Street and Sussex Drive, the property includes a mix of residential and office accommodation with ground-floor retail.

Wakefield Mill, 60, 71 and 72 Chemin Mill, Wakefield
Total value: $13.6 million in base rent plus percentage of sales.
Lease length: 48 years (2010-2058)

1 Timberslide St.
Total value:
Unclear, but NCC received $1.33 million between 1996-97 and 2014-15
Lease length: 20 years (2012 to 2032)
Context: The property is a hydroelectric power station near Chaudière Falls, operated by Hydro Ottawa affiliate Energy Ottawa. Lease payments are a combination of base rent and percentage rents based on power generation.

Marshes Golf Club, 320 Terry Fox Dr.
Total value:
$50,900 a year for the first 10 years, then adjusted for inflation every year thereafter
Lease length: 49 years (2000 to 2049)

Mill Street Brew Pub, 555 Wellington St.
Total value:
$930,000 plus a percentage of sales for the first 10 years.
Lease length: 10 years (2010-2020) plus three five-year optional extensions
b The Mill will pay the NCC base rent of $780,000 plus a percentage of sales in years 11 to 15 and $900,000 plus a percentage in years 16 to 20, with terms to be determined for the final five-year period.

119 Scott Rd., Chelsea
Total value:
$160,000
Lease length: 49 years (1996-2014)
Context: The property is a municipal garage and the full rent owing was prepaid in two instalments in 1988 and 1989.

17-25 Clarence St. and 18-26 Murray St.
Total value:
$4.96 million
Lease length: 66 years (1997-2063)
Context: The residential rental property spans the whole block between Clarence and Murray streets.

3500 Carling (former Nortel campus)
Total value:
$9.5 million
Lease length: 99 years (1990-2088)
Context: Nortel prepaid the rent for the full term in the early 1990s. The now-defunct company sold the 11 buildings on the property and its lease to the Department of National Defence in 2010 for $208 million.

1 Rideau St.
Total value:
$6.8 million
Lease length: 32 years (2009-2041)
Context: The property, immediately adjacent to the Château Laurier Hotel, is the former Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, which closed permanently in 2009. It’s now used by Senate committees and the annual lease payments of $212,286 are the responsibility of Public Works.

St. Monica Church, 2080A Merivale Rd.
Total value:
$229,000
Lease length: 25 years (2004-2025)

62 John St.
Total value:
$465,800
Lease length: 20 years (1996-2016)
Context: Property is the former Fraser school house, built in 1867 by Thomas McKay, and now home to Michael Potter’s Sussex Capital.

Rideau Tennis Club, 1 Donald St.
Total value:
$1.5 million plus percentage of annual sales over $1.5 million
Lease length: 30 years (2004-2034)

Wesley Clover Parks, Corkstown Road
Total value:
$410,000 or three per cent of gross sales
Lease length: 21 years (2014-2034)
Context: Property formerly was the Nepean National Equestrian Park and the Ottawa Municipal Campground.


dbutler@ottawacitizen.com
twitter.com/ButlerDon

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-...rowing-for-ncc

Last edited by rocketphish; Dec 14, 2015 at 3:42 AM.
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  #129  
Old Posted Dec 15, 2015, 4:43 AM
Uhuniau Uhuniau is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Eade View Post
Confederation Square was rehabilitated (new paving stones, ramps, and some busts) a few years ago, but I get the feeling that the NCC would like to radically change the entire area so that it would better accommodate 30,000 people and clear the views of the monument from traffic signs and signals, and bus shelters.
Why does the NCC consider bus shelters (and buses, for that matter) to be a problem? There is, what, one stubby little bus shelter on the east side of the square? (And that, not actually located at the stop flag, which causes passengers much confusion and gives drivers lots of excuses to be jerks.)

