Lansdowne Park will not be turned into a “vanilla white-bread mall” or “cutesy-themed village,” insisted the author of a report on commercial development proposed for the park.

“What it will be is something that is true to Ottawa, true to the district and true to Lansdowne Park,” said John Williams, senior partner with J.C. Williams Group, the Toronto-based retail consultants hired to conduct the review. “This could definitely be a national destination. When you’re in Ottawa, it’s one of the things to do — get to Lansdowne Park and see the amazing whatever.”

What should go into that space, said Williams, is a mix of upscale, specialty boutique food, sports and health stores, with one quarter of the over 300,000-square-foot development devoted to restaurants, bistros and cafes. To encourage all-day activity, it should have a specialty grocery store and a cinema.

But the report failed to win over critics of the Lansdowne Partnership Plan.

Glebe BIA executive director Catherine Lindquist said the report failed to address concerns over transportation and parking. Lindquist said the organization was still worried about the size of individual stores.

Ottawa Farmers’ Market president Andy Terauds said the report did not take the market seriously.

“We want to be in the cattle castle. That’s the most logical place for us to be long term,” said Terauds.

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