Public Space
Our Vision and Guiding Principles

Our Vision and Guiding Principles

So far we’ve covered the where and why of South Keys Centre, and how we came to be who we are — so it’s about time we cover what we envision the future of South Keys Centre being.

Our vision
As a community coalition advocating for the enhancement of South Keys Centre, we see it evolving into a vibrant, and amenity-rich community that embraces active transportation and healthy living and acts as a regional hub for Ottawa South. It will be a neighbourhood where all life stages, income levels, and abilities are able to thrive.

Our guiding principles
Our early conversations with community members from across Ottawa South have informed the following themes.

An Urban Hub – Marine Gateway, Perkins&Will

South Keys Centre should become an urban hub that is seamlessly connected to surrounding neighbourhoods through year-round transit, cycling, pedestrian connections, with creative strategies for vehicle movement. With so many communities directly around the area, it only makes sense to connect them – often through existing routes that just need a bit more work.

Mix of uses

It should have a mix of uses that attracts both local and regional visitors, to ensure the community is safe and lively at all times of the day and year. The retail currently attracts people from all over the city- but really only during the retail hours. By adding more types of activities and spaces it can not only be a wonderful neighbourhood for the residents who will be living in the residential buildings that will be added but also increase the opportunity for surrounding residents to come and enjoy the spaces and interact.

Robust Public Realm – Assembly Row, Boston

South Keys Centre can be a robust public realm for both casual gathering and active recreation, that allows people of all ages and abilities to live a healthy life, and respects traditional land use. Right now the area is almost entirely private lands, but new public lands will be created as the area develops with new opportunities. This could include green space, parks, farmer’s markets, arts and cultural spaces and so much more.

Biophilic community

Turning South Keys Centre into a biophilic community that prioritizes connections to nature and uses sustainable design principles throughout the site will only increase its value and appreciation by all who live and visit the area. The area is currently very close to the incredible Greenboro Pathway system, and right next to Sawmill Creek Reservoir and the pathways there as well. There is much potential to incorporate and expand on the natural setting.

Range of Housing Types – Riverdale Towns, TACT Architecture

A range of housing types and tenures to ensure a diverse population can age in place and establish pride in their community. By redeveloping this currently retail-only area into a mixed-use area incorporating both retail and residential there is potential to not just include bachelor condos or one-bedroom apartments. Rather, residential living of all sorts of sizes at affordable prices could help bring more diversity in family/neighbour compositions, backgrounds and income levels for a more varied and interesting neighbourhood.


What do you think? Let us know!

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