If this mindset isn't expunged from the NCC, then the NCC should be expunged from existence.
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  #130  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2016, 9:04 PM
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NCC appears to moving towards more openness with lengthy public agenda for meeting

Don Butler, Ottawa Citizen
Published on: January 15, 2016 | Last Updated: January 17, 2016 1:14 PM EST


If you’re looking for evidence that the National Capital Commission is responding to the Liberal government’s message of greater transparency, the agenda for Wednesday’s public meeting of its board might be Exhibit 1.

The agenda features 12 separate items, ranging from CEO Mark Kristmanson’s report on activities to a planned addition to Saudi Arabia’s embassy on Sussex Drive, and will run from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

The agenda for the board’s in camera meeting the following day, by contrast, shows just three items and should wrap up in two-and-a-half hours.

That’s quite a turnaround from the board’s last meeting in November, when it discussed nearly a dozen topics in camera and just four in public.

The NCC was stung by a Citizen story at that time pointing out its proclivity for dealing with agenda items in camera rather than in public.

Board chair Russell Mills said the NCC was “completely on board” with the government’s desire to be as open and transparent as possible, but admitted it could do more in the future.

In an interview with the Citizen in December, CEO Mark Kristmanson said the NCC would “be a little more aggressive” about dealing with agenda items in public rather than in private, adding that he hoped NCC watchers would “see a shift in emphasis towards the public meeting” starting in January.

NCC spokesman Nicholas Galletti confirmed that has started to happen. “Every item that goes forward to the board will be looked at from the lens of, ‘Can we make this public?'” he said. “And if so, we will. That’s a commitment we’ve made.”

Galletti said the NCC is also working with other government departments and agencies, which often ask the NCC to deal with their submissions in camera, to bring those items into the public meeting.

An example on Wednesday’s agenda, he said, is an item on the planned new visitor welcome centre in the parliamentary precinct. “That’s definitely a demonstration of both ours and the government-wide efforts at greater openness and transparency.”

The public agenda for Wednesday’s meeting includes several items of public interest. Among them:
  • A request from the Department of Canadian Heritage to rescind the NCC’s land use approval for the former site of the Memorial to the Victims of Communism near the Supreme Court. The new Liberal government announced last month that the contentious memorial will be relocated to a site at the Garden of the Provinces and Territories, further west on Wellington Street.
  • An update on the National Arts Centre’s $110.5-million rejuvenation project. The first work began this month, with completion planned by July 1, 2017.
  • A presentation on responsible management of NCC trails in Gatineau Park.
  • Approval of the general approach to the modernization of the campground at Lac Philippe.

Despite the NCC’s apparent moves to improve transparency, many residents are irked by the veil of secrecy it has imposed on details of the two competing redevelopment proposals for LeBreton Flats.

PhD student Pete Anderson articulated that this week when, after reports that both proposals include a public library, he tweeted: “This kind of speculation is why NCC stage managing is so frustrating. Let’s have a conversation with all the facts!”

The NCC will finally allow the two proponent to reveal all at public consultation sessions Jan. 26 and 27 at the Canadian War Museum.

dbutler@postmedia.com
twitter.com/ButlerDon

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-...penness-by-ncc
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  #131  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2016, 4:34 PM
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Bunch of presentations for upcoming board meeting up on website
http://www.ncc-ccn.gc.ca/about-ncc/c...of-directors-2

Via Rail Platforms
Saudi Embassy Expansion
New West Block Visitor Centre
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  #132  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2016, 4:39 PM
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The Capital Urbanism Lab

The Capital Urbanism Lab is a space for innovative gatherings, a place for inspiration, and where leaders, experts and the general public come together to discuss and share knowledge on various ongoing and emerging topics related to planning a capital. These discussions will touch on all elements that go into the short- and long-term planning and stewardship of a capital.
Mission

The Capital Urbanism Lab will support the NCC’s mandate and activities, and provide opportunities for the NCC to engage with stakeholders and the public, gain knowledge, and meaningfully contribute to discussions related to urbanism, design, physical and natural heritage and conservation, sustainability, and placemaking. The Lab will also provide a new and creative space for public consultations, and will serve as a setting to undertake the following:
  • identify existing and emerging challenges and trends facing Canada’s Capital Region and the task of building a capital;
  • expand the NCC’s capacity as a partner and innovator to develop solutions to and best practices for addressing these challenges;
  • bring together partners to support and promote innovation in Canada’s Capital Region.

