New Convention Centre Gives Ottawa A Boost
McGuinty Government Investment Means Jobs In Construction, Tourism
Ottawa's construction industry will get a shot in the arm now that construction of the new Ottawa Convention Centre (OCC) is underway.
The redevelopment is expected to create the equivalent of 560 full time jobs during construction.
Once complete, the new convention centre will give tourism a boost in the national capital region, attracting thousands of visitors and generating an estimated $82.4 million in annual revenues.
The new OCC is an important investment in the short and long-term success of Ottawa's economy. Ontario is contributing $50 million to the project and the federal government is matching that commitment, with another $40 million from the City of Ottawa.
Premier Dalton McGuinty joined a long list of dignitaries to break ground on the convention centre, marking a major milestone in the city's quest for a new meeting space. The new centre will help Ottawa compete with cities around the world for lucrative convention business. The new building will be three times the size of the original, with 200,000 square feet of meeting space and the ability to accommodate up to 5,000 visitors.
- Spending by convention visitors in Ontario in 2007 reached more than $1 billion. The average person attending a convention spends $380 per visit - more than double the spending of the average visitor to Ontario.
- Bookings at the new OCC are already ahead of projections, with 52 conventions and conferences already scheduled, including 10 per cent from outside Canada.
- The new Ottawa Convention Centre is being built on the same site as the original. About 90 per cent of the rubble from the redevelopment will be recycled, with much of it being reused in the new building.
“The new Ottawa Convention Centre will help us showcase this vibrant city and beautiful province to our visitors. It will spur substantial economic activity and promote our nation's capital as a world-renowned meeting place.”
“Today marks an important step towards a brand new Ottawa Convention Centre. It will be a catalyst for the local economy and help to ensure that Ottawa is well placed to build upon its reputation as a destination of choice for business travellers and tourists alike.”