Government of Canada to achieve more than $900M in net savings for Canadian taxpayers by consolidating DND headquarters

Ottawa, Ontario, December 13, 2013 – The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and the Honourable Robert Nicholson, Minister of National Defence, today announced the consolidation of the Department of National Defence’s (DND) headquarters at the Carling Campus. The move will achieve $750 million in net savings in accommodations costs over a 25 year period, plus an additional $160 million for DND in cost avoidance.

The consolidation will reduce DND’s current footprint from 40 offices to 7 major locations and achieve $750 million in net savings over 25 year, said Minister Finley. We have taken the time needed since the purchase to thoroughly analyze DND’s requirements, identify further savings from original cost estimates and to ensure that this move provides the best value for Canadian taxpayers.

The project was vetted by two independent third parties, Ernst & Young and Altus, who both supported the consolidation. In their report, Altus Group Limited concluded that There is a compelling argument in favour of the consolidation as providing the lowest cost and best value for the Crown.

This consolidation represents an exciting milestone in DND’s renewal, said Minister Nicholson. Defence savings achieved from this consolidation will help bolster renewal efforts aimed at reinvesting in front-line services as opposed to corporate overhead.

With a one-time refit investment of $506 million completed over 6 years, DND occupancy of the Carling Campus is expected to generate net savings in excess of $750 million over a 25 year period as compared to maintaining the status quo in leased accommodation. DND and Shared Services Canada will fund the project from existing internal resources and no new funds will be required.

The additional $160 million in cost-avoidance will be achieved as a result of reduced DND expenditures for administration and general overhead from the consolidation of 8500 personnel in one location. The project will be conducted in a three-phased approach, starting this month; DND and Canadian Armed Forces personnel will begin to move to the campus in late 2015 and the project is expected to be completed by 2019.


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Achieving savings through consolidation of National Defence Headquarters in the National Capital Area

The consolidation of the National Defence Headquarters will fulfill a Government commitment to bring thousands of Department of National Defence (DND) staff and members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) located in the National Capital Area (NCA) together in significantly fewer areas to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

In particular, the move of approximately 8,500 NCA-based Defence Team members—military and civilian—will reduce operational and accommodation costs, strengthen departmental security, and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of Defence Headquarters operations.

This move will create net savings to the Government of Canada of more than $750M, in addition to $160M in cost avoidance, over 25 years by significantly reducing the numerous leases for National Defence’s current locations. This consolidation will generate operational efficiencies and greatly reduce the number of moves between buildings as a result of expired leases and decommissioning.

Why Carling Campus?

As leases expire and older leased buildings are decommissioned, the availability of suitable replacement facilities has been declining in the NCA downtown area. Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) purchased the Carling Campus in 2010 in response to National Defence’s accommodation challenges.

In addition to providing an effective workplace to carry out Defence Headquarters operations, the Carling Campus provides the opportunity to meet Defence’s security requirements, as well as to harness new information technology where appropriate. It will also lead to an earlier adoption of new government accommodation standards and provide a healthy work environment, including extensive collaborative work spaces.

Accommodations – Before and After Consolidation

Through consolidation to the Carling Campus, National Defence will reduce the number of headquarters locations in the NCA from over 40 to approximately seven.

In addition to the Carling Campus, the remaining office facilities in the region will include:

Gatineau (Quebec):

  • the Louis St. Laurent Building at 555 Boulevard de la Carrière and a building at 455 Boulevard de la Carrière;
  • 241 Boulevard Cité-des-Jeunes;
  • parts of the National Printing Bureau at 45 Sacré-Coeur Boulevard; and
  • Hôtel de Ville at 105 Hôtel de Ville Street.

Ottawa (Ontario):

  • offices in a downtown location;
  • offices for arm’s-length organizations, such as the National Defence Ombudsman and Military Police Complaints Commission; and
  • NDHQ operational elements will continue to be located at 1600 Star Top Road.

With a smaller footprint, National Defence will experience greater agility in adapting to the future challenges of Defence work and in responding to Government of Canada priorities.


Migration is currently targeted to begin in late 2015 and will be conducted in three phases.  The first phase of migration will move over 3,000 members. Details for the next two phases will be finalized over the next year. Full occupancy is expected to be complete within approximately six years, at which point about 8,500 Defence Team members will be located at the Carling Campus.

Security is the paramount consideration in preparing the Campus for occupancy. National Defence, PWGSC and Shared Services Canada will continue to work together to minimize the cost of the project to the greatest extent possible by re-using furniture and material from the Campus and from National Defence’s inventory, as well as in using existing information technology infrastructure.