The National Capital Commission (NCC), in partnership with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC), has selected Dream LeBreton as the successful proponent to develop the first phase of the Building LeBreton project in Ottawa, Ont.
Dream LeBreton is a partnership between Dream Asset Management Corp. (Dream Unlimited Corp.) and Dream Impact Master LP (Dream Impact Trust), along with the Multifaith Housing Initiative, a non-profit housing provider. The design team is led by KPMB Architects and Perkins & Will, supported by Two Row Architect and Purpose Building, with PFS Studio as the landscape architect, EllisDon as the construction manager and Innovation Seven as the indigenous engagement consultant.
According to the Canada Green Building Council, this premier project will deliver Canada's largest residential zero-carbon development. Dream LeBreton will build an integrated community at the LeBreton Flats library parcel, a 1.1-hectare site just west of downtown Ottawa, featuring:
601 new rental housing units, of which 31 per cent will be accessible and 41 per cent will be affordable housing comprising the following:
130 units owned by a local not-for-profit rented at 59 per cent of median market rent in perpetuity;
117 units owned by Dream LeBreton rented at 79 per cent of median market rent for 55 years;
Affordable units will serve priority populations, as identified in Canada's National Housing Strategy, including:
Women and children;
Algonquin and other indigenous peoples;
Adults with cognitive disabilities;
Strong social and work force benefits, including:
15 per cent of the overall value of contracts going to vendors that are at least 50 per cent owned or managed by people from equity-seeking groups, including 5 per cent of contracts to Algonquin and indigenous businesses;
50 per cent of the overall value of contracts going to vendors that are at least 50 per cent owned or managed in the National Capital Region;
20 per cent of on-site employment hours going to people from equity-seeking groups, including 5 per cent to Algonquin and indigenous people;
Retail space, including food retailer, cafe and health services;
On-site programming and support to enable the well-being of both affordable-rate and market-rate tenants while fostering a thriving and resilient community, potentially including:
Tutoring and tutoring-related scholarships;
After-school programming, including healthy snacks, reading and games;
Adult skills classes and free fitness classes;
Bicycle maintenance shop and community hub serving diverse needs;
Waste water energy and solar-power-generating systems;
600 indoor parking spots for bikes and 200 underground parking spots for motor vehicles;
A large outdoor public space that is socially inclusive.
This transit-oriented site will also prioritize active mobility with new pedestrian connections from the lower level of Pimisi station toward the Adisoke library site.
The NCC will continue to work with Dream LeBreton to advance the development's design, as well as address objectives related to the master concept plan in co-ordination with the City of Ottawa's review of the project, including ensuring pedestrian priority and safety and animating the site with active frontages and programming.
Pending final federal and municipal design and development approvals, Dream LeBreton is planning to obtain building permits by the end of 2023, with buildings ready for occupancy by early 2026.
The library parcel is the first development phase to be implemented from the LeBreton Flats master concept plan approved by the NCC's board of directors in 2021.
The site is located at 665 Albert St., on the western edge of Ottawa's downtown core, adjacent to the Pimisi O-Train station and close to pathways.
The proceeds of this $30-million sale will be reinvested by the NCC in public benefits to support the realization of a capital destination and vibrant community, as envisioned in the LeBreton Flats master concept plan.
"I am pleased with Building LeBreton's momentum thus far in bringing to life an inspiring vision for a spectacular community in the heart of Canada's capital. I commend all of the proponents for their participation in this vigorously competitive process and thank CMHC for their continued partnership. The selected team, Dream LeBreton, is now poised to build Canada's most sustainably designed community at the library parcel," stated Tobi Nussbaum, chief executive officer of NCC.
"Everyone living in Canada deserves a safe and affordable place to call home, and we continue to take action to increase the supply of affordable rental housing. I am delighted to see such a vital project for our nation's capital move forward," stated Romy Bowers, president and chief executive officer of CMHC.
"Our proposal for the LeBreton Flats library parcel is founded on our extensive experience building communities across Canada that are positive for society. We look forward to continuing this tradition by providing desperately needed affordable housing, contributing to a healthier planet by building a zero-carbon community and by creating inclusive neighbourhoods that provide a stronger sense of belonging for everyone. This project will increase our commitment to the capital while realizing the vision for our neighbouring development, Zibi. We welcome the partnership with NCC and CMHC and will strive to continually innovate and create an even more desirable community as we develop this project," stated Michael Cooper, founder, Dream Group of Companies, Dream LeBreton.