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 addition. 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.