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2017

January 12, 2017

1) 12 HAMILTON AVENUE | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Surface Developments; FOTENN Planning + Design

General Comments

  • The Panel is generally supportive of the massing and believes this location can support the proposed height and density. However, this is the first development on the street and first to test the policy context. As the street evolves, City staff should consider the replicability of the design, the street wall that it will create and what the implications will be for the rear yards.

Building Design

  • This will be a very elegant building and good solution for the site. The proponent has chosen the materials of the building carefully and the scale and proportion are very good.
  • Explore the possibility of recessing the rooftop unit. If it were a corner lot, it would be easier to justify the projected unit; in this case however, it may be more successful if it is set back and not flush with the facade.

Interface with Public Realm

  • The Panel recommends exploring means of strengthening the interface between the building and the public realm, especially given its proximity to the market.
  • If the design was flexible enough to permit a commercial or live-work unit at grade, even if just as a possibility for the future, it would help to animate the ground floor and relate to the market.
  • Consider alternative locations for the waste holding and mechanical room. Were they to be shifted to the north, it would free the entrance and avoid issues related to fumes, venting and air-conditioning units.
  • The side wall facing south may be blank for some time. This may be a good location for a mural to help brighten it until an adjacent building is built.
  • As the block develops and the building typology is replicated, the City should consider widening the sidewalks and improving the public realm with seating to support the park and market.

Landscaping

  • There may be potential for additional landscaping at the back of the building.

 

2) THE EAST FLATS (90 BOOTH STREET) | Informal Pre-consultation | Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment for a mixed-use development | Claridge Homes; Claude Cormier + Assoc.; Hariri Pontarini Architects; Urban Strategies Inc.

General Comments

  • The Panel thanks the proponent for bringing this file before the Panel at this early point in the process. The submission and presentation were comprehensive and the plan puts forward the beginnings of a very good precinct and benefit to the City.

Massing and Views

  • The Panel appreciates that a view analysis was included at this stage in the development process.
  • The building heights proposed are of concern, especially in terms of their visual competition with the Parliament Buildings. The proponent will need to continue to study the development’s impact on the National symbols through view analyses. In future meetings, the Panel requests additional view perspectives from the east and west of the development.
  • The Panel recommends reducing the height of the 55-storey tower component. The building height visually competes with the National symbols and the scale dramatically changes the interpretation of the cityscape.
  • As proposed, the development appears more closely tied to downtown, whereas it would more accurately be tied to Centretown. The built form should aim to be a collection of fabric rather than signature buildings. Reduce the scale of the buildings and tie their bases more closely to the public realm. There should be a publicness and a sense of neighbourhood to the manner in which the buildings meet the ground.
  • The Panel strongly suggests that the master plan would benefit from the towers resting on podium buildings which can better frame the streets as well as the proposed open spaces.
  • Carefully consider what impacts the shadows will have on public spaces and the Canadian War Museum. The liveability in the existing buildings to the east should also be maintained through proper building transition.

Public Realm / Connectivity

  • The Panel fully supports the improved connectivity in and around the site. The relationship of Booth Street to the development and how connectivity is maintained, in spite of the grade change, will be a critical detail to work out.
  • The archeological value of the aqueduct and the uniqueness of its form and materials should be retained and celebrated through this project. Some Panel Members felt that rather than creating a park over it, there is an opportunity to either daylight or exhume and highlight the aqueduct and its archeological imagery.
  • The aqueduct is an important urban design element and the design of the bridge park should reflect this important element by having tree plantings, landscaping and/or water features trace the path of the existing watercourse. The new Central Library site has been selected largely due to its natural setting and adjacency to this important natural feature.
  • The Panel supports the proponent’s vision to animate the public realm in the south with linear elements such as the proposed walkway and tree line along the aqueduct. The buildings adjacent to these spaces will also have a role to play in achieving this by framing the public realm and having transparent and animated facades. Similarly, the Panel supports the treatment of the public spaces within the development and the priority given to the quality of the pedestrian environment. 
  • Consider thinking about the public realm in the north and south as having distinct characters. They currently feel quite similar, but the south could be more closely tied to the aqueduct and the north to Pimisi park. Perhaps the character of linear elements, such as a line of trees or a walkway could extend out of the parks into the streetscape.

 

3) ELGIN STREET FUNTIONAL DESIGN | Formal Review | Capital Project | City of Ottawa; Parsons

**David Leinster has declared a conflict of interest and has abstained from commenting on this file.

General Comments

  • The Panel applauds the proponent’s vision of Elgin Street as a people place and appreciates the innovative and bold design.

Vehicular Circulation / Traffic Calming

  • The Panel supports plan’s direction to calm vehicular traffic. The narrowing of the lanes, additional cyclist infrastructure and planters will help to provide a sense of urbanity and slow down traffic.

Programming of Public Realm

  • Elgin Street has a fairly tight right-of-way and the space is being heavily programmed. It is difficult to find a balanced program in a space that cannot accommodate everything, but the Panel supports the proponent’s vision.
  • The Panel supports the concept of using character areas to define the street and believes they should even play a stronger role in the design of the public realm.
  • Consider the placement of the bollards carefully. When they are located directly adjacent to on-street parking, opening car doors can be problematic if they are not spaced properly.
  • The Panel recommends that the proponent opt for a contemporary rather than historical aesthetic for the street furniture.
  • It may not be necessary to use pavers throughout the entire street. Materials that do not fade and can be more easily replaced could be used in conjunction with pavers.

