City of Ottawa


Ottawa, Canada

2010 Canadian Society of Landscape Architects National Award of Excellence in Planning & Analysis
2009 Ontario Professional Planners Institute Planning Studies/Reports Award
2006 Canadian Institute of Planners Award for Planning Excellence
2006 Award for Planning and Analysis, Canadian Society of Landscape Architects
2004 Award of Excellence for Planning and Analysis, American Society of Landscape Architects

Urban Strategies has been involved in numerous projects that are helping reshape our nation’s capital. We have undertaken assignments for the Federal Government of Canada, the National Capital Commission, The University of Ottawa and the City of Ottawa. We are the authors of the Downtown Urban Design Strategy, The Escarpment District Plan, The Centretown Community Design Plan, the University of Ottawa Master Plan and the Scott Street Community Plan. As part of the recent transit oriented development planning related to the new LRT we assisted Public Works and Government Services Canada at Tremblay Road with a master plan for their holdings at the St Laurent LRT station. George Dark has been Chair of the Ottawa Design Review Panel, Chair of the Lansdowne Design Review Panel and led the Strategic Directions Panel as Chair of the Jury for the City of Ottawa for the international park competition at Lansdowne.

1. Downtown Ottawa Urban Design Strategy 20/20 (2002-2004)

Team Members: George Dark, Eric Turcotte, Mark Reid

For this award winning project, Urban Strategies led a multi-disciplinary team in developing a comprehensive plan for the enhancement of the public realm and urban experience of Canada’s National Capital. The study’s main objective was to create an attractive and liveable downtown, with public and private realms that support mixed uses and foster a strong sense of place. As both a visionary document and an action-oriented plan, the study established a new vision for Ottawa’s downtown core as a gracious and inspiring destination for new residential and commercial development, while articulating how to best achieve the vision through a series of area-wide and site-specific design guidelines.   Approved by Council, the Downtown Ottawa Urban Design Strategy will function as the City’s main directive for providing design guidance to downtown developments and has been formally adopted into the City’s Official Plan.

Client: City of Ottawa

Consultant Team: Meloshe & Associates Ltd, Dillon Consulting Ltd. 

Awards: Award of Excellence for Planning and Analysis, American Society of Landscape Architects 2004, Award for Planning and Analysis, Canadian Society of Landscape Architects 2006

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2. Core Area Sector Plan (2003-2004)

Team Members: Cyndi Rottenberg-Walker, Eric Turcotte

The Core Area Sector Plan is a guiding policy document that integrates and directs all future federal land use planning, design, transportation, environmental and development decisions within the Core Area of the National Capital Region. Building on a vision and concept that had been developed for Canada’s Capital Core Area, the National Capital Commission retained Urban Strategies to complete the Sector Plan for the Core Area. The purpose of the Sector Plan was– to identify a broad framework of poli­cies and initiatives to articulate the character and function of the area in the domains of development, heritage preservation, environmental stewardship, transportation planning, and architectural and design quality.

Client: National Capital Commission

Awards: Canadian Institute of Planners Award for Planning Excellence, 2006

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3. Booth Street Redevelopment Plan (2006-2007)

Team Members: Eric Turcotte

Situated close to Ottawa’s downtown core, the Booth Street Complex (BSC) comprises over nine hectares in four separate blocks. Twelve buildings occupy the Complex and were constructed at different times between 1937 and 1974. The study undertook a detailed exploration of development options based upon the current urban structure, planning policy framework and existing conditions of the BSC. Following consultation with the key stakeholders development principles were drafted in order to guide the preparation of various development options. Four options were then evaluated by examining the advantages/disadvantages of each option. Stakeholder involvement was crucial to understanding the opportunities and constraints to both new development and the potential demolition of existing buildings in the Complex. Workshops were held with the key stakeholders during the study process to seek comment and feedback.

Client: NRCAN

4. Nicholas-Mann Gateway Precinct Plan (2006-2007)

Team MembersEric Turcotte

5. Escarpment Area District Plan (2006 – 2008)

Team Members:  George Dark, Eric Turcotte, Craig Lametti, Mihaly Szabo, Heather Brown

The Escarpment District is an area under growth pressure. It is expected that this pressure will continue as the neighbourhood evolves and becomes an essential connection between the LeBreton Flats and Downtown Ottawa.  In partnership with the Downtown Ottawa Urban Design Study (also completed by Urban Strategies), the Escarpment Area District Plan is a tool to help develop, guide and implement future development projects. The plan establishes a high design standard for the Escarpment Area, identifies new park spaces, new development parcels and formulates recommendations for public realm improvements, servicing requirements and design guidelines. It provides a series of development proposals for both the built form and new open spaces that can be used by the City of Ottawa to inform the future direction of urban growth in this downtown location.

Client: City of Ottawa

Consultant Team: Delcan Corporation

Awards: Canadian Society of Landscape Architects National Award of Excellence in Planning & Analysis 2010, Ontario Professional Planners Institute Planning Studies/Reports Award 2009

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6. Mid-Centretown Area District Plan (2006 – 2008, 2010 – Present)

Team Members:  George Dark, Eric Turcotte, Craig Lametti, Mihaly Szabo, Heather Brown

Urban Strategies is leading a multi-disciplinary team to create the Mid-Centretown Area Community Design Plan.  The project will result in an updated vision and policy document which will replace a 35-year old secondary plan for the area. It will bring forward some of the recommendations from the Downtown Ottawa Urban Design Strategy (2005), which was also created by Urban Strategies.  The intention of the plan is to guide future development opportunities and help the City to meet intensification targets while also supporting vibrant public spaces, complete streets and a healthy mix of community amenities. Public consultation plays an important role in the project. In addition to comprehensive public and stakeholder consultation, Urban Strategies is incorporating the use of Web 2.0 tools and creative social media, such as the creation and moderation of an interactive project blog as well as targeted outreach and engagement of the local blogging and photo-blogging communities.


Client: City of Ottawa

Consultant Team: Delcan Corporation, ERA Architects, Hariri Pontarini Architects Inc.

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7. Lansdowne Park Design Review Panel (2009 – Present)

Team MembersGeorge Dark

Urban Strategies Partner George Dark is chair of the City’s Strategic Design Review and Advisory Panel for Lansdowne Park in Ottawa, a 40-acre historic sports, exhibition and entertainment facility. It is located along Bank Street and is adjacent to the Rideau Canal, in central Ottawa. Lansdowne Park contains Frank Clair Stadium, the Ottawa Civic Centre arena (the stadium is built into the arena), the Aberdeen Pavilion hall, Coliseum and other exhibition buildings, as well as a large urban park. The facility will host CFL and North American Soccer League teams. Architects and landscape architects working on the three pieces of the Lansdowne project − the urban park, the mixed-use area, and the stadium and Civic Centre – have successfully integrated their work and created a compelling design with strong connections to adjacent neighbourhoods. Ongoing direction for this controversial project has been provided by the Lansdowne Design Review Panel which was established by Council.


8. 530 Tremblay Road Development Options Study (2009- 2010)

Team MembersEric Turcotte

In February 2009, the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) acquired lands at 530 Tremblay Road in order to develop a significant amount of federal office accommodation on a prominent site previously owned by the Province of Ontario. Urban Strategies was retained to develop an options analysis for the site, recognizing its potential as a largescale, mixed-use, transit-oriented development. Occupying a key location close to St Laurent Station, the site forms part of the City of Ottawa’s first Transit Oriented Development study for its future LRT corridor. Urban Strategies developed several options and recommended one as the highest and best use of the site given the development context and long term vision for the area as a TOD node.

Client: Public Works and Government Services Canada

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