Upcoming Meetings:

The Urban Forest: From Science to Poetry
Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - 06:00 pm
Join us for a discussion on the urban forest and the vital role it plays in the city. We will explore the benefits of the urban forest in terms of...

The ART of City Building
Wednesday, March 16, 2016 - 06:00 pm
Join us for a discussion on the importance of arts and culture for a city’s success. Our experts will discuss ways of tapping into the creative...

Planning Communities Near Parks
Thursday, April 07, 2016 - 06:30 pm
More information coming soon.

Creating a River Culture in the Capital
Wednesday, May 04, 2016 - 06:30 pm
More information coming soon.

Aboriginal Architecture and Design
Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - 06:30 pm
More information coming soon.


http://www.ncc-ccn.gc.ca/about-ncc/urbanism-lab
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  #133  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2016, 3:38 AM
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$17.8M deficit in last fiscal year no cause for concern, NCC says

Don Butler, Ottawa Citizen
Published on: February 8, 2016 | Last Updated: February 8, 2016 8:11 PM EST


The National Capital Commission ran a sizable budget deficit in its last fiscal year. But, says an NCC official, that’s no cause for alarm.

The NCC’s 2014-15 annual report, quietly tabled last week in the House of Commons, shows the Crown corporation spent nearly $17.8 million more than it received in parliamentary appropriations and revenue.

The deficit was in sharp contrast to the 2013-14 fiscal year, when it recorded a surplus of about $15.6 million. Indeed, the NCC had budget surpluses in four of the five years prior to 2014-15.

But NCC spokesman Jean Wolff said the sudden spike to a large deficit last year was due in part to a $10-million contribution the NCC made to the City of Gatineau for the Jacques Cartier Street refurbishment project. The money was budgeted in an earlier year but not spent until 2014-15. “It’s a fluctuation that is to be expected when projects are multi-year,” Wolff said.

The NCC also booked a $10.8-million accounting provision for contaminated land in the Bayview section of LeBreton Flats, $1.1 million for costs related to the National Holocaust Monument and $1 million for higher property management costs.

Overall, the total cost of the NCC’s operations soared by 24 per cent to $143 million in the last fiscal year.

The Crown corporation increased its earned revenue by about $500,000, driven by an increase in rental income, but received $7.2 million less in operating and capital appropriations from Parliament.

The $17.8-million deficit reduced the NCC’s accumulated surplus to $645.8 million, a sum that includes its net financial assets as well as the net book value of the land, buildings, infrastructure and equipment it owns.

Going forward, the annual report says, the NCC “will face increasing cost pressures, not only for its headquarters accommodation and renewals of property maintenance contracts, but also for any long-term agreements that include escalating inflation clauses.” Property management and life cycle management costs are also forecast to rise.

Like all federal organizations, the NCC’s operating budget was frozen in 2014-15 and 2015-16. “As a result, the NCC has internally funded inflation and economic salary increases in 2014-15 and will do the same in 2015-16,” the annual report says.

It says the NCC planned to do an internal study in the current fiscal year to determine the base funding it requires “to adequately maintain its approximately $600 million in non-financial assets and ensure long-term organizational sustainability.”

The NCC owns over 10 per cent of the lands in the National Capital Region, including Gatineau Park, 154 square kilometres of Greenbelt land and 106 kilometres of parkways. It also manages 1,660 properties and six official residences.

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  #134  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2016, 4:40 PM
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They'll make a killing on the sale of Le Breton Flats in a year or two, so ya; no big deal.
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  #135  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2016, 4:02 AM
Buggys Buggys is offline
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How'd you know they're aren't planning on giving it away for a song of a $ 1 per 100 year lease?
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  #136  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2016, 9:05 PM
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How'd you know they're aren't planning on giving it away for a song of a $ 1 per 100 year lease?
Both proponents have said they want to buy the land and the NCC is obligated to sell for market value.
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  #137  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2016, 11:36 PM
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NCC to outline 50-year vision at planning committee

Matthew Pearson, Ottawa Citizen
Published on: February 21, 2016 | Last Updated: February 21, 2016 6:19 PM EST


Ottawa city councillors will weigh in this week on the NCC’s long-term vision for the national capital.

