The National Capital Commission will transfer approximately an acre of land to the Ottawa Congress Centre, so that plans for the building’s expansion can proceed.


“This is a big step for the congress centre,” said NCC chairman Russell Mills. “I’d like to hold one of our future meetings there in 2012.”


The approval to encroach on federal property was critical to the project, said Francois Lapointe, acting vice-president of capital planning with the NCC, who presented the study. An NCC committee working on the expansion made 29 recommendations yesterday, including a minimum of a five-metre setback of the congress centre from the curb on the east side of Colonel By Drive.


The change would alter the dimensions of the building and improve some of the views of the city as visitors enter the downtown core from Colonel By Drive.

“Especially when you get in from the airport,” said NCC architect Ludwig Chelkowski. “It’s the most interesting way to get to the capital.”

The project, which will also include the redevelopment of the Colonel By Driveway between Laurier Bridge and Daly Avenue, and the NCC pathway along the Rideau Canal, will generate an economic impact on many aspects of Ottawa, Lapointe said.