Re-imagining the Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre and Britannia Park

Ron-Kolbus-Lakeside-Centre-300x214.jpgBay Ward residents need better access to recreation, fitness and community gathering space. That’s why Councillor Mark Taylor has already invested $1 million to begin building space in the Ron Kolbus Lakside Centre. 

Britannia Park is an ideal location for better community space because it is centrally located in Bay Ward and has existing recreation facilities like the beach, grass fields, beautiful trees, a tennis club and the Baja Burger Shack. It also has lots of room to expand. No major renovations or improvements have been made since the 1950’s. This development will diversify the opportunities the park can support and create a fully accessible facility and park.

This is a multi-phase, multi-year plan focusing on the long-term renewal of Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre and Britannia Park. The plan will occur in 2 stages:

  • Phase 1: Focusing on the exterior of the building; and
  • Phase 2: Focusing on the building itself.

Currently, we are in Phase 1 of the project and are focusing attention on upgrades to Britannia Park. Once we approach Phase 2, we will hold an open house to specifically discuss plans for the Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre.

Initial Plans

The first open house was Tuesday June 26, 2012 at the Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre to present a first draft of the concept for the upgraded facility and gave us the opportunity to gather as much initial feedback as possible from residents and community partners.

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  • New second storey addition
  • Creation of additional programmable green space (outdoor use of space)
  • Creation of outdoor winter rink and covered program space
  • Incorporation of way finding system to facilitate easier navigation of large site
  • Reviewing the exisiting parking lot to make more efficient
  • Retention of drop off area, bus loop and accessible parking

Trees and Greenspace

Preserving greenspace, and in fact growing it, was always part of the plan. While the original draft showed the existing parking lot moving and being turned into a lawn, there was some concern that the new parking lot location might conflict with a stand of 100+ year old white pine trees. To re-confirm Councillor Taylor’s comments from the public meeting – regardless of the very general visualization done for the evening, any final location for paving would be built to ensure that our trees were preserved. We will also be redesigning the parking area plan to ensure we retain some close to building parking.

Access to the River

River sports rule in Britannia. Located on the Ottawa river between the Nepean Sailing Club and the Britannia Yacht Club, the Park is a primary launch space for wind and kite surfers as well as other water sports activities. The original removal of the parking lot concerned many river users thinking of carrying their equipment further than they already do. As part of our second draft we will be asking some members of the sporting community who have written us to consult on some changes that would see a water access drive area built to better facilitate getting their gear to the rivers edge.

Plans for the building

First floor

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  • New entrances
  • New two-storey lobby area
  • New hallway to improve interior circulation
  • New covered outdoor areas
  • New commercial kitchen facility
  • Flexible-use main hall to incorporate exisiting atrium and cloak room with improved access to multipurpose rooms
  • Upgrading of two existing multipurpose rooms (Beach and Garden)

 Second floor

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  • Addition of a second floor
  • Double the amount of programmable space
  • Fitness facility (cardio and strength)
  • Studio space for dance, yoga, fitness programming
  • Galleria multi-purpose space
  • Expansive views
  • Potential for an outdoor plaza
  • Fully accessible

Stage Space

From our first community meeting, local groups and residents have wanted to ensure that stage facilities get built into one of the large spaces. We are pleased to report that we have met with and will be working with local theatre group, ‘The Lakeside Players’ to ensure flexible but consistent stage space is available. Our goal will be to preserve today’s capabilities and possibly expand on them, using modern stage technology.

*Please Note: Development of the Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre building will occur during Phase 2 of the project 

Second Draft

After presenting initial plans, our office collected extensive feedback from the community. Here is what we heard from neighbours, user groups, and Ottawa residents about what they would like to see in Britannia Park and the Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre:

  • Protection and enhancement of greenspace;
  • Better management of events and parking;
  • Support for existing user groups and activities;
  • Reneral and upgrades to park infrastructure; and
  • Explore opportunities to introduce new uses.

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Based on this feedback Councillor Taylor directed staff to develop a second draft of the plan. On February 27, 2014 our office hosted an open house to present the updated plans for Britannia Park.

Signage 

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  • Site Maps
  • Roadside Signage
  • Pathway Signage

Access and Circulation

  • More efficient parking lots
  • Better drop-off points for guests, water sports gear and Para Transpo
  • Better control of large events and organizing requirements

Natural Environment

  • Enhanced green space
  • More opportunities for outside events and gatherings
  • Storm water management and drainage
  • Peaceful and clean
  • Better views of the water

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To learn more about the proposed plans, see the PowerPoint presentation delivered at the open house by visiting the Publications page.

Working Group

Following our open house on February 27, 2014 a working group was formed to create a Park Master Plan. This group is made up of residents and stakeholders within the community bringing a wide variety of opinions to the table. 

You can offer feedback on this project by emailing Mark.Taylor@Ottawa.ca or submitting a comment form by Clicking Here.


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