Steve Willis, head of the National Capital Commission’s capital planning department, will make a 10-minute presentation at Tuesday’s planning committee meeting about the Plan for Canada’s Capital — the document that will chart the future of the region between 2017 and Canada’s 200th birthday in 2067.

Think of it as the NCC’s master plan, Willis explained in an interview. It sets the high-level goals and objectives that drive specific plans for federal public works, Parks Canada and Canadian Heritage, and also indicates the direction for land use in the region over the next 50 years.

It considers all the trappings of a capital city — Parliament Hill, official residences, national museums, federal head offices and diplomatic missions — as well the picturesque parts that are managed by the NCC, such as parkways, shorelines and waterways, and Gatineau Park.

But, for the first time, the plan also tries to tackle a more cerebral question about how the federal land base fits with efforts to make the region a successful place, Willis said.

A draft of the document is done, but Willis said the NCC needs to integrate what it has heard from the public, which has been asked to contribute suggestions for 17 big ideas that will transform the capital throughout this 50-year period. More than 800 people filled out the NCC’s online questionnaire and about 1,000 others offered their suggestions through social media, Willis said.

Meanwhile, the NCC wants to do another round of consultations with its partner municipalities — Ottawa, Gatineau and the MRC des Collines in west Quebec — before the plan is finalized later this year.

“We want to have it in place by 2017,” Willis said. “Let’s start thinking now about what we need to do for our capital for its bicentennial in 2067.”

It’s the first time the plan has been refreshed since municipalities on both sides of the river were amalgamated to create the modern cities of Ottawa and Gatineau, and also since Ottawa broke ground on its ambitious light-rail transit project.

“Those are the game-changers that really change the context of planning,” Willis said.

The opening of the Confederation LRT line in 2018 and the city’s intention to extend the service further east, west and south soon after have ramifications for the NCC, Willis said. “We’re trying to align our plans to the strategy of growth-management that the cities are using, which is transit-oriented development,” he said.

The NCC’s existing master plan was written in 1999. It was in the process of being updated when the NCC’s mandate was changed in 2013 to focus more on land use in the capital region, Willis said.

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  #138  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2016, 3:36 PM
Uhuniau Uhuniau is offline
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[B]NCC to outline 50-year vision at planning committeeIt’s the first time the plan has been refreshed since municipalities on both sides of the river were amalgamated to create the modern cities of Ottawa and Gatineau, and also since Ottawa broke ground on its ambitious light-rail transit project.

“Those are the game-changers that really change the context of planning,” Willis said.

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The NCC could have planned federal land use around transit, and even around bus crappid transit, 25 or 30 years ago. Instead, decentralization and anti-transit thinking were central to its mindset even into this decade.

The NCC is a lumbering dinosaur. If it takes this long to adapt, it should be abolished.

Actually, it should just be abolished anyway, but here's yet another reason.
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  #139  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2016, 8:21 PM
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The NCC is a lumbering dinosaur. If it takes this long to adapt, it should be abolished.


At the very least Kristmanson and the board of directors ought to go. There are two people on the entire board with a background in architecture or urban planning, TWO!!! And they're both basically retirees. Bleh, too big a problem to bother ranting about here.
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Old Posted Feb 24, 2016, 12:03 AM
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Heritage minister wants mayors added to NCC board as non-voting members

Don Butler, Ottawa Citizen
Published on: February 23, 2016 | Last Updated: February 23, 2016 4:27 PM EST


National Capital Commission directors will meet by teleconference Monday to consider a “strong suggestion” from Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly that they add the mayors of Ottawa and Gatineau to the 15-member board as non-voting, ex-officio members.

