The city should proceed with redeveloping Lansdowne Park, despite pending legal proceedings, according to a report by city staff to be heard next week.
The report recommends beginning construction works for soil remediation and the relocation of the Horticulture Building.
“The public wants us to move forward with revitalizing Lansdowne because it has been ignored for far too long,” Mayor Jim Watson told the Sun.
The Ontario Court of Appeal is ruling on a case from the Friends of Lansdowne, which is contesting the city’s partnership with the Ontario Sports and Entertainment Group.
“All of the work we are doing, like removing contaminated soil and demolishing a crumbling and unsafe building, would have to be done even without the OSEG agreement,” said Watson.
The plans include a makeover to Frank Clair Stadium and the Civic Centre, offices, residences, a cinema, stores, restaurants, and an urban park.
The Canadian Football League is set to return in 2014.
With no decision in sight from the Ontario Court of Appeal, “it is recommended that specific works proceed, in accordance with the schedule for the Lansdowne Partnership Plan project, to reduce adverse schedule impacts and to contain costs that might otherwise be caused by this delay,” reads the report.
The city was awarded a Superior Court decision in the Friends of Lansdowne case last July.
The finance and economic development committee meets May 1.