The rezoning of government land, to make way for a massive film and television sound stage campus and creative hub in Ottawa has been approved by the City of Ottawa's Planning Committee.
The complex, which will be located in the National Capital Commission's Greenbelt lands at 1740 Woodroffe Avenue, on 8.4 hectares that were formerly used as an animal research centre by Agriculture Canada, would create 500 jobs during construction and an estimated 500 full-time jobs when the film complex is operating.
The buildings planned for the film-television studio complex include four 20,000 sq ft worth of sound stages, workshops, production space, training space and office space for film, television and animation production companies.
The NCC Board of Directors approved the change to the Greenbelt use on Woodroffe Avenue, in part on the understanding that there would be compensatory measures.
That compensation is expected to come in the rezoning of 8.7 hectares of NCC land at 3798 Bank Street, formerly operated as the Capital Golf Centre -- a move also approved by the planning committee. This land would be allowed to return to its natural state.
The committee also approved zoning and Official Plan changes to allow the redevelopment of a 6.5-acre block of land in Little Italy owned by the Government of Canada.
This block, bounded by Rochester Street, Orangeville Street, Booth Street and Norman Street, located just south of the Queensway, has a number of older laboratory and office buildings. Some of these buildings, known as the Booth Street Complex and built in the early 20th century, are recommended for designation under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act. The buildings in the area have been vacant for many years and the land is polluted by past industrial uses.
The new zoning would permit development of the remainder of the land, with high-rise buildings of mixed heights up to 25 storeys. The concept plan features green space, including a new City park. Instead of the existing surface parking lots, parking would be underground.
This new development, combining new and old buildings in a mix of residential, office and commercial space totalling one million square feet, will be managed by Canada Lands Company, which took control of the property from Natural Resources Canada in 2015.
The city committee believes this site is a prime opportunity for new building that fits the city's planning and development goals, as it is within 600 metres of two light-rail transit stations: Carling Station and the future Gladstone Station.
Items approved at Thursday's Planning Committee meeting will go before City Council on Wednesday, March 6.