February 28th design has been further refined and submitted to the City of Ottawa


  • The original application was made in December 2016 which proposed two pavilions of 11 and 12 storeys containing 218 rooms, separated by a raised outdoor terrace and included an interior courtyard and a 5-storey underground parking garage with 385 spaces.
  • General concerns were primarily about height and massing; roof expressions; fenestration and materials; subordinate relationship to the existing hotel and Major’s Hill Park, and impact on views of the hotel.
  • A Heritage Working Group of architects and landscape architects established by City, provided direction.
  • A revised application submitted in February 2018 proposes a contemporary single 8-storey building sitting separate and distinct along the edge of the Confederation Park, containing 171 rooms, an interior courtyard and a 5-storey underground parking garage of 370 spaces.
  • A formal submission to the City’s Urban Design Review Panel (UDRP) was done on March 1, and was then followed by a subcommittee of UDRP on April 10.
  • Support for this approach was provided by City Staff with some additional direction on massing, height and materials.
  • In summary, the Larco Investments Ltd. architectural team took into account the public’s feedback along with the Heritage Working Group, the City’s Urban Design Review Panel and City Staff recommendations to create the revised design of the proposed Château Laurier addition project.

Overview of Revised Design

  • Overall height reduced to 7 storeys with new 4 storeys connecting to west wing of hotel.
  • Dramatic changes were made to the new design’s façade. Incorporated are more Indiana Limestone and bronze.
  • The North West corner will now allow for improved pedestrian connections to the lower terrace and Mackenzie Avenue.
  • The North West corner offers a magnificent visual appearance from the concrete wall to a glass façade via a grand stairway which has an accessible lift.
  • The revised design suggests opening Major’s Hill Park for better access for pedestrians and cyclists with lit pathways.

Revised Addition Design Features

  • Reduction to 164 rooms from original design of 218 rooms. A difference of 54 guest rooms.
  • There is an additional meeting room at the lower terrace level.
  • Parking spaces have been reduced from 385 to 349 spaces. A difference of 36 spaces.
  • A much greater use of Indiana Limestone and bronze has been added to the addition along with the use of fritted glass on east and west building sides.
  • Redesign has taken into consideration protection for the birds.

For more information, please visit the City of Ottawa website or contact svaliquet@momentumplancom.ca.

PRESS RELEASE: New Proposed Fairmont Château Laurier Addition features a lighter, separated and more subordinate building form

New Proposed Fairmont Château Laurier Addition features a lighter, separated and more subordinate building form

(Ottawa, February 8, 2018) During a briefing session held for City Councillors today at City Hall, Art Phillips, Director of Development for Larco Investments Ltd. along with Dennis Jacobs, Principal Planner at Momentum Planning and Communications unveiled the revised concept for the new hotel addition. The new design is a substantial change from the original concept. It is a single, linear, 8-storey pavilion, with a total of 171 suites and is intended to replace the 5-storey existing parking structure. This is significantly smaller than the original concept which had two attached wings of 11 and 12-stories high with a total of 218 suites. Larco’s Team responded to the comments raised by the public and received from the City’s Heritage Working Group. As a result of these consultations, a totally new approach was adopted.

Over the course of 2017 there has been ongoing dialogue with City staff and input from the general public that has influenced the new design, stated Art Philips. Our Team has been actively participating in the City’s Heritage Working Group meetings composed of experts in the fields of architecture and landscape architecture. Concerns with the original design were identified and recommendations have assisted in the design’s evolution, Phillips added.

The new addition features meeting rooms on the ground floor instead of suites and a magnificent glass hallway that will run from the existing Hotel’s interior corridor all the way through to the new pavilion providing direct access and connectivity between the old and the new.

Attention has been given to the viewpoints from Parliament Hill and the National War Memorial, by allowing a distinct separation of 18.35 metres from the west or canal side wing of the Hotel building, instead of the 5.9 metres in the previous scheme. The distances between the original building and the new addition, allow for the two to be distinctly separate.

The Château Laurier`s signature rooftops are clearly visible from every site view point, especially when looking from Major`s Hill Park, or Parliament Hill. The new addition will include a 5-storey underground garage with 370 vehicular spaces.

The addition incorporates a series of architectural strategies including a lower overall height and a lightened structure to ensure it remains subordinate and complimentary to the Hotel.

The chosen materials of white steel, clear glass and patterned frit ‘rosettes’ inspired from the ballroom coffered ceilings, give the addition an airier quality that appears as a counterpoint to the heavier limestone and copper of the historic castle. The Château`s ballroom windows will be transformed into majestic doors leading into a timeless interior courtyard as well as a green roof on the addition and beautifully landscaped gardens will be added.

