City’s planning committee approves redesign of proposed Chateau Laurier addition

Chateau-Laurier-addition

The City of Ottawa announced today that its Planning Committee has approved a new heritage application and a revised Site Plan Control application needed for a proposed addition to the Château Laurier hotel.

As the iconic hotel is designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, the proposed addition cannot compromise its heritage value in terms of landmark character and architectural style.

Developed in consultation with Heritage Ottawa, the latest design proposes one 10-storey and one 11-storey tower, extending the wings of the existing hotel toward Major’s Hill Park. A two-storey base would join the two towers. This change from the seven-storey design that Council approved in 2019 opens up views into the centre of the historic building when seen from Major’s Hill Park.

The revised design also uses compatible materials to minimize the visual impact on the heritage value of the historic building and its surroundings. The two towers would be clad in Indiana limestone, and bronze panels and fins would be used to accent the roofline, reflecting the materials used on the historic building.

The building design and landscaping also make a strong contribution to the public realm and connectivity with Major’s Hill Park by improving publicly accessible areas and making better pedestrian connections across the property between the ByWard Market and the Rideau Canal.

The day began with a joint meeting of the Planning Committee and the Built Heritage Sub-Committee to help streamline the process of hearing from the public. Both the committees then met separately to consider and approve the applications.

Recommendations from today’s meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, February 24.

To take a look at all the illustrations and video related to the proposed addition to the historic Chateau Laurier, you can visit: chateauvision.ca

Background

The City received a site plan control application for an addition to the rear of the Château Laurier in December 2016. Planning staff requested comments from the public and interest groups through three formal circulations (winter 2017, winter 2018 and winter 2019).

On January 31, 2018, City Council approved an application to demolish the garage of the Château Laurier as the garage was structurally unsound. The garage has been replaced with a temporary surface parking lot enclosed within the original walls.

City Council approved the application to alter the heritage building on June 27, 2018 and Planning Committee approved the site plan application on June 13, 2019. On July 10 and 11, 2019, City Council reviewed and upheld the heritage permit approval.

The minor variance decision by the Committee of Adjustment was appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal by the owners, Larco Investments, and Heritage Ottawa in October 2019. Since then, the appellants have worked together on design changes to settle the appeal. The latest addition design reflects these discussions.

Next Steps

  1. Built Heritage Sub-Committee to consider staff report for the heritage permit (February 5 2021).
  2. Planning Committee to consider staff reports for both the heritage permit and site plan control application (February 5 2021).
  3. City Council to consider staff report for the heritage permit (February 24, 2021)
  4. The applicant will seek Level 3 and Level 2 National Capital Commission approvals for matters related to federal lands (target date April 2021.
  5. The Local Planning Appeals Tribunal will make a decision on the minor variance appeals.
  6. If all previous steps are approved, Larco will obtain a building permit and construct the addition.

Residents may provide feedback on the development proposal until the City approves the heritage permit and the Site Plan Control application. City staff will notify individuals on the notification list of all meeting dates, project updates and decisions by email. Please email chateaulaurier@ottawa.ca (link sends e-mail) to be added to the notification list.

SOURCE City of Ottawa

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