Converting an aging building complex with a plan that incorporates the community’s current and future needs to live, work and play
In the heart of the Preston-Carling neighborhood in Ottawa, Ontario, the Natural Resources Canada (NRC) complex has played an important role in Ottawa’s history. NRC built seven structures here between 1911-1952 to carry out research and testing in mining and metallurgy. Many of the facilities were state of the art at the time, supporting critical research to help grow the emerging nation’s economy.
Eventually, the buildings and site were outdated and became available for repurposing. Canada Lands Company (CLC) was tasked with developing a master plan to bring new life to the site. Together, CLC and our team agreed and established three overarching goals: adopting a creative approach for development of the heritage site; demonstrating leadership in mixed-use redevelopment; and, creating a plan to benefit the current and future community. Inspired, the team focused on early community engagement, placemaking, and prioritizing shared heritage within the public realm.
We engaged the community regularly, allowing the community members time to reflect and provide input, and identify what was most important to them. Their input informed the concept of placemaking, guided the design, and proved crucial to winning support. The new Booth Street District showcases a new era of possibilities. The final plan, approved by City Council, creates a vibrant and welcoming place with a sense of ownership for the community.
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