News / Ottawa

NCC unveils new plan for Nepean Point

Proposal keeps Samuel de Champlain and creates new theatre space and a lookout.

These renderings show new pathways and opportunities for public art leading up to Nepean Point.

Supplied / Supplied

These renderings show new pathways and opportunities for public art leading up to Nepean Point.

Samuel de Champlain will still be looking proudly across the Capital Region, but the grounds around him on Nepean Point are getting a major overhaul.

The National Capital Commission (NCC) selected a winning design for the point at its board meeting on Thursday.

The winning project is called Big River Landscape and was designed by Janet Rosenberg & Studio Inc. with Patkau Architects, Blackwell Structural Engineers and ERA Architects Inc.

In addition to keeping the current Champlain statue exactly where it is, the proposal adds a pedestrian bridge across St. Patrick’s Street from Major’s Hill Park.

It adds several points where new sculptures and public art could be added and creates a new theatre space and a new lookout, called “Whispering Point” underneath the plaza with the Champlain statue.

NCC board member Robert Plamondon said he was thrilled with the choice.

“When we vote on this, if I could raise two hands I would,” he said.  

He said the proposed overhaul would turn the point into a must-see tourist attraction.

“This is going to make the list, for sure in the top ten and maybe in the top five,” he said. “It represents the most exceptional view of the capital that I think we have.”

The NCC has $6.7 million budgeted currently for construction of the project, which would likely start sometime in 2019.

That may not be enough to complete all of the work in the proposed design, but NCC CEO Mark Kristmanson said they can adjust the funding and perhaps think of phasing the project differently than they initially planned.

“The advice has been good to think more holistically, think about the approaches and what is around the approaches,” he said. “It’s always a question of priorities of projects. We have a very small capital budget.”

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