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A two-day planning committee meeting ended Monday with a 6: 2 vote in favor of a site master plan for the future Civic Hospital at the Central Experimental Farm.

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The committee’s approval is one of many steps the Ottawa Hospital will need to take as it develops the $ 2.8 billion health care center at the east end of the farm near the Dow’s Lake. The new hospital, which will replace the existing Civic campus on Carling Avenue, is expected to open in 2028.

After hearing from dozens of public delegates on Friday, many of whom are still bitter about the site selection process, committee members waited until Monday to vote on the site map.

While the committee overwhelmingly supported the proposed site plan, several advisers predicted that there will be significant work to define the look and feel of the new hospital.

A major unresolved issue is how the hospital will be connected to the expanded Trillium Line, whose renovated Dow’s Lake station will be located on the north side of busy Carling Avenue.

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Stephen Willis, the city’s director general responsible for planning and infrastructure, said an underground pedestrian connection and an overpass are possible options to connect the hospital to the station, but that there might not be any decision before two or three years on which to build.

The hospital’s intention to build a four-story parking lot by 2024 is also of concern near the intersection of Carling Avenue and Preston Street. Willis said the hospital would cover up the Dows Lake scenic area garage.

  1. A June archive photo of The Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus.

    Egan: We “settled” on the new Civic; no wonder long faces

  2. Basic design concept for The Ottawa Hospital's new Civic campus, on land currently part of the Central Experimental Farm.  (Dow's Lake is in the foreground. The current hospital campus can be seen in the background, at the top of the photo.)

    Adam: The hospital will be built. Focus on protecting the rest of the Ottawa Central Experimental Farm

County of the river. Riley Brockington, whose department covers most of the hospital project site, said the Central Experimental Farm was “vulnerable” and that he wanted the federal government to prevent further deterioration of the open space.

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“The farm is not protected from development,” Brockington warned while calling for federal law to protect the farm. The committee unanimously agreed.

The city may already have the ear of the government. New Liberal Ottawa Center MP Yasir Naqvi made the legislative protection of the Central Experimental Farm part of his platform during the recent federal election campaign.

It’s important to integrate the new hospital into the surrounding green space, Rideau-Goulbourn council said. Scott Moffatt, who co-chairs the planning committee.

Moffatt said healthcare workers working under severe stress deserved access to a natural environment, not a “concrete jungle”. The mental health of employees at the new health facility should be part of the decision making that goes into planning for the hospital project, Moffatt said.

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Kitchissippi County. Jeff Leiper and Capital Co. Shawn Menard voted against the site plan, but received unanimous support for motions in amendment related to access to public transit, cycling infrastructure, tree planting and community consultation on transportation issues.

Menard lamented the “undemocratic” way in which the land was chosen for the new hospital. He argued that the site plan falls short of what the board expected to see presented by The Ottawa Hospital.

Committee members voting in favor of the site plan were Glen Gower, Catherine Kitts, Jean Cloutier, Tim Tierney, Brockington and Moffatt. Laura Dudas and Allan Hubley were not present for the vote.

The board will be invited to support the hospital’s sitemap at a meeting on October 13.

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