History and Regional Context

LeBreton Flats - Library and Archives Canada C-0987
LeBreton Flats - Library and Archives Canada C-0987

The NCC became custodian of the land known as LeBreton Flats, located 1.5 kilometres west of Parliament Hill, through a combination of expropriation, acquisitions and land exchanges in the early 1960s. While the NCC acquired the majority of the site, municipal governments still owned municipal streets and infrastructure in the subject area.

View the history of LeBreton Flats in this virtual exhibit (slideshow).

Since early 2001, the NCC has dealt with contaminated soil and installed roads and utilities for the Canadian War Museum. A new riverfront park and a national festival site were also developed. 

Work on various types of infrastructure, including the construction of one new bridge and the realignment of the Ottawa River Parkway, was undertaken and completed in time for the opening of the Canadian War Museum in 2005. 

The riverside park to the north and west of the museum was completed in 2005. The interpretation areas along the recreational pathway that runs through this park were installed in 2006. They recount the history of the Ottawa River and the lumber industry, and describe the significance and symbolism of the landscape surrounding the war museum.

In 2007, LeBreton Flats Park, just across from the Canadian War Museum, became one of the Capital’s major festival and event sites.

Regional Context

LeBreton Flats (Ottawa)

The location is now home to the Canadian War Museum, a multi-residential development, festival grounds, multi-use pathways, the Mill Street Brew Pub and the forthcoming National Holocaust Monument. The site is immediately adjacent to the soon-to-be completed Ottawa LRT system.

The Islands (Ottawa)

Windmill Development Group is currently applying for federal and municipal approvals for the development of approximately 330,000 square metres of development on Chaudières and Albert islands and the Gatineau shoreline. Almost two thirds of that development will be residential, with the balance to be split between retail, hotel, community and cultural space.

Escarpment Area District Plan (Ottawa)

The City of Ottawa approved the Escarpment Area District Plan in 2008. This area is in the northwest corner of the downtown, east of LeBreton Flats. As it redevelops with primarily mixed-use development, this area will be a connector between LeBreton Flats and the downtown core.

Cathedral Hill (Ottawa)

Windmill Development Group is currently constructing a 140-unit condominium development at 428 Sparks Street, just east of LeBreton Flats, on the escarpment. It is scheduled for completion and occupancy in 2015.

Bayview Station (Ottawa)

In 2013, the City of Ottawa adopted the Bayview Station Community Design Plan for an intensified mixed-use community centred around the intersection of the east–west Confederation Line LRT and the north–south O-Train line. This area is immediately west of LeBreton Flats. This plan will permit the transformation of former industrial lands and municipal works yards. Building heights will range from 6 to 30 storeys, in a progression approaching the future Bayview transit station.

Preston–Carling (Ottawa)

The future Preston–Carling district will be a mixed-use urban community. Part of the plan envisages a high-density mixed-use development area around the Carling Avenue O-Train/future LRT station along Carling and Champagne avenues. In this area, proposals for residential towers are expected to exceed 30 storeys.

Tunney’s Pasture (Ottawa)

Tunney’s Pasture is located approximately four kilometres west of the City of Ottawa’s downtown core and three kilometres west of the subject site. This 49-hectare site is bounded by the Ottawa River and the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway to the north, Scott Street and the communities of Wellington West and Hintonburg to the south, Parkdale Avenue and the community of Laroche Park (Mechanicsville) to the east, and the community of Champlain Park to the west. Many of the existing government buildings in the complex will be reconstructed over the next 25 years, with some mixed-use elements to be introduced on the Parkdale Avenue frontage.