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Historical Information

The Rockcliffe property has been home to Canadians for generations. Prior to the 17th century, this area was home to the Algonquin people. Even before the site became a military airbase in the 1920s, its association with Canada's Armed Forces and the growth of our nation was evident.

From 1802 (the earliest written record of the site) up to 1898, the land was owned and occupied by a series of farmers and land speculators. At one point, a portion of the land was covered with apple orchards -- remnants of which still exist.

In 1899, the Department of National Defence established the Rockcliffe Rifle Range. Many Canadian soldiers received their training at Rockcliffe. From the 1920s onward, the base's main vocation was military aviation, as a self-contained community with four main purposes:

  • Aerial photographic survey
  • Testing and experimentation of aviation equipment
  • Air transportation of military personnel and dignitaries
  • Military mixed use residential village

At its peak, the base comprised more than 800 acres (326 hectares). The property was declared surplus by the Department of National Defence in 1984 and official closed in 2009.

Historical photos from the Former CFB Rockcliffe, dating from the 1920's up to the 1950's

Project History

CLC is renewing a planning and consultation process to redevelop the lands formally known as Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Rockcliffe, in Ottawa, Ontario, which CLC acquired from the Department of National Defence (DND).  Prior to that acquisition, CLC had conducted a planning and consultation process from 2005 to 2007 to identify community issues, to explore redevelopment alternatives, and to promote a preliminary vision for the sustainable development of a mixed-use community at Rockcliffe.

CLC ceased work on this project in 2007 due to continuing land claim negotiations between the Government of Canada and Algonquins of Ontario First Nation (AOO).

CLC and the AOO, in collaboration with the Government of Canada, reached a Participation Agreement for the Rockcliffe lands in 2010.  That agreement set the stage for CLC to acquire the Rockcliffe site in 2011.  Now that the site has been acquired, CLC is renewing the planning and consultation process that had been suspended in 2007.  Through this new process, CLC will respect the core values of sustainable development that were espoused in the earlier consultations, while recognizing that many conditions have changed on and around the Rockcliffe site, in the surrounding communities, in Ottawa and the region, across Canada, and around the world.