In an interview with the Citizen, Joly, the minister responsible for the NCC, said she asked for “significant governance changes” in a letter Monday to Russell Mills, chair of the agency’s board.

If the NCC agrees, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin would be able to ask questions and participate in debates — but not vote — at all public and in-camera meetings of the NCC board, other than those involving matters such as commercial negotiations or solicitor-client privilege.

They would have to abide by the NCC’s code of conduct and confidentiality provisions and declare any actual or perceived conflicts of interest.

In addition, Joly encouraged the NCC to invite the mayors of 11 smaller surrounding municipalities to attend board meetings when items affecting their communities are on the agenda.

She also served notice that she intends to appoint an indigenous person to the NCC board of directors this year to fill an upcoming vacancy. The board has had indigenous members in the past but currently lacks any.

Watson and Pedneaud-Jobin have been asking for a seat on the NCC’s board for two years, arguing that board members aren’t well informed about local issues and sometimes interfere with progress in their cities.

Mills, NCC chief executive Mark Kristmanson, and five other board members live in the National Capital Region, but the remaining eight directors represent other parts of Canada.

The former Conservative government summarily dismissed the mayors’ request in 2014. And last fall, Mills saw a problem with balancing the mayors’ commitments to their constituents with the board’s mandate to serve all Canadians.

But in an interview Tuesday, Mills said appointing the mayors to the board as non-voting members “deals with the concerns that I had before.

“It can enable us to deal with things maybe more quickly that we could before if the mayors are in the room,” he said. “It’s come around to the point where it will be a positive thing and will help the NCC, rather than hurt us.”

If the directors endorse the idea Monday as expected, Watson and Pedneaud-Jobin would be invited to participate in the board’s next meeting in April, Mills said.

An ex-officio seat on the NCC’s board, even without the ability to cast a vote, would be a big win for the City of Ottawa, a source familiar with the issue told the Citizen, because it would ensure that conversations about Ottawa don’t happen without an elected representative at the table.

In her interview with the Citizen, Joly said it was clear as soon as she was appointed to cabinet last November that “we really had to look into the governance aspect of the NCC.”

Many national capital residents were frustrated with the federal agency “because of how it was used by the Conservative government,” she said.

All successful cities adopt “a co-ordinated approach” to urban planning, transit, tourism and economic development, Joly said. Rather than hindering decisions made in Ottawa and Gatineau, the NCC could be “the driving force behind that co-ordinated approach.”

Having the mayors on the NCC board, she said, would help to promote co-operation and ensure that local residents are properly represented.

“The NCC will be more open to deal and work with both cities, but the cities will also have to be open to work with the NCC. So it’s changing the culture and the approach. I think it’s transformative and that’s certainly why we’re doing it.”

In response to a request from Joly for greater openness and transparency, the NCC sent her a list of proposed measures last December. They included increasing the number of items the board deals with in public, allowing groups to make presentations at meetings, redesigning its website to enhance citizen engagement, archiving webcasts for 30 days, and establishing a steering committee of indigenous peoples.

“Those were their recommendations and I agreed with them,” she said. “But I felt we had to go even further.”

Adding urgency to the governance overhaul was the NCC’s plan to move ahead with development of 21.6-hectares of land on LeBreton Flats.

A committee is now assessing two competing proposals by the RendezVous LeBreton Group and the Devcore Canderel DLS Group and will make a recommendation to the NCC board in April.

Joly said she is happy with the process to date and delighted by NCC’s efforts to consult the public.

“What really helps is we have two strong proposals,” she said. “The NCC has heard the call that our government gave them to ensure there would be proper public consultations. They’ve been acting in very good faith.”

Following negotiations with the successful proponent, the NCC will bring an agreement to the federal cabinet for approval, likely by year’s end. As that process unfolds, Joly said, “we want to have the right people around the table.

“For me, the most important thing is that the NCC is doing its job and that, at the end, people will say this was done in a fair way, there was no political intervention, (and) we believe this is the right project for the region.”

With files from Matthew Pearson

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