Public Art

  • Rather than have the public art scattered throughout the street, perhaps it could it be concentrated in certain focal points that read as event spaces.
  • The public art should pick up on the various character areas, helping to make them more distinct.
  • Explore opportunities to integrate elements into the streetscape design, through public art or other means that children would enjoy. Parkdale Market is a good example of having achieved this with the sphere elements.

Challenges

  • Garbage collection on narrow traditional mainstreets such as Elgin can be challenging. Perhaps there are opportunities to coordinate collection points along the street with the local Business Improvement Area.
  • Consider what equipment will be used for snow removal in the winter months and how this will function with the programming. This will be an important aspect to keep the public realm vibrant in the winter.
  • Planting substantial street trees can be difficult when the hydro lines are left overhead. Burying the lines would be the best solution and also would offer a great visual impact for the street, but this is also difficult to achieve and requires a partnership.

March 2, 2017

1) 125 MARKETPLACE AVENUE AND 101A LINDENSHADE DRIVE | Formal Review | Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment | Doran Contractors Ltd.; NEUF Architect(e)s; Novatech Engineering Consultants Ltd.; Lashley + Associates

General Comments

  • The Panel thanks the proponent for their response to the previous UDRP comments and the changes that have been made to the scheme. The project has evolved nicely and should complement the area well.

Building Design

  • Continue to explore means of differentiating the two buildings, so that they are recognizable as being part of the same family, but not identical :
    • The east building could be lowered by a floor. If the ninth floor is eliminated, the units lost could be recaptured by pulling the building below the sixth floor outward towards Lindenshade Drive.
    • The cornice could be reduced and given a more contemporary expression than the west building.
    • The east building could have a stronger, more robust base.
    • Subtle changes in the articulation of the buildings such as modifying the treatment of the verticals between the buildings, offsetting the upper level, or changing the tone of the brick between the two.
  • The ground-oriented units and the individual gardens facing Longfields Drive are a strength of the proposal. They help to contribute to a pedestrian scale and improve the differentiation between the two buildings. The proponent should continue to explore means of emphasizing the units.
  • The Panel generally supports the treatment of the rounded corner of the Apartment Building. The proponent is encouraged to use curved glass rather than faceted glass or perhaps internalize the balconies behind the columns to enhance the corner expression.
  • The proponent should continue to study the vertical stripes in the building design. The buildings have a good profile and handsome design and do not necessarily need this additional element. Perhaps the stripes could be limited to the base of the buildings or removed from certain facades.
  • The Panel recommends incorporating more glazing around the entrance of the east building facing the interior courtyard.

Landscaped Street and Lay-by Design

  • A substantial amount of asphalt is being proposed for the mid-block connection, but the space will also be an important pedestrian connection and very visible from the units looking down into courtyard. The Panel recommends pavers or concrete rather than asphalt for this space, at least for the parking spaces. It should read as a mews rather than parking lot or service area.
  • Similarly, the drop-off on the north side of the west building should not only be paved with asphalt. Pavers or concrete should cover the surface to make it more welcoming and comfortable for pedestrians.
  • Consider removing the four southernmost parking bays in the mid-block connection and landscaping this space to create more of a “front yard” effect. The plantings in this area should also be high enough to screen the adjacent parking spaces.

Landscaping

  • The landscaping plan for the project is very rich and is supported by the Panel.
  • The visual extension of the park into the open space on the site works well, however, the proponent is encouraged to explore means of improving the fencing between the two. Perhaps a break in the fencing could occur in this location or it could transition into a lower rusticated stone fence.
  • As the details of the site plan are resolved, consider how the pathways and pedestrian connections on the site will be lit. This could be a good example of age-friendly design with elements such as pedestrian-scale lighting or light bollards.

2) 190 RICHMOND ROAD | Formal Review | Zoning By-law Amendment and Site Plan Control Application | Choice Properties; IBI Group; FOTENN Planning & Urban Design

General Comments

  • The Panel is pleased with the evolution of the design and feels that the proposal is quite successful. This is a difficult site and will set a good precedent for the intensification of retail plazas.

Building Design

  • The Panel generally supports the scale and massing of the proposal.
  • To mitigate the long façade of the building along Byron Avenue and break up the volume, the Panel recommends:
    • Enhancing the central indentation similar to the Kirkwood frontage. Redesigning the two middle units on the fifth and sixth stories (the 860 ft2 units) so that they can be recessed further would help to achieve this.
    • Breaking up the volume into three distinct parts by recessing the black framing elements behind the primary facade.
    • Extending the corner indentations up into the roof to shorten the cornice line.
  • The Panel supports the ground-related units, however, care should be taken to ensure that they are properly screened to maintain privacy.
  • The palette of materials and colours has been selected very well and are supported by the Panel. The metallic treatment resembling wood on the soffits is a nice addition.
  • Consider relocating the mechanical penthouse to above the elevator shaft. This would help reduce its visibility from the street level.

Site Plan

  • The drop-off and the interior court have greatly improved since the last presentation and are supported by the UDRP.
  • The pathway that runs north-south on the west side of the building should be shifted towards the west, as it appears to be in too close proximity to bedroom windows.
  • Rather than using hatch marks on asphalt for the crossing on the new north-south pedestrian path, consider using a different paving material to strengthen the connection.
  • The proponent is encouraged to study means of screening or covering the underground garage ramp to improve views down towards it from the units above. A trellis or a green roof may be viable options.