The new design concept from Peter Clewes of architectsAlliance follows the direction set forth by the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada, a Federal Provincial and Territorial Collaboration. Standard 11 reads: Make the new work physically and visually compatible with, subordinate to and distinguishable from the historic place.

Application Process

With the resubmission under the ongoing site plan approval process completed, City staff will be circulating the plans for technical and public comment. On February 28, 2018, a public open house will take place at City Hall.

Following the public open house, there will be a public meeting at the City’s Urban Design Review Panel (UDRP) as well as at the Built Heritage Subcommittee (BHSC) before preparing a recommendation to Planning Committee and Council.

Larco has also had input from staff at the National Capital Commission, as well as pre- consultations through its Advisory Committee on Planning, Design and Realty (ACPDR) as part of their role, in granting regulatory federal approvals.

Construction could potentially begin in early 2019.

Technical and design information for the application can be found on Larco’s project website at ChateauVision.ca. As of Friday, February 9 the City’s DevApps Web page will also feature the application. On both sites there is an outlet for the public to provide feedback. Please visit the City of Ottawa website at: https://ottawa.ca/en/chateau- laurier-addition

For more information please contact: Suzanne Valiquet, Momentum Planning and Communications at 613-222-7839


MEDIA ADVISORY: Château Laurier new addition project

OTTAWAFeb. 6, 2018 /CNW/ – Larco Investments Ltd., the owner of the Fairmont Château Laurier, invites members of the media to attend an information meeting to learn about the resubmission plans for the proposed addition to the hotel building that involves the replacement of the current 5-storey parking structure that will enhance Ottawa’s landscape. We look forward to this opportunity to present our plans to you.

Thursday, February 8, 2018
Ottawa City Hall – Colonel By Room, 2nd Floor
2:00 to 3:30 p.m.

The event will be hosted by Art Phillips, Director of Development at Larco Investments Ltd. In attendance as well will be Dennis Jacobs, Principal, Land Use Planner at Momentum Planning and Communications.

SOURCE Momentum Planning and Communications

For further information: please contact Suzanne Valiquet, Momentum Planning and Communications, T 613-729- 3773, M 613-222- 7839, svaliquet@momentumplancom.ca

Parking garage closure and partial demolition permit application

1. Why is Larco Investments closing and seeking to partially demolish the Fairmont Château Laurier Parking Garage?

The Château Laurier 5-storey garage was built back in 1969. Due to age and Ottawa’s harsh climate that the facility has endured over the years, the hotel’s structural engineers have recommended that the garage be closed as of Thursday January 4, 2018 for the safety and security of hotel guests and employees. An application to partially demolish the structure has been filed with the City of Ottawa.

2. What procedure must Larco Investments follow to apply for a partial demolition permit from the City of Ottawa?

The City of Ottawa has acknowledged receipt of the application to partially demolish the Château Laurier Parking Garage. The Château Laurier is designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act and therefore a heritage permit issued by City Council, under the provisions of the Ontario Heritage Act, is required before its demolition can proceed. The report considering the application will be presented at the Built Heritage Subcommittee at its meeting on Thursday January 11, 2018. It will then proceed to Planning Committee on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 and to City Council on Wednesday, January 31, 2018. Both the Built Heritage Subcommittee and Planning Committee meetings are public with the agendas published one week in advance.

3. Once the demolition is complete when and what will replace the existing parking garage?

The demolition and reconstruction project of the parking garage is scheduled to begin in February 2018 with an anticipated completion before May 2018. At that time a continuation of the existing parking garage using the first level will be ready to accommodate guests of the hotel. It will consist of approximately 90 parking spaces in total.

4. What happens during the closure of the existing parking garage?

It is business as usual at the Château Laurier. The hotel has a full plan in place to offer valet services to all of its registered guests through Indigo Canada. Pro-active communication has taken place with guests, groups and clients about the closure of the parking garage, and the hotel continues to share information as guests reserve a room or book an event. In addition, the hotel will provide a list of parking lots in and around the hotel for those who wish to self-park. This information will be also readily available on the hotel Website.

5. Does this partial demolition of the existing parking garage impact the proposed expansion project?

The demolition of the Château Laurier’s existing parking garage is strictly a public safety matter and is no way related to Larco Investments expansion plans. The hotel’s parking structure would have been demolished and replaced regardless of the expansion proposal.

6. What exactly is being demolished?

The five storey parking garage will be torn down. The remaining ground level infrastructure surface will be reconstructed to accommodate approximately 90 vehicles.

