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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ottawa vs Halifax convention centres

Which one is a better deal?

Posted By on Thu, Oct 7, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Ottawa Convention Centre
  • Ottawa Convention Centre

Much in this Ottawa Citizen article from last week is self-serving convention centre management tripe, which I'll leave off for another day, but I was struck by the financing of the new Ottawa Convention Centre:

The federal and provincial governments are each paying $50 million to the $170-million construction cost and the city has invested $40 million. The remaining $30 million will be borrowed.
So, roughly the same ballpark as the $159 million convention centre proposed for downtown Halifax.

But look what Ottawa will get for the money: 192,000 sq. ft. of usable space in seven stores---four above ground---in a striking facility that overlooks the Rideau Canal and downtown Ottawa.

What does Halifax get? Just 120,000 square feet of usable space stuck in two basement levels with a view of absolutely nothing.

I'm very skeptical of the financial projections for both facilities, but I think one thing is inarguable: Ottawa's getting a hell of a lot more for the money.

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