Landscaping

  • The Panel recommends continuing to explore opportunities to bring additional greening to the parking lot. The north-south pathways could be lined with landscaping or the occasional parking space could be replaced with landscaping.
  • Consider eliminating the line of parking spaces adjacent to the linear park on the south of the site and expanding the greenspace.
  • Study the lighting plan carefully from a CPTED and OADA perspective. It should contribute to establishing a safe and comfortable environment at all hours and during all seasons.
  • It will be important to plant good-sized trees in the interior courtyard space.

April 6, 2017

1) 979 WELLINGTON STREET WEST | Formal Review | Official Plan, Zoning By-law Amendment and Site Plan Control Application | Chmiel Architects Inc.; Novatech Engineering Consultants Ltd.

General Comments

  • The Panel appreciated the level of architectural skill that has been applied to the design of the building, however, has considerable concerns with the proposed mass and impact it will on the streetscape and public spaces.

Massing

  • As proposed, the scale of the building is uncomfortable for its site and this context. The Panel appreciates the ambition to frame the Somerset Square, but strongly feels that this would be better achieved by a building that more closely supports the direction of the Community Design Plan. A four-storey building with a more generous setback for two additional storeys would be appropriate.
  • The Panel is very concerned with the highly visible blank wall condition that the proposed massing will create and the precedent the size of the building will likely set for future development.
  • The introduction of a smaller scale on the Armstrong side of the development is good, however, should be reduced from what is proposed to maintain the integrity of the established neighbourhood.
  • The Panel points out that the ground floor and mezzanine are only counted as one storey, which will effectively make this a ten-storey building.

Building Design

  • The Panel appreciates the attention given to the architecture and the reference to the industrial heritage, but feels that the upper portion should be designed to fall into the background rather than draw attention. More emphasis should be placed on the street wall and the design above should be more muted.
  • The program and design create an urban typology which is supported by the Panel. The active uses facing Somerset Square and Armstrong Street and ground-oriented residential units are a strength of the project.
  • The Panel recommends not overhanging the building above the ground floor residential units along Garland Street. This approach has been constructed in other contexts, and has largely been unsuccessful. The soffits tend to detract from the streetscape and create darkness in units at grade, particularly ground-oriented residential units.
  • Consider a red or brown brick palette. This may work better contextually.
  • The Panel appreciates the aesthetic of the diagonal structure of the upper portions of the building but understands that it is an aesthetic overlay. A greater consistence of the architectural expression of the top of the building with the design of the lower podium is suggested.

Public Realm and Landscape

  • The landscape treatment on Armstrong and Somerset is somewhat underwhelming and does not contribute to the tree lined street typology of the neighbourhood. Explore possibilities to create a stronger public realm landscape.
  • This is an extremely tight site and care should be taken to ensure that gas meters and other clutter do not detract from the public realm.

2) 333 PRESTON STREET AND 17 ABERDEEN STREET | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Sakto Corp.; IBI Group Inc.; FOTENN Planning & Design

General Comments

  • The Panel thanks the proponent for the presentation and is generally pleased with the direction of the project.

Building Design

  • The Panel is quite comfortable with the building design and appreciates the harmony and balance that it attempts to achieve with the existing buildings on the site. The elegance and restraint of the design is appreciated.
  • The Panel supports the proposed condition on Aberdeen Street and the design of the additional storeys. The materials will tie in well with the rest of the site.
  • The centre portion of the tower ties in well to the rest of the site by creating a distinctive coloured band. Consider including a similar band on the south façade.

Materiality

  • The Panel questioned the materiality of the portions of the building shown in turquoise, as a metal panel will have a more reflective effect than the masonry. This reflectivity may help tie it to the other buildings on the site, but will need to be carefully studied prior to construction to ensure that the desired effect is achieved once built.
  • The aesthetics of the proposed frit varies between renderings in the submission package and the proponent should continue to study their level of transparency and what effect the will have once built. If they create a strong, consistent frame it will change the appearance of the entire building, especially from distant views.

Site Plan

  • The Panel encourages the proponent to continue to refine the details improving pedestrian circulation on the site and accommodating cut-through traffic. Wider sidewalks and pedestrian pavers are recommended and clutter such as air vents should not interfere with pedestrian movements.

Public Realm and Landscape

  • Introducing additional landscaping at the base of the building in the courtyard would help to improve the human scale of the addition and liveability of the space. Species that thrive in shade should be selected.
  • Explore ways of improving the pedestrian connection between Preston and Rochester at the north end of the development. 

3) 3071 RIVERSIDE DRIVE | Informal Pre-consultation | Official Plan, Zoning By-law Amendment and Plan of Subdivision Application | Canoe Bay Developments Inc.; Roderick Lahey Architecture; FOTENN Planning & Design

General Comments

  • The Panel thanks the proponent for attending the Urban Design Review Panel at this stage and generally supports the direction that is being taken on the site.

