We have come a long way since last May when Rideau Carleton Raceway was selected by Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) as the iconic site for Hard Rock Ottawa.
Today, Ottawa City Council has approved the zoning by-law to allow Rideau Carleton Race to transform into an electrifying tourist destination. Never before has Osgoode Ward seen an expansion at this magnitude; it is truly historical!
During its construction, it will bring over 3,500 construction jobs on-site. Hard Rock Ottawa will have 200 room hotel, 2000 seat live entertainment venue and 4 new restaurants; bringing new jobs, more tourism, and revenue into our local economy. Not only will the City of Ottawa benefit from having this business, but the Province of Ontario will as well. Projections are anticipating transferring up to $62 million a year from Casinos just outside our city and provincial borders.
It was not surprising that traffic was one of the biggest concerns we have heard throughout these discussions and public consultations. It is something that dominates every city’s news and Ottawa is no exception.
I have worked with other local area councillor’s and we have directed city staff to complete an area traffic management study before construction can proceed. The casino has provided a written commitment to work with City staff on any infrastructure improvements necessary to deal with additional traffic demand, including Bank Street and Earl Armstrong. Development of our roads must occur simultaneously with the expansion of the casino, not one before the other. It is through partnership, communication, and mutual understanding that we can ensure this development revitalizes Osgoode Ward.
It has been a pleasure to work with Mayor Watson, city staff, Hard Rock Ottawa, Rideau Carleton Raceway, Osgoode Ward Business Association, Greely Community Association, and many other community groups to see this transpire. I am looking forward to the milestones that will come from this project and watch the positive effect this development will have on our ward and City.