Canada’s Capital Region—The NCC Board of Directors today approved an amendment to the Greenbelt Master Plan. Based on consultations with members of the public and stakeholders, the amendment to the plan will breathe new life into vacant buildings and an underused portion of the former Greenbelt Research Farm. It will also strengthen the Greenbelt through the implementation of renaturalization projects.
Greenbelt Master Plan
The NCC’s Greenbelt Master Plan guides the preservation and use of Canada’s Capital Greenbelt.
The amendment authorizes the development of a film studio, to be undertaken by the Ottawa Film Office and TriBro Studios, on a portion of the site of the former farm. It also approves the renaturalization of 21.5 hectares of land at the former Capital Golf Centre in the Pine Grove sector of the Greenbelt. This project will include tree planting, improved connections with recreational pathways, a new trailhead for the pathway network and renewal of the existing parking lot.
The amendment is conditional on federal land use, design and transaction approval, approval by the City, and a satisfactory lease.
About the Greenbelt Research Farm
The Greenbelt Research Farm, also known as the Woodroffe Storage Facility, is located in the Greenbelt’s Southern Farm and Pinhey Forest sector. It is a former animal research centre, a 1960s-era federal facility that was part of Agriculture Canada and was officially closed on March 31, 1998.
Part of the National Interest Land Mass (NILM), the property was acquired by the NCC in 2000. The developed part of the research farm is on land designated for “federal facilities and operations “in the Greenbelt Master Plan. It has been used primarily as a storage facility by the NCC for 18 years and, over the past seven years, a few buildings that were in a state requiring minimal intervention, were leased.
Since 2000, this serviced site has remained unoccupied and underutilized, despite efforts to find a federal department requiring a secluded and isolated space, away from residential neighbourhoods and communities.
About the Proposal
The Ottawa Film Office and TriBro Studios are proposing a new state-of-the-art sound stage campus and creative hub on 9 hectares of land in the developed portion of the former Greenbelt Research Farm property (which totals 102 hectares). It will include a currently vacant building and adjacent land which will accommodate four new buildings and accessory uses. The proposal also includes the following compensation measures:
- A 15-metre-wide natural buffer and recreational pathway along Black Rapids Creek
- Not increasing the developed area of land (built-area footprint)
According to the proponent’s estimates, the project could create in excess of 1,000 new skilled jobs, and generate $40 million annually in economic impacts.
The NCC Board of Directors will be presented with the terms of the lease during its in-camera session.