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Through recent and ongoing redevelopment, Lebreton Flats is rapidly becoming one of Ottawa's most sought after neighbourhoods. Bordering on the west side of Centertown, with 'Nanny Goat Hill' as the southern border to Centertown West, Lebreton flats is highlighted by waterfront exposure as its northern limit.
As a waterfront neighbourhood, Lebreton Flats has a long and sorted history. By the mid 1800's, it had developed into a mixed community to serve the local lumber mills on the nearby Chaudiere and Victoria islands. After being almost completely destroyed by fire in the early 1900's it quickly rebuilt itself.
With the arrival of a rail line, station, and yards, industry and development came in turn, including proliferation of housing for both workers and owners, as well as hotels and taverns. By 1960, an expropriation effort had been initiated to clear the area to give way for development of government buildings.
After almost 40 years of plans lay waste, the National Capital Commission announced the rejuvenation plan in 2000, which began with several years of decontamination to reduce soil pollution left from the former industrial and timber sites.
In May of 2005, the new home for the Canadian War Museum was opened on Lebreton Flats as the first physical component of a complete redevelopment. New residential developments are set to break ground in 2006, designed as a neighbourhood community with something for everyone.
Residential buildings will be from four stories upwards, neatly placed around courtyards and outdoor spaces to complement town homes with ground level entrances, designed to provide dual purpose of homes and office space, complementing Lebreton Flats' close proximity to the downtown core.
Lebreton Flats' proximity to the Ottawa River as well as the former soil contamination issues naturally obliges eco awareness, and as such, an improved system of linked pathways along the parkway will allow for leisurely activities such as bike riding, in-line skating, or walking. Once completed, close to 40 percent of the total land at the flats will be park area.
The timing of the developments have carefully avoided both fish spawning and bird nesting seasons, and the National Capital Commission has ensured that any inadvertent disturbance to natural habitats would in all instances be followed by restorative measures.
All things combined, the revitalization of Lebreton Flats will provide residents with a neighbourhood complete with all amenities. Lebreton Station serves the area as the hub for the western portion of the Transitway, and nearby Booth Street is intended to be the main shopping street with personal service and retail outlets, so most shops will be within walking distance. The diverse history of Lebreton Flats will be commemorated in residential, commercial, tourism, parkland and festival sites, with easy accessibility for all of Ottawa's citizens to enjoy.