Sir John Carling approved for new Civic hospital site

After months of controversy and deliberation, the new Civic super-hospital has found its future home at the former site of the Sir John Carling

Building on the eastern edge of the Experimental Farm.

Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly approved the site Friday. She said in a statement that she’s asking federal officials to, “make all the necessary preparations to make this land available as the future location.”

This decision comes in opposition to the recommendation recently made by the National Capital Commission. The NCC identified Tunney’s Pasture after their several month long survey and public consultation. Tunney’s Pasture — located between Scott Street and the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway, and currently the headquarters of Health Canada — was promptly rejected by hospital officials and numerous other stakeholders, citing too many problems with the location. These problems include poor patient access on congested streets, potential delays in the building process, and high costs.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and local Liberal MPs and MPPs agreed that the Tunney’s Pasture location is heavily flawed, and supported the hospital’s rejection of the site.

The Sir John Carling site was selected because it is centrally located, accessible by a highway ramp at Rochester Street, is walking distance from the Trillium Line O-Train station on Carling Avenue and close to the current Civic hospital on Carling Avenue.

As well, it is noted that hospital construction at the eastern site will not damage the research lands farther west at the Experimental Farm, which was a major concern of local environmentalists and farmers.