Ottawa Convention Centre

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Ottawa Convention Centre
24 April 2011
Address Colonel By Drive
Location Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Coordinates 45°25′27″N 75°41′30″W / 45.4242°N 75.6916°W / 45.4242; -75.6916Coordinates: 45°25′27″N 75°41′30″W / 45.4242°N 75.6916°W / 45.4242; -75.6916
Owner Government of Ontario
Opened 1983
Closed 2008
Demolished 2008
Construction cost
C$170 million
Former names
Ottawa Congress Centre
Classroom-style seating
Banquet/ballroom 4,000
Theatre seating
Enclosed space
 • Total space 192,000 square feet (17,800 m2)
 • Exhibit hall floor 320
 • Breakout/meeting 23
Parking 730 spaces

The Ottawa Convention Centre is a convention centre in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, Canada which opened in April 2011. The Centre replaces the Ottawa Congress Centre, which opened in 1983. The new centre is built on the site of the Congress Centre building, which was demolished in 2008-2009. The Centre is located on Colonel By Drive, just south of Rideau Street. The facility is owned by the Ontario provincial government.


Steel skeleton of building being erected within construction site
View from Slater Street bridge of Convention Centre under construction. Rideau Canal in front. (Feb. 7, 2010)

The project's cost was of $170 million CAD, for a four-level 192,000 square feet (17,800 m2) facility. The cost was shared by three levels of government. $50 million came from the Canadian government, $50 million from the Ontario government, $40 million from the City of Ottawa and the remainder of $30 million was borrowed by the centre itself.[1]

The new building features a large glass facade on the Colonel By Drive front. From the outside, the entrance from the street is clearly visible and the internal escalators are also visible. The architect is Ritchard Brisbin of BBB Architects Ottawa Inc. While it has four levels of convention space, it is seven storeys in height.[2]

As part of the new project, the name was changed to the Ottawa Convention Centre. According to the centre's chairman, the former title of "congress" was confusing to American convention planners.[3]

Facility Floor Plan[edit]

The Ottawa Convention Centre features 4 levels, each with a unique view of the Rideau Canal and downtown area. The first level features a large and spacious lobby, as well as the Wall of Three Rivers, which is made of reclaimed logs and acts as a tribute to Ottawa history. This floor consists of 8 meeting rooms, an executive boardroom, a coat room, a kitchen studio, administration and direct indoor access to parking lots. The second level consists of 15 meeting rooms that are equipped with the latest technology, a pre-function area of over 19,806 sq. ft. / 1,840 sq. m., a dedicated show office, a corporate business centre, a coat room, and bridges that link the OCC to the Westin hotel and the Rideau Centre. The third level is a vast space multipurpose hall and can accommodate up to 6,260 people theatre-style, 4,600 people banquet-style, or up to 400 10x10 booth displays. The fourth level is a ballroom, reserved for meetings, conferences, or even weddings.[4]

Environmental Certification[edit]

The Ottawa Convention Centre was built to be as environmentally friendly as possible, striving for LEED Silver certification.[5] LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a green building rating system developed by the U.S Green Building Council in 1998. It is based on a points system, which then places the building in one of four categories – Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum – the latter being the highest achievement of environmental friendliness. There are 70 possible LEED points that can be earned. These points are divided into five different categories: Sustainable Site Development, Water Efficiency, Energy Efficiency, Material Selection and Indoor Environmental Quality.[6] The OCC saves 969,000 gallons of water each year by harvesting rainwater from the roof, which is stored in a cistern below the building. This water is used to flush restroom toilets.[7] 97% of materials from the demolished Congress Centre were diverted from landfill. The OCC used recycled steel to build the roof trusses,[5] and logs from the bottom of the Ottawa River to make the Wall of Three Rivers.[8] Because of its panoramic glass design, the OCC saves energy by letting in natural daylight.[7]

Congress Centre[edit]

The Congress Centre building was designed by Bemi & Associates Architects in 1982. It had 70,000 square feet (6,500 m2) of exhibition space. The building was built on former railways lands, vacated when the main Ottawa train station was moved to Alta Vista Drive outside of downtown. The building was opened by Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau.[9]

The Congress Centre was used for conventions, public exhibitions and music concerts. It could support audience sizes of up to a few thousand.

Notable concerts[edit]

  • Paul Anka 2002 - special 'homecoming' concert



  1. ^ Dare, Patrick (May 7, 2008). "Ontario hands over $50 million for new Congress Centre". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 2010-02-04. 
  2. ^ Dare, Patrick (October 12, 2009). "Changing the way Ottawa sees itself". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 2010-02-04. [dead link]
  3. ^ "New convention centre eyes foreign business; Name change expected to clear up some confusion". Ottawa Citizen. February 12, 2009. p. D1. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^
  9. ^ Jenkins, Phil (May 11, 2009). "The heart of our city, in surgery again". Ottawa Citizen. p. A11. 
  10. ^ "National Career Development Conference". Eventegg. 

External links[edit]