Shenkman Arts Centre and Orléans Town Centre

Shenkman Arts Centre logo

The Shenkman Arts Centre and Orléans Town Centre developments will help strengthen and build the economy in Orléans. The Shenkman Arts Centre will deliver a unique cultural hub to east-end residents in their own community, while the completion of the Orléans Town Centre will add a wealth of new residential and commercial facilities nearby.

The Shenkman Arts Centre will become a key focal point in the Orléans Town Centre from which arts programs can be offered to support the demand for activities in both English and French. This facility addresses the strategic directions of the 20/20 Arts Plan, which are to:

  • Broaden public access to local arts
  • Keep Ottawa’s artists here
  • Build creative capacity
  • Revitalize public places and natural spaces through the arts
  • Realize the economic potential of our local cultural sector.

Completion of the Orléans Town Centre will provide new revenue opportunities and strengthen the area’s economic and employment base. It will create a focal point in the Orléans community, adding more residential density within the Town Centre area, attracting businesses to the site’s new business complexes, and attracting visitors who could be accommodated at a possible future hotel. The various types of proposed residential units will attract a mix of new residents, from young families to working professionals and seniors. This delivers Council’s 20/20 vision of creating a city of distinct, liveable communities.

Benefits of the Shenkman Arts Centre and Orléans Town Centre to residents

The Shenkman Arts Centre will make it easier and more convenient for east-end residents to participate in arts activities. It will:

  • Service non-profit and community arts groups in the east end of the city
  • Offer instructional classes for all ages, and combine community learning opportunities with presentation and exhibition venues for local arts into a single district facility
  • Include much-needed spaces for performing arts presentations and visual art exhibitions, spaces for hands-on instruction in the visual, performing and media arts for all ages and abilities, and space for east-end non-profit arts organizations who would deliver the majority of the programs in collaboration with city operators
  • House the many artists and arts organizations that deliver a wide variety of activities, courses, performances, exhibitions, and services in several locations across the eastern district of the City of Ottawa

According to a 2003 Ryerson University study, the introduction of cultural facilities in a community helps:

  • Increase property values
  • Increase retail sales
  • Revitalize the community

The Shenkman Arts Centre is anticipated to become home to approximately 50 not-for-profit arts organizations, allowing them more opportunity to work together and make the most of their talents and efforts inside this combined facility.

After completion of the Orléans Town Centre, the new development is expected to generate an increasing amount of property taxes, at its full completion reaching approximately $3.2 million per year, contributing to the city’s tax base.

The completed Town Centre is expected to attract new business and stimulate a stronger east-end economy. The construction of the Orléans Town Centre alone will have an estimated overall construction economic impact of $220 million by allowing local businesses to service workers’ needs in the vicinity of the site.

Where is the Shenkman Arts Centre and Orléans Town Centre?

Orléans is located on the east side of Ottawa and straddles the boundary line between the former Township of Cumberland and the City of Gloucester. The community is 35 years old and is planned to have a population of more than 100,000 residents. Orléans has a Town Centre, which includes a regional shopping centre (Place d’Orléans), YM-YWCA, cinema, retail services and a town hall for the former township of Cumberland. Today, this civic building is owned by the City of Ottawa and is now a Client Service Centre that serves the east end of Ottawa. Several acres of land remain vacant in the Town Centre and most are owned by the City of Ottawa.

The Shenkman Arts Centre will be located on the vacant lands surrounding the existing Orléans Client Service Centre at 255 Centrum Boulevard near the Place d’Orléans Shopping Centre in the east end of Ottawa. View a map to the Orléans Arts Centre and Town Centre.


The process leading up to the approval of the Shenkman Arts Centre and Orléans Town Centre project began many years ago when staff at the City of Ottawa defined a need for an east-end arts facility. The process culminated in the development of a P3 strategy put forth in October 2004 and refined with the input of east-end arts groups. City Council approved staff’s recommendation for a new facility in June 2005, and the search for a private-sector partner was launched. The competitive bidding process is now complete, and Orléans Town Centre Partnership (OTCP) was selected as the project’s private-sector partner. The project will be completed in phases. Phase 1 includes the design and construction of the Orléans Arts Centre, which is expected to be completed in the Spring of 2009. The various components of the Town Centre are expected to be completed in 2015-2017.

Project Partners

The Shenkman Arts Centre and Orléans Town Centre will be developed as a result of a Public-Private Partnership (P3). Through a Request for Qualifications process, the City received responses from five consortia, four of which were short-listed to receive the Request for Proposals (RFP). Each group was then asked to submit a formal proposal for the project in response to a Request for Proposal. An extensive evaluation process was undertaken and it was determined that the proposal submitted by Orléans Town Centre Partnership (OTCP) best met the requirements of the RFP. A fairness commissioner was retained to oversee both stages of the procurement process.

The partnership agreements between the City of Ottawa and OTCP were concluded in April 2007.

About the Orléans Town Centre Partnership

The Orléans Town Centre Partnership is led by Forum Leasehold Partners Inc. and, as applied to the Arts Centre, includes Aecon Buildings, Lalande + Doyle Architects, and Johnson Controls/BLJC. Forum has established joint ventures with Phoenix Homes for the residential components, Verdiroc Development Corporation for affordable housing, and Kingsway Arms Management Services for the seniors’ residences and condos.

Forum Leasehold Partners is active in acquiring and developing single-tenant properties leased to the public and private sectors. This project represents the company’s fourth Public-Private Partnership. Established in 2002, the company’s portfolio currently consists of more than 800,000 sq. ft. of property and will surpass 1,000,000 square feet upon completion of this project. More information is available at

Find out how the partnership works, or learn more about this P3 partner by visiting their Web site through the link above.

For more information on this project, please contact:

Caroline Obeid
Portfolio Manager, Shenkman Arts Centre
Cultural Services & Community Funding Branch
613-580-2424, ext. 24387

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