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Chateau Laurier Expansion

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Committee deems redesign compatible with Château Laurier

The City’s Planning Committee today approved a new heritage application and a revised Site Plan Control application needed for a proposed addition to the Château Laurier hotel. 

As the 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.

Source : City of Ottawa

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I wish the zoning did not allow for such a tall building. It should have been capped at 4 floors. Alas, we can't go back in time. A modern version of the original hotel, that maintains turrets, d

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I am not opposed to the Chateau Laurier expansion however the decision to make the new addition distinct and of a different style does disappoint. Obviously they own the building, and so they can approach it as they see fit. Luckily the design has evolved over time to something more manageable and tasteful.

The most important views of the hotel to me are from the War Memorial and the sightlines across Wellington and Rideau Streets.

While equally important, the view from Gatineau, the Alexandra Bridge, and Major Hill's Park are those that will be affected most by this addition. The design does its best to blend with the existing building, in terms of colour and shape, but does contain modern elements to which distinguish from the existing historical portions.

Eager to see what happens next. I think we are at the best possible outcome based on how things have gone from how they were heading in the past.

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The latest proposal is the least terrible of the bunch. I still don’t think it should be built, but it’s their right to do so if they want to.

I get that building extensions the way it was done in the past is not much an option nowadays, but at the same time the chateau-esque features should remain the key visual point and such a square box is… uninspiring.

I do agree the views from the South / West side are more important than the North ones, but I think we are just shooting for “okay” more than “excellent” with the whole thing.

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I wish the zoning did not allow for such a tall building. It should have been capped at 4 floors. Alas, we can't go back in time.

A modern version of the original hotel, that maintains turrets, dormers and a mansard roof but with more glass would have been great. I think Diamond and Schmitt could have pulled it off based on the NAC expansion. Or whoever did 1451 Wellington. Too bad Larco was dead-set on keeping the condo king architect. 

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