7. Will there be another parking garage built eventually?

Larco Investments hotel expansion proposal includes a 5-storey underground parking garage.

Design team refining the building proposal

Having received preliminary feedback on the original submission filed in February 2017, the design team working on the Château Laurier’s addition project, is now refining the building proposal. Once the revisions are complete, a resubmission will be made to the City of Ottawa and to the National Capital Commission for consideration.

PRESS RELEASE: Proposed design for the Fairmont Château Laurier addition project

(Ottawa, November 17, 2016) During a Community Information Meeting held today in the Ballroom of the Fairmont Château Laurier hotel, Art Phillips, director of development of Larco Investments LTD, along with Peter Clewes, principal at architectsAlliance unveiled the changes proposed for the two-wing addition, located at the rear of the hotel, and intended to replace the 5-storey existing parking structure. 

Since last September, our Team has been listening to members of the public and we feel the design has evolved based on this input and strikes a balance between community interests and the operating needs of the Château Laurier, stated Art Philips. We were gratified by the significant interests of the broader community and have benefited from it.

The proposed design from architectsAlliance follows the direction set forth by the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada, a Federal Provincial and Territorial Collaboration. Standard 11 reads: Conserve the heritage value and character-defining elements when creating any new additions to an historic place or any related new construction. Make the new work physically and visually compatible with, subordinate to and distinguishable from the historic place.

Some of the changes featured in the revised design include an overall smaller footprint of the two wings. Setbacks have been increased on both the Mackenzie Avenue and Rideau Canal sides of the buildings. The roof elements on the east wing have been reduced and roof elements on the west wing have been re- arranged to improve the views.

The development project also features an underground parking garage to replace the aging structure which is larger than the existing parkade, a new interior courtyard that will open out from the majestic doors of the Château`s ballroom, water features along Mackenzie Avenue, green roofs and beautifully landscaped gardens. The materials proposed are reflective of the original building, using Indiana Stone with copper roof and bronze doors.

The Community Information Meeting was intended to present the design as well as collect feedback from participants. After this meeting, Larco Investments will begin preparing its site plan control application for submission to the City of Ottawa and to meet with the Board of the National Capital Commission. Construction could potentially begin in late fall 2017.

Larco Investments Ltd. invites you to a Community Information Meeting

Larco Investments Ltd. invites you to a Community Information Meeting to learn more about the design proposed for the Fairmont Château Laurier addition. Larco Team Members will be on hand to answer your questions during the open house. The event will be hosted by Art Phillips, Director of Development at Larco Investments Ltd. In attendance as well will be members of the project team including Peter Clewes, Principal at architectsAlliance, Mark Brandt, MTBA Associates and Derek Lee, of PWL Partnership Landscape Architects Inc.

Where: Fairmont Château Laurier Ballroom
When: Thursday, November 17th, 2016 | Registration: 6:30 pm | Presentation: 7 – 7:45 pm

Formal submission to the City postponed to seek feedback from the public

In an interview with the Ottawa Citizen on October 16th, Art Phillips, Director of Development at Larco Investments Ltd., confirmed they would delay the official submission to the City to solicit feedback from the public. “I’m going to meet with the community first and then make a submission,” Phillips said. “After all the response we received the last time, I thought we would demonstrate to the community … that we are listening and that they’ll see changes.” The Community Information Meeting will be held in mid-November at the Château Laurier.

Maclean’s Magazine interviews Architect Peter Clewes on Fairmont Château Laurier Addition

Ottawa writer Shannon Proudfoot interviewed Peter Clewes, Principal at Architects Alliance and Lead Architect on the Château Laurier addition. One of the questions asked was how the historical hotel building influenced the look of the addition Peter designed. Peter Clewes’ reply:

The roof is a very steeply sculpted mansard roof that is probably the most iconic part of the hotel because it reads on the skyline; we tried to stay below that. The hotel is constructed of limestone and it has deeply incised windows, as was the style of the day, and it has a sense of solidity and timelessness. We’ve chosen to reinterpret that using limestone as a cladding material and doing very deeply incised windows, but in a much more contemporary manner, which is a series of vertical windows in a somewhat whimsical pattern—some have likened it to a bar code. What we’re trying to say is, look, the hotel is the most important building here, and we were simply trying to respond to that. [The addition] is physically separate from the hotel, and it’s linked with glazing, so there’s a very clear distinction between what is old and what is new. I think one of the positive outcomes of this redevelopment is to re-expose the ballroom windows on the north façade of the hotel, which were blocked by the parking structure. We’re proposing a courtyard in the centre of the addition that will allow those ballroom windows to be re-exposed.

To access the entire interview, you can read the transcript or listen to the audio track.