Building C

  • The Panel recommends relocating garage entrance ramp to the north side of the building. This would permit for a larger terrace area and a more picturesque urban edge along Riverside Drive.
  • Consider creating a greater separation between the two buildings to create a larger plaza between them and have the space feel more public.
  • Creating a mix of public and private terraces facing Riverside Drive would work very well with the proposed use and context, especially given the grade change and views to Mooney’s Bay. A use such as a wine bar next to the terrace would work well and may create a destination for the greater community.
  • Continue to study the feasibility of locating the daycare element into one of the buildings on the site. It may work well in Building C.

Building Design

  • Maintaining real frontages and a strong relationship to the public realm from the buildings that abut internal streets will be important to the success of the community.
  • For the buildings on the eastern edge of the site, consider relocating the parking below grade. Blank walls could be screened with landscaping.

Parkland

  • The Panel strongly recommends reconsidering the proposed location of the daycare and retaining the space as part of the park. Regardless of the ultimate programming of the park, the space will be an important connection to the neighbouring community. Locating a narrow public walkway in such close proximity to a daycare may also raise safety concerns.

May 4, 2017

1) 69-71 HOLLAND AVENUE | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Alireza Taheri; Susan D. Smith Architect

General Comments

  • The Panel agrees that this is fabric building, more so than the Holland Cross buildings to the north. It will be an important precedent-setting building for the street and therefore will require a more simply and clearly articulated base, middle and top expression.
  • The Panel appreciates the aspirations of the building in terms of sustainability, and supports the rooftop amenity area which takes advantage of appealing views.

Building Design & Materiality

  • Given the context and the mid-block location of the site, the Panel recommends continuing to study how the building may better read as a fabric building. A simplified and elegant design and a more consistent architectural expression may help achieve this.
  • The Panel recommends simplifying the middle of the building by using only one material, brick or stone, from the second to seventh floor, with the possibility of changing the material at the top floor. If brick is chosen, the stone could potentially be limited to the accent lines and used to strengthen the cornice.
  • To improve views of the building from oblique angles, the materiality of the middle should be wrapped around the two side facades. The material of the eighth floor should be consistently wrapped around the entire building.
  • The Panel recommends increasing the number and size of columns at the ground floor to have the base of the building land with more strength. A change in materials may also help to establish a simple linear delineation between the base and the upper levels of the building.
  • The proponent is encouraged to continue to study the design of the rooftop amenity area and the canopy. A modern design which incorporates overhung canopies and does not replicate the roofs of the Holland Cross buildings is recommended.
  • The proponent is encouraged to study how additional glazing may help soften the corners of the building.
  • The Panel applauds the proponent’s use of stone in the scheme.

Landscape

  • A hardscaped treatment at the base of the building on Holland Avenue is recommended to improve the relationship between the commercial edge and the public realm. Eliminating the grass strips would reduce to need for frequent maintenance and the space could potentially be used as patio space. This would not preclude the incorporation of street trees into the scheme.

Sustainability Measures

  • The Panel applauds the proponent’s efforts to integrate solar panels onto the roof of the building.

1088 & 1136 MARITIME WAY | Formal Review | Concurrent Site Plan Applications | Groupe Lépine; NEUF Architect(e)s; Novatech Engineering Consultants Ltd.

General Comments

  • The Panel generally supports this interesting approach to a development in this location. The level of effort put into the view analysis, landscape plan and attempts to break up the massing are appreciated.

General Building Design

  • The Panel recommends continuing to study how the relationship between the two buildings may be strengthened, despite their different designs. Establishing more commonalities between the buildings through details such as subtle cues in the base of the buildings, the detailing of the windows, the colour palette and their volumetrics may help them work better together.
  • The two buildings will be very visible from a number of vantage points and will terminate several views. Continue to study the views of the buildings from all angles, how exposed blank walls may be mitigated, and how architectural features such as stronger corners and entrances may help terminate views.
  • The Panel recommends making the primary entrances to the buildings more robust. Consider redesigning them to have a greater presence on the street by incorporating wider stairs, additional landscaping and using their location and design to terminate views in the neighbourhood.
  • Explore the possibility of increasing the height of the ground floors of the two buildings.

1088 Maritime Way

  • The Panel appreciates the playful building design and the reference to Newfoundland architecture, but cautions the proponent to carefully consider the details of how it is executed:
    • The dark and vibrantly coloured fibre board are intriguing, but may be dulled over time with exposure to ultraviolet rays (especially red tones) if the materials are not chosen carefully.
    • The lighter backdrop exposed between the colourful portions tells a conflicting story and loses the effect of individual buildings.
    • The stone veneer base of the building detracts from the effect of individual row houses. Consider carrying the colourful facades down to grade.
    • Simplify the fenestration pattern to better capture the Newfoundland architecture effect. The variety of window types works against this.
  • Given the nature of the site and the location of the pathway, the back of the building will be exposed from a number of views along Campeau Drive and the pathway. Explore means of enhancing the rear facades, so that it does not read as the back of the building.
  • Strengthen the main entrance to the building by incorporating wider stairs and designing it differently than secondary entrances.

1136 Maritime Way

  • Study how the accessibility ramp might be reconfigured to incorporate a landing. The ramps can be architectural features and also achieve accessibility requirements.
  • The Panel recommends strengthening the entrance to the building with wider steps and additional landscaping.
  • The Panel strongly recommends continuing to study alternate solutions for the location of the parking garage ramp.
  • Consider applying two storeys of limestone to the two storey base of the building. This could be the same material that is currently being used on the landscaped retaining wall. This will help it relate to the adjacent building.
  • From a sustainability perspective, the dark grey precast aggregate finish on the top of the building has potential for a lot of heat gain.

