Ottawa Hospital board rejects Tunney's Pasture
Board says too many concerns to proceed with construction of hospital on Tunney's site.
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The Ottawa Hospital board has rejected Tunney’s Pasture as the site of its new Civic campus.
Many people in Ottawa were surprised by the National Capital Commission's recent recommendation of Tunney's Pasture – now home to a sprawling campus of government office buildings – as the best of 12 available parcels of federal land for the new Civic campus.
The Ottawa Hospital had its eyes on 24 hectares of Central Experimental Farm lands, which are right across the street from its existing location.
Hospital board chair James McCracken said the Tunney’s site was unacceptable because of the cost of moving federal government workers to new workplaces and demolishing the office buildings that are there now to make way for the new Civic campus.
“We cannot impose this financial burden on our fundraising community that has supported us for decades, or ask taxpayers to step into their place,” he said in a statement. “We do not serve our patients’ best interests by choosing an option that inflates the cost of a new hospital at a time when health-care dollars are so scarce.”
McCracken said the board was also concerned about access to the site for people who drive, as well as the lengthy time line to build at Tunney’s.
“Any of these concerns taken individually is serious enough but, taken together, these three concerns pose a risk we cannot pass on to our patients and the community at large,” he said.
The NCC’s review of possible hospital sites concluded Tunney’s was the ideal site for a hospital because it is in the city's core, offers good transit – including light-rain linkages – and did not disturb the Experimental Farm.