The hotel has seen a number of changes over the course of its 104 year history in Ottawa. In the 60’s the parking garage was added to the back of the building. It has come to a point where this structure needs replacing. With this in mind and with the growing need for long-term stay accommodations in Canada`s capital, the proposed project is one we feel will benefit the operation of the hotel, guests and the community.
The approach that Larco has taken with the design is to honour the hotel by using similar materials and not in an attempt to mimic the hotel. A modernist approach is also consistent with Standard 11 from The Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada. The addition will offer a modern interpretation of the heritage character of the Château, with a vocabulary of Indiana limestone, glass and copper. The separated wings, massing and set-back upper floors are compatible with the Château’s existing roofscape silhouette, and provides a dignified and deferential response to this iconic building.
No, the front does not change; we are maintaining the beauty and grandeur of the current building. The addition simply removes the aging concrete parking facility located at the back of the building that is connected but not attached the hotel.
The proposed addition offers the community beautiful connectivity between Major’s Hill Park and the hotel, something that is lacking due to the parking structure. Bringing the parking lot underground and reworking the current loading dock will help visually enhance the North side along Mackenzie Street. This project also helps in adding to the vibrancy of our downtown core, hence benefitting the business community in and around the hotel.
As for our valued guests, suites will be designed larger than regular sized rooms and feature amenities considered for longer stays, hence appealing to families and business travelers who are in Ottawa for extended periods of time.
Larco Investment Ltd. has committed to a variety of renovation and refurbishment programs since purchasing Fairmont Château Laurier in the fall of 2013. The goal throughout this process has been to maintain the beauty of Ottawa’s “Castle”, marrying together modern day amenities with the hotel’s historic charm. Larco is proud to say that
it is weeks away from completing the renovation of the hotel’s prestigious Fairmont Gold rooms and lounge, this project, along with other guestroom renovations adds up to 287 rooms thus far.
Projects continue including the completion of the room renovation program, changing of the air conditioning units and refurbishing the meeting rooms and ballrooms. The next phase, as presented, is the removal of the aging parking structure and replacing it with an underground one, and to construct beautiful long-term stay suites and an edifice that will enhance Ottawa’s landscape.
Larco Investments Ltd., has presented in a pre-consultation capacity, its conceptual designs to the National Capital Commission’s Advisory Committee on Planning, Design and Realty (ACPDR) and to the City of Ottawa’s Urban Design Review Panel (UDRP) and as of today, pre-consulted with some of Ottawa’s downtown Community Stakeholders.
In December 2015, Larco hosted a Heritage Roundtable meeting to seek feedback from heritage authorities which included representatives of Parks Canada, the National Trust/Built Heritage Subcommittee, Heritage Ottawa, and the National Capital Commission along with the City of Ottawa.
Larco also owns the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
We will be working closely with the operations team at Fairmont Château Laurier to build a comprehensive plan that helps ensure the best possible guest experience.
This expansion will not block the view of the Château Laurier from Major’s Hill Park. In fact, the expansion is replacing a five-level parking garage that has only recently been demolished. This new design ensures that the existing dominant views of the Château will be preserved for future generations.
The proposed expansion will include new pathways and entrances which will improve access for pedestrians and cyclists in and around Major’s Hill Park, the ByWard Market and Mackenzie Avenue creating a safer and more pleasant experience – even in the winter.
Modern construction in accordance with the Heritage Guidelines makes it impossible to exactly replicate the design of the original Château. Instead, we have created a design that honours and respects the unique characteristics of the original building much like the Crystal on the ROM in Toronto or the Lantern on the Canadian Museum of Nature.
Specifically, the Heritage Guidelines clearly dictate that the design should be 'compatible and subordinate' and complement the original and that 'heritage value and character defining elements' should be used as cues in the design when creating any new additions. This was achieved by limiting the height of the addition to 7 storeys which is below the historic roofline; using a combination of matching limestone and glass to complement the existing patterns; and using bronze, a more durable material to replicate the copper details of the roof.
The design's adherence to the guidelines was confirmed by ERA Architects in reports submitted to the City related to the approvals granted under the Ontario Heritage and Planning Acts.
The design is true to the historical characteristics of the original Château and includes historic elements from the building by using Indiana limestone and bronze, a more durable material to replicate the copper found on the current Château Laurier.
Yes. Throughout the entire planning process we have participated in hundreds of meetings with residents, several stakeholder groups, the City of Ottawa, elected officials, and architects.
At every step, we have listened carefully to their feedback. In fact, as a direct result of this process, we’ve made changes to the proposal including significant redesigns on five separate occasions. The current design, which has been approved by the City of Ottawa, responds to the feedback and direction we received throughout those consultations.
The upgrades proposed will be incredibly beneficial for the City of Ottawa and the broader community. The public will have access to an open viewing area and a portion of the new conference space will be made available to local community groups and not-for-profits to use for free. New pathways and entrances will improve access for pedestrians and cyclists in and around Major’s Hill Park, the ByWard Market and Mackenzie Avenue creating a safer and more pleasant experience.
In addition, we are contributing significant capital for the expansion which will create many local jobs.
At its core, this expansion will also ensure the Château Laurier – a beloved local landmark - remains a vibrant part of our city for years to come.
As buildings age, upgrades must occur to ensure the building can continue to serve the community for years.
With the growth of Ottawa’s downtown core, action needs to be taken to ensure the Château Laurier remains competitive and is not at a disadvantage to other hotel and event spaces in the area. At its core, the repair and expansion is about ensuring the Château Laurier continues to be a vibrant part of our city for years to come.
Like many historic buildings in Ottawa, the Château Laurier is also home to businesses such as a hotel, restaurants and retail stores that employ hundreds of Ottawa residents. As a landlord and owner, it is Larco’s responsibility to maintain the facility to ensure those businesses continue to thrive.