Public Realm

  • Continue to study how the proposed public realm plan on these sites fits into the greater open space network.
  • The Panel strongly recommends improving the proposal’s relationship with the public realm by having more individual front doors face onto the public space and streets and connecting them with formalized paved walkways and gates.

3) MONTREAL ROAD FUNCTIONAL DESIGN STUDY | Formal Review | City of Ottawa

General Comments

  • The Panel generally supports the proposed right-of-way changes, especially given the space constraints along the street. The plan will help reduce vehicle speeds, increase bicycle safety and ridership, and maintain walkability. The following recommendations are suggested to help further these goals.

Between North River Road and Vanier Parkway:

  • Make centre travel lanes 3.0m.
  • Make curb lanes 4.0m and mark it to show 2.5m wide individual parking bays at curbside and 1.5m bike lane with sharrows on the outside. The lane would be used by buses and bikes at rush hour.
  • Depending on the right-of-way width (ie, 16.9m+), minimum sidewalk width will be 1.45m or more, measured curb to property line.
  • If buildings along this stretch of Montreal Road have a setback at grade, then the effective or usable sidewalk width will be greater, this needs to be confirmed.

Between Vanier Parkway and St. Laurent Blvd.

  • In this option, the westbound cycle track is replaced by a bike lane on pavement and a multi-use pathway on the boulevard. The proposed dimensions will need to be reduced where the right-of-way narrows.
  • Make centre (westbound) travel lane 3.0m.
  • Keep eastbound travel lane at 3.5m.
  • Keep eastbound bicycle lane at 1.5m but striped to be separated from the vehicular lane.
  • Make the sidewalk width 2.2m from curb to property line.
  • Make westbound curb travel lane 4.5m wide and mark it to show 2.5m wide individual parking bays at curbside and a 2.0m wide bike lane with sharrows for commuter bikes, lane also used by buses and bikes at rush hour.
  • Make westbound multi-use pathway 3.0m for pedestrians and recreational cyclists (for example, children cycling to school).
  • Keep utility strip at curb at 0.6m or 0.5m minimum.

The Two Protected Intersections:

  • Provide left-turn bike boxes and consider five-second advance signals for left-turning cyclists (provided estimated future volumes warrant such a move).
  • Reduce the turning radius as much as possible to decrease the pedestrian crosswalk distance and reduce turning vehicle speeds.

Parking

  • Where parking spaces have been lost along Montreal Road, consider increasing parking on side streets to avoid having motorists park illegally to access shops and services on the mainstreet.

Lighting

  • In areas where the right-of-way is most narrow, mounting street lighting onto building walls may be a viable option to free space for other furniture, landscaping, etc.

Street Trees

  • As a means of greening the streetscape, the Panel recommends evaluating whether an incentives programme for landowners may help to encourage tree planting on private property.

June 1, 2017

1) BASELINE ROAD RAPID TRANSIT STUDY | Formal Review | Planning and Environmental Assessment Study for an Arterial Mainstreet | City of Ottawa

General Comments

  • The Panel appreciates that the project is very ambitious and will have transformative effects on the communities along the corridor. The project can benefit from the establishment of a standard character, improved landscaping, and maintaining a focus on the pedestrian experience for transit users. It is recommended by the Panel that public art represents a component of the project.
  • The experience of the pedestrian is paramount, as each transit rider begins and ends their trip as a pedestrian. The Panel suggests that landscaping, lighting, climate control, and architectural aesthetics contribute to the overall pedestrian experience.

Infrastructure Design

  • The Panel emphasizes the importance of station and shelter design, and encourages the launch of an architectural competition in order to successfully integrate infrastructure and architecture along the corridor.
  • Given the different experience for motorized and non-motorized travellers, the Panel encourages two level lighting facilities that are appropriately scaled in order to assist with walking and crossing.
  • It is recommended by the Panel that efforts are made to ensure that shelters are climate controlled, particularly to address cold winter weather, thereby enhancing the transit user’s experience.

Landscaping

  • The Panel is generally supportive of any initiatives to ensure tree growth along the corridor, but emphasize the need to ensure that the landscaping interventions are not limited to private lands adjacent to the right-of-way. The Panel recommends prioritizing natural landscaping along the median between stations.
  • Explore opportunities to introduce landscaped islands adjacent to left turning lanes with grasses or shrubs.

2) CARLING AVENUE TRANSIT PRIORITY MEASURES STUDY | Formal Review | Transit Priority Measures Study for an Arterial Mainstreet | City of Ottawa

General Comments

  • The Panel thanks the proponent for bringing forth the project for review, and hopes there will be opportunities for further input related to aspects of the project as it proceeds. Although the Panel recognizes the value in improving the flow of public transit along the Carling Road corridor, the Panel believes there is a fundamental problem integrating new transit infrastructure while maintaining current traffic volume and compromising the pedestrian environment, particularly along the stretch between Bronson Avenue and Sherwood Drive. A modal shift in transportation patterns should be accommodated with traffic reduction.

