Ottawa 2017 pitches urban camping for tourists

The 2017 commission has come up with a creative solution to help tourists find accommodations next summer, during Canada's 150th birthday celebrations.

With many hotels already booked solid, the 2017 bureau wants to create more space for visitors by allowing temporary camping and RVs outside 10 city facilities.

Councillors Jean Cloutier and Mathieu Fleury, the City's 2017 Co-Chairs, introduced the idea at council on Wednesday and unveiled the list of potential Canada Day camping spots including the Cumberland Village Heritage and the Kanata Leisure Centre Museum.

"You have washrooms, showers and green space ... to allow temporary camping or RVs to be parked outside those venues, therefore allowing us to substantially increase our capacity to welcome visitors," says Guy Laflamme, executive director of Ottawa 2017.

The 2017 bureau will need a temporary by-law exception in order to allow camping around Canada Day, from June 29 until July 4.

"Hopefully this will be approved in a matter of a couple of weeks by council," says Laflamme.

The potential sides chosen include the Cumberland Village Heritage Museum, Earl Armstrong Arena, Bob Macquarrie Recreation Complex, Ray Friel Recreation Complex, Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre, St-Laurent Recreation Complex, Nepean Sportsplex, Kanata Leisure Centre,  Jim Durrell Recreation Centre and Tom Brown Arena.

Council will debate the motion Nov. 9.