On May 9, 2018, the City of Ottawa received an application to alter 1 Rideau Street, a property designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act.
Larco Investments Ltd. (Larco) owns the Fairmont Château Laurier property at 1 Rideau Street. Larco is proposing these changes to address the growing need for long-term stay accommodations in Ottawa and to replace the old parking garage The existing hotel has 426 hotel units, which would not be affected.
Larco proposes to construct a seven-storey addition at the rear of the existing hotel. The addition would be clad in stone, glass and bronze, and would include 164 long-stay hotel units, an interior courtyard and 349 underground parking spaces.
Key views of the addition
View from the National War Memorial
View from Plaza Bridge
View from the Parliamentary Precinct
View from Colonel By Monument Statue in Major’s Hill Park
View from Major’s Hill Park
View from the Ottawa River
View from Alexandra Bridge
For more views, including night time views, please visit the Development Application Search page.
On May 9, 2018, Larco Investments submitted a revised proposal for a seven-storey, 164-room addition at the rear of the existing Château Laurier. The development proposal retains the Château Laurier in its entirety, and replaces the remaining walls of the parking garage with an L-shaped addition, which will abut limited areas on the Château Laurier’s east and west wings.
This proposed addition will also be connected to the existing hotel via an enclosed glass link running along the western edge of the hotel’s east wing. The development proposal also includes a landscaped courtyard between the Château Laurier and the proposed addition, modifications to original ground floor window openings to provide access to the courtyard from the hotel ballroom and banquet room, and a new stairway that will provide access to the courtyard from the public terrace on the west side of the Rideau Canal.
The proposed addition will feature a contemporary design of Indiana limestone, transparent glazing and bronze accents. Irregularly-spaced stone and bronze fins will project from the addition, and the exterior will appear more solidly stone when viewed at an angle. The seven-storey height will enable views to the original hotel building, especially the iconic roofline, from Major’s Hill Park and other key vantage points.
The ground floor will include hotel meeting rooms, as well as publicly accessible space. A long gallery along the north wall will create a visual connection between the addition and Major’s Hill Park to the north.
In the latest proposal, changes to the north-west corner open up the lower levels of the hotel to the Rideau Canal terraces. An accessible staircase is proposed, leading from the hotel’s interior courtyard to the canal terraces. A five-level connector is proposed above the staircase, attaching the addition to the existing building’s west wing.
Site and Surroundings
The 12,037 m2 site is located at the northwest corner of Rideau Street and Mackenzie Avenue, along the Confederation Boulevard ceremonial route. There are existing driveways accessing parking and drop-off areas from both streets.
The following land uses surround the subject site:
- North: Majors Hill Park, owned and maintained by the National Capital Commission
- East: 700 Sussex, a mixed-use building, and the Byward Market consisting of a wide range of uses, including retail, restaurant and residential uses, and which is a Heritage Conservation District
- South: the Government Conference Centre (former Union Station) and the Rideau Canal beyond
- West: the Rideau Canal, and Parliament Hill beyond
The site is designated Central Area within the City of Ottawa Official Plan and is within the Canal Character Area of the Central Area Secondary Plan. The zoning is Mixed Use Downtown, subject to a maximum floor space index of 4.5 (MD F(4.5)). The site is also subject to the Heritage Overlay.
The Château Laurier hotel was built originally between 1908 and 1912 by the Grand Trunk Railway Company in the late Victorian French Château style. A wing along Mackenzie Street was added in 1929. The parking garage structure was added in 1969, and, in 1985, Rideau Street drop-off area was enlarged and a glass front was added to Zoe’s Lounge.
Related planning applications
A minor variance application may be required if the proposal does not meet the zoning. A site plan control application is also required.