Preston and Carling Intersection

  • Generally, the Panel believes that it is necessary to reflect the gateway/arrival importance of the intersection at Preston Street and Carling Avenue, by increasing the landing area on the southeast side (park side). The intersection is an arrival point for Little Italy, Dow’s Lake, and the Experimental Farm, therefore requiring a distinct design expression, particularly for the bus shelter. Subtle art elements are recommended with some colour, and a unity of palette.
  • The Panel has concerns regarding the safety of cyclists crossing the intersection of Carling Avenue and Preston Street in a north-south direction. Cyclists along Carling Avenue, coming from the west and turning left on to Preston Street require a clear lane.
  • It is strongly recommended that a wider pedestrian crossing be implemented on the west side of Preston Street at Carling Avenue. The safety and comfort of the pedestrian is a critical component of the overall transit experience as transit users begin and end their trips as pedestrians.

Landscaping

  • The Panel recommends continuing to study opportunities for increased landscaping along the corridor:
    • Street planting initiatives need to be improved as more greening can be accommodated within the right-of-way;
    • Contemplate more greening of centre medians, and start researching the opportunities for establishing a green trackway for potential future LRT conversion.
  • Introduce public art elements as part of landscape schemes.

2583-2599 CARLING AVENUE | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Dymon Storage; Nicholas Caragianis Architect; TACT Architecture; FOTENN Planning + Design

General Comments

  • The Panel thanks the proponent for the attention to detail presented in the most recent drawings, and acknowledges the significant progress that has been made since the informal review in January. It is of the opinion of the Panel, however, that the project can be improved through subtle changes to the landscaping, building entrances, and enhancements to the façade expression.
  • Generally speaking, the Panel feels the size of the corporate logo is imposing and potentially distracting for drivers.

Materiality and Glazing

  • The Panel encourages further study of the windows. If corridors are brought to the outside of the floor plan, it helps create visual connectivity to between the street and the interior of the building. This change to the floor plan allows for windows, thus bringing in natural light to the interior and improves perception of safety.
  • It is a recommendation of the Panel to introduce glazing to the stairwells, providing an opportunity for more windows, particularly on the west wall and back side of building.
  • The reveals and banding are appreciated, however the Panel believes that a brighter, more cheerful colouration is possible. Consider colour on the canopy atop the retail store, and study the use of dark brick or stone at the base, in combination with added colour on the upper levels to break up the façade.
  • Study the possible introduction of more robust canopies or Bris Soleil details, in order to add shadows and animate the façade. Consider the use of feature lighting.

Landscaping and Entrances

  • The Panel recommends emphasizing the entrances to both the retail store and the Dymon retail space. Screening the entrances with shrubs is discouraged, but consider ornamental grasses instead. Consider planting evergreen ground cover to reduce the use of traditional mown lawn.
  • Study moving the entrance to the Dymon storage toward the street.
  • Increase the width of walkways leading to the entrances for the retail store, as well as the Dymon retail, and contemplate connecting the two entrances with a strip of planting between the sidewalk and the walkway.
  • It is the opinion of the Panel that the parking area located next to the retail space can be reduced in size as the number of parking spaces seems excessive for the use.

July 6, 2017

1) 84-96 HINTON AVENUE | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Smart Living on Hinton Avenue Inc.; Dexter A. Edwards Architect; Novatech Engineering Consultants Ltd.

General Comments

  • The Panel commends the sensitivity of the project to the existing streetscape from both a design and massing perspective, exemplified by the smaller modulation and the verandahs. The concept of a slab building in the rear with protrusions in the front helps articulate a rhythm and makes for an interesting expression along the streetscape. Furthermore, the Panel recognizes that the location of parking access to the site is appropriate, however there are some changes required to the driveway paving treatment, in addition to adjustments to the ground floor, materiality, and the expression of the four-storey building to the south, which are required in order to make the project successful.

Materiality and Treatment

  • Consider removing the stucco from the scheme and using red brick on the entire building. This will tie the materials more closely to the existing context, the historic expression in the neighbourhood, and more specifically the buildings which are being replaced. Horizontal cement boards on the top floors may also be appropriate.
  • Although located in an appropriate location, the treatment of the proposed driveway should be more pedestrian friendly than asphalt. This access should be functional for vehicles, but should appear more like a walkway.

Ground Floor

  • It is strongly recommended that the floor to ceiling height of the ground floor retail be increased. This will permit the commercial spaces to function better and provide an interesting change to the expression of the entire building.
  • Any challenges associated with the change in grade and the increased floor to ceiling height can be addressed through terracing or other landscaping solutions.
  • It is encouraged that the safety of the long passage to the back of the site is studied further from a CPTED perspective, and consider additional openings to the street where possible.
  • Explore opportunities to add tree planting along the front of the site in order to compliment the existing natural canopy found on the opposite side of the street.
  • Ensure that the stoops meet the street in order to ensure a lively interaction with the streetscape.

Four Storey Building

  • The Panel strongly encourages a review of the four-storey building on the north of the site and suggests introducing variations to the massing. Consider connecting the final building on the north side architecturally with the other proposed buildings. This will help introduce consistency to the project and refine the overall architectural expression.

2) 517 Gladstone Avenue | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Charlesfort Developments; FOTENN Planning & Design

General Comments

  • The Panel feels with certainty that this project is strong, of an appropriate scale, and represents a good housing type that is much needed in Ottawa. Moreover, the three entrances and canopies fits very well into the existing Centretown streetscape.

