On November 14, 2007, City of Ottawa Council voted in favour of supporting the Algonquin College proposal to construct the CCTBS and the Health Sciences Educational Facility, known as the ‘Algonquin Project’, on the west side of Woodroffe Avenue, opposite the College’s main campus. Direct City support is to be provided through the transfer of 1.62 hectare of City-owned lands to the College, as well as the provision of $5M for the design and construction of a pedestrian bridge linking Baseline Transit Station and the Algonquin College campus across Woodroffe Avenue. In addition, Council also approved the recommendation to proceed with the design and construction of the City’s Archives and Library Technical Services building, known as the ‘Archives Project’, to be located in the southwest quadrant of the Woodroffe Avenue/Tallwood Drive intersection. The anticipated benefits to local economic development and the advancement of the Centrepointe Town Centre Concept Plan were the driving forces behind the Council’s decision.
The proposed site for the new Algonquin College facilities is located on the City-owned lands that are situated west of Woodroffe Avenue and which are currently occupied by Baseline Transit Station. As a result, the existing Baseline Station must be relocated prior to initiating construction of the CCTBS building, which is to be completed by September 2011 to meet Provincial and Federal funding commitments. In August 2008, the City of Ottawa initiated an assignment with McCormick Rankin Corporation for the undertaking of a Functional Design and Land Preservation Study for the SW Transitway BRT/LRT Extension between Baseline Road and Norice Street, including the relocation of Baseline Station. The functional design was completed, and the property requirements identified, allowing the functional design recommendations to be tabled and approved by City Council on November 19, 2008. The transfer of the City-owned lands on the west side of Woodroffe Avenue, as required for the construction of the CCTBS building, was also approved at that time.
The grade-separation of the SW Transitway and associated stations, the expansion of Algonquin College and the Archives Project all fall in line with key City of Ottawa guiding principles. The 2003 Official Plan (OP) set out a growth management strategy that emphasizes urban intensification and increased mixed-use development, centred on rapid transit as the preferred mode of travel. As well, key policies of the OP recommend pursuit of partnerships with the private sector for development of lands at, or over, transit stations and the integration of transitway stations into the design of adjacent buildings. The Algonquin Project, together with the SW Transitway Extension and the Baseline Station undertaking, will meet all of these recommendations. The current project will also see the construction of a Tallwood Station and a total reconstruction of Baseline Station to accommodate BRT/LRT operations as defined within the 2003 Transportation Master Plan (TMP) and 2008 TMP Update. Additional guidance is provided through the 2003 City Talent Plan, which identifies the desire of the City to support the development of skilled trades people; as well as the Centrepointe Town Centre Concept Plan, which is focused on providing increased density, improved connections, multi-purpose functions and improved pedestrian and transit connections in the area bounded by Baseline Road, Woodroffe Avenue, Tallwood Drive and Centrepointe Drive.