Construction has officially started on the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Ottawa east of Manotick.
Located at the Rideau Carleton Casino, Future Hard Rock, the ground breaking for the state-of-the-art facility took place Wed., June 7. Hard Rock International representatives, elected officials, and business and community leaders shared the exciting details of Canada’s first Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, which will include:
- A 150-room Hard Rock Hotel, including 22 suites
- An expanded Hard Rock Casino with 1,500 slot machines, 40 live action table games, Sportsbook, high-limit gaming and a Baccarat room
- An 1,800-seat Hard Rock Live theatre with standing room for 2,200
- More than 10 restaurants, bars and lounges, including the award-winning and iconic Hard Rock Café and Council Oak Steakhouse
- Rock Shop and Unity Store
“We are excited to be one step closer to bringing our iconic brand and rich music history to the people of Ottawa and the surrounding region,” said Jon Lucas, Chief Operating Officer, Hard Rock International. “I wish to thank the provincial and municipal elected officials who helped us get here today. We are especially grateful to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) who have been incredibly supportive in helping make this possible. We appreciate our partnership with them.”
The completion of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Ottawa is planned for the spring of 2025. Rideau Carleton Casino, Future Hard Rock will remain open 24/7 during construction.
“It’s finally happening!” said Helen MacMillan, General Manager, Rideau Carleton Casino, Future Hard Rock. “After years of delays due to the pandemic, we are extremely excited to be making concrete progress on our plans to bring this amazing facility to life for our guests and employees, and for Ottawa’s residents and visitors!”
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino an entertainment and tourism economic driver
The new facility is expected to generate significant tax revenues for the City of Ottawa, the Province of Ontario and the federal government during construction and once fully operational.
The $350 million construction project is one of the largest private investment developments currently in Ottawa. It is expected to create close to 1,900 direct and indirect construction and ongoing employment opportunities in the city of Ottawa.
“The new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino represents a significant investment in the south end of our city. It will create new jobs and build on the existing attraction at Rideau Carleton Casino,” said Mark Sutcliffe, Mayor of Ottawa. “I know many residents of the city are looking forward to enjoying this space and it will also be another great tourist attraction in Ottawa.”
Two local MPPs spoke at the occasion.
Nepean MPP Lisa MacLeod selected the song “Welcome to My House” by rapper Flo Rida to walk up to the stage to. MacLeod represented the area where the casino is until 2018, when the Nepean-Carleton riding was split into two.
MacLeod talked about the work she did in the 2010s to salvage the local horse racing industry and to help the casino get to where it is today.
Carleton MPP Goldie Ghamari talked about the dedication of the Rideau Carleton Casino to the community over the years, giving a special shout out to Richard Gardner, calling him the “heart and soul of the Rideau Carleton Casino.”
“Both during and after construction of this project, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Ottawa will become the largest employer in the riding of Carleton,” Ghamari said.
“For the past 60 years, we have seen the evolution of growth from the early days of the Rideau Carleton Raceway to the casino and entertainment centre it is today. Upon completion, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Ottawa will become a vibrant social, economic, tourism and employment cornerstone of the riding of Carleton, and the City of Ottawa. The additional local contributions made by Hard Rock, beyond being an employer and tourism attraction, will further enrich the community in immeasurable ways.
“Since the full re-opening of Future Hard Rock, the City of Ottawa has received quarterly payments from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission that have averaged approximately $1.5 million, or $6 million annually. When Hard Rock Casino and Hotel Ottawa opens, the projected annual payments from the OLG to the City of Ottawa are approximately $13 million, more than doubling the current payments.”
Since the gaming site was added in February 2000, the City of Ottawa has received approximately $6 million annually and over $93 million in total payments from the OLG for hosting Rideau Carleton Casino, Future Hard Rock within the national capital region. This amount is expected to rise once the expanded facility is fully operational. An additional $1 million plus per year is invested in local sponsorships and nonprofits, benefiting local communities and the people within.
“This is an exciting day for the City of Ottawa and our colleagues at Hard Rock, and a proud day for OLG!” said Duncan Hannay, OLG CEO & President. “The plans we are advancing here and with our other land-based gaming partners, are providing real local benefits and will support the long-term vibrancy and excitement of the casino experience in Ottawa, and across Ontario, for years to come. It is also National Indigenous History Month and OLG is committed to building new pathways of understanding, respect and action with our Indigenous and Tribal partners to advance the principles of Truth and Reconciliation. This is an important way that we at OLG continue to ‘Play for Ontario.”
Connected to community
As part of the ceremony, Rideau Carleton Casino, Future Hard Rock presented a $20,000 donation to Minwaashin Lodge, a local Indigenous women’s shelter.
“Nothing is more important to us than contributing to the economic and social wellbeing of our community,” said MacMillan. “As we officially kick off our expansion today, we want to make it clear that as our facility grows, so too will our efforts to support local businesses and community organizations.”
Hard Rock International, which is wholly-owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, is fully committed to supporting local and Indigenous organizations through charitable donations, sponsorships and partnerships.