Front and Rear Elevations

  • The Panel recommends applying a similar expression to the front façade as what is currently proposed for the rear, which has a more subdued, almost industrial feel. In particular, the project may be strengthened by simplifying the cornice line, eliminating the arches, and instead permitting the canopies and the staggered façade to create the desired shadow effect.
  • It is the opinion of the Panel that the stairwells at the front façade are slightly stronger than they need to be, causing the building to look slightly out of context. Consider toning down the rooftop elements and instead, perhaps raising the screen of the central stairwell up to the roofline.
  • The Panel suggests brick as a more appropriate material for this building, as opposed to Hardie Board, particularly given the neighbourhood context.
  • In order to establish a Montreal ‘Balconville’ environment at the rear, consider reducing visual barriers and opening up the balconies to encourage neighbourly interactions.

Floor Plan

  • The proponent is encouraged to explore opportunities to adjust the floor plan slightly to increase the size of the light well and improve light penetration into the units:
    • Narrow the rear stairwell slightly.
    • Adjust the locations of the closets in the bedrooms so that Bedroom 1 may be narrowed to ten feet (or as shallow as possible).
    • Introduce clerestory windows to allow natural light while still maintaining privacy.
  • Consider small adjustments to the interior floor plan by straightening the stairs at the rear of each unit, in order to allow for the addition of a window and more interior light penetrating through the secondary bedrooms.

Landscape Architecture

  • The Panel supports the proposed landscaping at the front of the site, as it creates a good interface between the building and public realm.

3) 1354 and 1376 Carling Avenue | Formal Review | Zoning By-Law Amendment and Site Plan Control Application | Holloway Lodging; Geiger Huot Architectes; FOTENN Planning & Design

General Comments

  • The Panel recognizes the landmark quality of the site and its importance as a gateway in Ottawa. It is strongly recommended that a “Focused Design Review Session” with a sub-committee of the UDRP be scheduled for this project, to ensure an appropriate level of master planning which allows the Panel and City staff an opportunity to see better modelling, as well as various development options. It is the Panel’s view that the site is particularly crucial given that it signals the transition for the neighbourhood and can contributes to larger ‘city building’ aspirations going forward.
  • The Panel believes that the project would benefit from a master-planning exercise that can set basic principals for the site, including transitions to neighbourhood, positioning of open space and the location of tall buildings along Carling Avenue.
  • Positioning the towers relative to podiums, and positioning buildings relative to each other must be addressed in a master plan of the site, which can take into consideration all factors, including servicing, amenity space, wind tunnels, etc.
  • Only having an opportunity to review the proposal at this stage is insufficient and without alternative options presented, the Panel finds the proposal difficult to critique, and are unable to provide support the project in its current form.

Parking and Transportation

  • The Panel strongly believes that the surface parking, including visitor parking, must be shifted underground in order to allow for appropriate surface level amenity space and ensure that the car parking is not the dominant theme of the development.
  • The new street proposed to run through the development from west to east should be a ‘complete street’ with thoughtful consideration for active transportation.

Amenity Space

  • The Panel feels strongly that the proposal is deficient in parkland and that the proponents require studying opportunities for a much more robust public realm.
  • It is of the opinion of the Panel that there are opportunities to integrate privately owned public spaces, private amenity space, in addition to parks, into the site.
  • Consider incorporating a larger park in a location that makes it easily accessible from outside of the site, thus offering amenity to the existing, relatively underserviced neighbourhood.
  • Opportunities should be explored to introduce sustainability elements to the proposal, including food gardens.

Cultural Heritage

  • The existing Talisman Hotel has a significant architectural legacy related to William Teron and his modernist legacy, with particular associations to the city’s west end, and more precisely the development of Beaverbrook in Kanata.
  • It is advised that the proponents explore opportunities to integrate the Talisman Hotel, or architecturally significant parts of the building into the new development, rather than demolishing the entire structure.

September 7, 2017

601 Somerset Street| Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | GRC Architects

General Comments

  • The Panel feels the proposal is of an appropriate scale, and that the massing as well as the main gestures of the building are very good. The inclusion of street level commercial on Somerset is very well executed, and the overall appearance of the building is appealing, particularly given the applicant’s stated economic constraints. Some revisions to both the Percy and Somerset facades are suggested, along with a recommendation to use cement board on the north façade wall, rather than metal cladding, which is quite austere for the residential neighbours within close proximity.

Somerset Elevation

  • The cornice line is quite heavy; the Panel recommends taking cues from the red brick commercial buildings along Somerset for hints - generally the cornice should be slimmer.
  • It is the opinion of the Panel that improvements to the residential façade can be achieved by pulling the residential levels outward and simplifying from three to two material expressions. The introduction of balconies along Somerset would help animate the street.
  • The Panel believes the entrance to the residential units can be accentuated by recessing the bay and bringing the entrance expression up all three stories. This revision would better reflect the rhythm of the street, and would relate particularly well with the neighbouring building to the east.
  • The kitchen window on the façade breaks up the fenestration pattern and the Panel recommends it is removed if possible.
  • To provide a more coherent expression, the Panel suggests eliminating the white bands on the residential levels, and recommends carrying up the vertical brick from the first floor.
  • Although planting opportunities at street level are limited, the Panel recommends exploring landscaping options to enhance the streetscape, which may require shifting the building back on the site in order to make street trees feasible.

