Shenkman Arts Centre and Orléans Town Centre
The Shenkman Arts Centre and Orléans Town Centre developments help strengthen and build the economy in Orléans. The Shenkman Arts Centre (link is external) delivers a unique cultural hub in the east-end of Ottawa, while mixed-use development in the Orléans Town Centre adds a wealth of new residential and commercial facilities nearby. The Shenkman Arts Centre is a key focal point in the Orléans Town Centre from which arts programs are 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
New development in the Orléans Town Centre provides revenue opportunities and strengthens the area’s economic and employment base. It creates a focal point in the Orléans community, adding more residential density within the Town Centre area, attracting new businesses to the area, and attracting visitors who can be accommodated at a new hotel located next to the Shenkman Arts Centre. The various types of residential units 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, livable communities.
Benefits of the Shenkman Arts Centre and Orléans Town Centre to residents
The Shenkman Arts Centre makes it easier and more convenient for east-end residents to participate in arts activities by:
- Serving individual artists and non-profit and community arts groups in the east end of the city
- Offering instructional classes for all ages, live performances, exhibitions, and events year round through a unique multidisciplinary bilingual arts facility in their own community
- Including 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 deliver the majority of the programs in collaboration with city operators
- Housing 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
The Shenkman Arts Centre is home to approximately 50 artists and 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.
About the Facility
The Shenkman Arts Centre and Orléans Town Centre delivers a unique cultural hub in the east-end, offering a full range of visual and performing arts programming, and helps strengthen and build the economy in Orléans.
The Shenkman Arts Centre includes:
- A 500-seat performing arts hall
- A 150-seat black box studio
- Municipal art gallery
- Theatre studios
- Pottery studios
- Visual arts studios
- Dance studio
- Outdoor Agora
- Accompanying administrative spaces
The Orléans Town Centre will deliver:
- An enhanced government client service centre
- New office buildings
- A seniors’ condo residence and a seniors’ assisted living complex
- A hotel
- Stacked residential town homes
- Apartment buildings
- Affordable housing
All facilities built in partnership with the City of Ottawa are wheelchair accessible.
Shenkman Arts Centre photo gallery
How the partnership works
Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) use innovative financial frameworks to get the best value for taxpayers and make the terms attractive enough for private-sector partners to share certain project risks.
For the Shenkman Arts Centre, the terms are (all dollars values are rounded off):
- The Shenkman Arts Centre cost $36.8 million to build.
- The City signed a 30-year lease for the Shenkman Arts Centre, which Orléans Town Centre Partnership (OTCP) used to help secure a $27.8 million loan at a preferred interest rate. The City’s lease payments are equivalent to the amount of the loan payments.
- OTCP bought the City’s Town Centre lands and the Client Service Centre building from the City for $12.1 million of which $3.1M was used for the Town Centre infrastructure.
- The City entered into a Municipal Capital Facilities Agreement for the Shenkman Arts Centre which exempts OTCP from paying development fees, property and education taxes and land transfer taxes on City-occupied spaces within these facilities.
- All lands other than those on which the Shenkman Arts Centre is located remain the property of OTCP or its development partners. These lands are subject to normal development charges, property and education taxes, and land transfer taxes.
Throughout the process, input and advice has been received on these business terms such as KPMG, external legal counsel, and the office of the City Treasurer.
OTCP designed, built, financed, operates and maintains the Shenkman Arts Centre facility.
For the Orléans Town Centre lands development:
- The City transferred ownership and signed a 25-year lease for the Client Service Centre building, thereby increasing the value of the asset and helping to secure more favourable financing terms for OTCP. The City’s lease payments for the Client Service Centre space are reduced as a result.
- The City entered into a Municipal Capital Facilities Agreement for the Client Service Centre building, which exempts OTCP from paying property and education taxes and land transfer taxes on City-occupied spaces within the facility.
- The residential component of the Orléans Town Centre meets the City’s Official Plan housing targets for affordable housing. 41 units from the City's Action Ottawa program were made available for low-income families.
