Aberdeen Pavilion: Prominent Heritage Structure In Need of Major Work

The Aberdeen Pavilion, September 2017 / Photo: D. Jones

Saturday, April 6, 2019

The Aberdeen Pavilion, a National Historic Site of Canada also designated under the Ontario Heritage Act, requires repairs and major rehabilitation work.  The following is excerpted from an article in the Ottawa Citizen headlined Aberdeen Pavilion: Heritage Structure at Lansdowne Requires Some TLC


Major work is required to fix up the Aberdeen Pavilion as the city approaches another decision on how much more should be invested in Lansdowne Park.

Repairing the leaky roof of the heritage building is a no-brainer for city hall, which, in a short-term fix, has resorted to capturing water in canopies installed under the roof so visitors below aren’t drenched.  The rehabilitation of the Aberdeen Pavilion will involve more than the roof, though.

Shelley McDonald, the city’s head of asset management, says the project also includes renewal of the structure and building envelope. It’s too early to say how much the rehabilitation will cost since investigative work is scheduled for spring and summer, McDonald said.

“Due to the age, heritage designation and complexity of the structure, carefully planned maintenance and repair is required to ensure the longevity of the building.”

Aberdeen Pavilion, perhaps the most recognizable of Ottawa’s municipal heritage buildings, opened in 1898 as a fair exhibition hall.

Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group managing partner Roger Greenberg said recently that he thought the city could do more with the Horticulture Building and Aberdeen Pavilion. The city, not OSEG, is in charge of programming those historic buildings, in addition to programming the rest of the urban park.  Still, Aberdeen Pavilion is popular for one-off events during the warmer months and has been the venue for the Ottawa Farmers’ Market on Sundays in winter and early spring.

Dan Chenier, the general manager who oversees urban park operations at Lansdowne, says the city hasn’t done any recent work to gauge the all-season potential for Aberdeen Pavilion.

The big roadblock is the heritage protection since adding heating or air conditioning could impact the integrity of the heritage designation.

The city could soon be faced with tough decisions about its role in improving Lansdowne Park as OSEG looks for options to bring more people to the historic property.


Click here to read the article in its entirety on the Ottawa Citizen website.

Related Reading:

Heritage Ottawa: 50 Years | 50 Stories — The Aberdeen Pavilion