- The Orléans Town Centre site will include two neighbourhood parks: the new Royal 22e Regiment Park, and a second park to be constructed on the east side of Orleans Town Centre.
The Orléans Town Centre lands will remain the property of OTCP and its joint-venture partners.
What is the Shenkman Arts Centre and Orléans Town Centre?
The Shenkman Arts Centre and Orléans Town Centre are the subject of a Public-Private Partnership (P3) between the City of Ottawa and its private-sector partner, Orléans Town Centre Partnership (OTCP). The Shenkman Arts Centre brings much-needed arts programming, events and space for a variety of arts disciplines to east-end residents, while the Orléans Town Centre adds a mix of residential development, future office buildings, a possible seniors condo and assisted living residence, and a hotel. The project was designed to satisfy demand for arts in the east end of the city and to build new business opportunities to strengthen the east-end economy.
What is special about the Shenkman Arts Centre and Orléans Town Centre?
The Shenkman Arts Centre has many special features, including a 500-seat performing arts hall, a 150-seat black box studio, a municipal art gallery, theatre studios, pottery studios, visual arts studios, dance studio, outdoor agora, and accompanying administrative spaces. The Shenkman Arts Centre is a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified building for maximum energy efficiency.
In keeping with the City’s Smart Growth principles and Official Plan, the Orléans Town Centre is being developed as a downtown area for the community of Orléans, with an emphasis on compact, mixed-use development. Higher densities of employment and residential land uses in the Orléans Town Centre ensure the existing and planned retail and commercial services in this area are supported. Bringing all of these land uses close together and providing pedestrian trails and a pathway network will encourage residents to walk and cycle to access nearby services.
The Orléans Town Centre also features two parks.
Where is the Shenkman Arts Centre and Orléans Town Centre located?
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), YMCA-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 was constructed on the vacant lands adjacent to 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 (link is external).
What types of activities does the Shenkman Arts Centre and Orléans Town Centre support?
The Shenkman Arts Centre offers bilingual arts instruction for all ages, live performances, exhibitions and special events. The 500-seat performing arts hall can accommodate live music, dance and theatrical performances. The 150-seat black box studio can be configured to host a wide range of performances and events, while the municipal art gallery displays the work of local artists. Rehearsal and instructional spaces include theatre, music and dance studios, while other activities are supported in specialized pottery, and visual arts studios.
The existing Town Centre area had previously supported recreation and fitness activities at the YM-YWCA, movie-watching at the cinemas, dining and entertainment at restaurants and bars, shopping and other activities. The completed Orléans Town Centre lands will also support a variety of activities, such as government client services centre, multiple businesses within future office buildings, activities at a seniors’ residence, guest services and restaurant at a hotel, access to other parts of the city through a bus rapid transit station, and more.
When were the different elements of the Town Centre site finished?
The Orléans Town Centre lands are being developed in phases:
Phase 1 (completed in 2009) included:
- Shenkman Arts Centre
- A senior’s park
- 51 affordable housing units (41 of these are Action Ottawa units)
- a pool and gym expansion by the YMCA in their facility
Performance safeguards were put in place to ensure that the development of elements of this P3 project proceeded in a timely way. The Shenkman Arts Centre, City Client Service Centre building, YMCA-YWCA, retail spaces and seniors buildings are connected by internal walkways.
Phases 2 and 3 include a hotel, apartments, stacked town-homes and town-homes, a second neighbourhood park, and offices.
For information about the operations of the Shenkman Arts Centre, please phone 613-580-ARTS (2787) or visit the website at http://www.shenkmanarts.ca/
Committee and Council Reports
Along the path towards completion of new city facilities under Public-Private Partnerships, there are a number of reports presented to various Committees and Council, which form the basis for decisions about location, scope, budgets, timelines and other issues related to the facility. You can review the reports related to the Shenkman Arts Facility and Orléans Town Centre, as follows:
26 June 2002
25 September 2006
Public Private Partnership - Orléans Town Centre