Percy Elevation

  • In order to better screen the balconies, the Panel suggests modifying the railings. Consider using planters on the balconies to allow for landscaping to provide visual mitigation.
  • The Panel also recommends plantings which can provide visual screening for the area of blank wall on the ground floor, in the location of the mechanical, gas line, and other building services.

144 Renfrew Avenue| Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Robertson Martin Architects

General Comments

  • The Panel recognizes that the proposal is quite handsome, and the building, including the street level commercial component, will be an important addition to this section of Bronson Avenue.

Residential Entrance

  • The Panel strongly believes that the entrance to the residential units needs to be emphasized, although it is appropriate to orient the entrance off Renfrew. The current design should be adjusted to eliminate the alley between the edge of the building and the entrance door. Consider reworking this part of the building and explore the option of replacing the parking pad with a separate landscaped parkette in front of the entrance.
  • The second floor exterior stairwell should be screened in order to avoid privacy concerns from the neighbouring residences as the stairwell will be visible from their rear yards.

Lower Level

  • The Panel feels strongly that the design of the lower level is compromising livability. The proposed window wells will collect snow and not allow sufficient light, as they are insufficient in depth, and also covered by the cantilever. In order to allow light into the lower level units, the Panel suggests making the window wells larger and deeper, while options should be explored to introduce landscaping into the window wells.

Materiality

  • The Panel recommends considering a plane change or slightly recessing the balconies on the Renfrew façade in order to make the transition and material change more appropriate.
  • The Panel suggests that if there is a material change from brick to a synthetic material along the Renfrew façade, that it should be of a similar colour to the brick.

Landscaping

  • It is the opinion of the Panel that the tree along the Bronson streetscape should be removed if its health will be too compromised by construction and the site layout and function.  New street trees should be planted on Bronson and Renfrew.

175 Carruthers Avenue| Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Colonnade Bridgeport; Morley Hoppner; Barry J. Hobin Architects Inc.

General Comments

  • The Panel commends the applicant for a well thought out and sophisticated project which will be an attractive addition to the streetscape, particularly following the successful school conversion project recently completed next door. The emphasis of a base, middle and top expression is good, and with changes to the material expressions, as well as more clarity with respect to the use of the outdoor amenity space, the Panel feels the project will be further enhanced.

Building Form and Material Expression

  • In order to provide a consistent expression, the Panel recommends using red brick at the base on all three façades. This consistent material application will accentuate the base of the building, and better relate the building to the school house.
  • The Panel suggests considering more articulation at the top of the building by bringing down heights in a staggered way. This will avoid the appearance of a bar building.

Landscaping and Amenity Space

  • The Panel is very supportive of the retention of the two trees along Scott, and it is recommended that an additional small tree be planted along Carruthers.
  • The long term health of the retained trees will be challenging and the Panel suggests hiring an arborist to ensure there is a plan during the construction period and beyond. The arborist should establish a fertilizing and aeration program to ensure the survival of the trees.
  • It is of the opinion of the Panel that efforts should be made to ensure the proposed outdoor amenity space remains public, despite future commercial tenancy on the ground floor. This could possibly be achieved through the establishment of a privately owned public space (POPS).

 

October 5, 2017

1960 Scott Street | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Colonnade Bridgeport; Morley Hoppner; Roderick Lahey Architects

General Comments

  • The Panel is impressed by the good proportions, the verticality, and the elegance of the proposal, and believes the proposal is exemplary of the ability for the planning process to achieve good urban design outcomes. Some improvements to the project are possible through subtle material changes, the introduction of sustainability measures, and some revisions to the east façade.

Materiality and Expression

  • It is the opinion of the Panel that natural stone should be used on the podium.
  • The Panel recognizes that the dark coloured materials are necessary to provide visual contrast, however opportunities exist to introduce colour accents in the soffits, signage, wood, and through the introduction of spandrel glass.
  • In order to improve the overall expression of the east elevation, the Panel recommends applying the same treatment as the front façade, and consider introducing wrap around corner windows.
  • The Panel believed there is an opportunity to further enhance the vertical expression of the building by adjusting to a vertical frit pattern on the glass balconies, and coating the underside of the balconies in white. 
  • It is the opinion of the Panel that the frit screen on the elevator overrun should be redesigned and lit, to enhance the building’s top expression.

Ground Floor

  • The Panel recommends introducing thoughtful materials in the parking area where a variety of uses can be accommodated, and adjusted seasonally. Overall the forecourt should be treated as a plaza area, with considerations for drop-offs, rather than a parking area. The forecourt could be the seasonal location for uses such as sidewalk sales, patios for eating, farmer’s markets, etc.
  • The Panel believes there is a good opportunity to create a more holistic environment at the street level, with the introduction of public art, pedestrian lighting, and the strategic placements of bollards and planters.

Sustainability and Landscaping

  • The Panel recommends the introduction of trees on the terraces, as well as planters containing colourful plants.
  • Consider simplifying the planting material on the street level, and ensure that the plant species selected can thrive in their context, with consideration for salt, snow, etc. The Panel recommends further analysis of the viability of the proposed evergreens.
  • With respect to the proposed dark colour cladding material, there are implications on insolation performance and the overall sustainability of the building, so the Panel suggests careful study of further sustainability measures to compensate.

245 Squadron Crescent | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application and Zoning By-Law Amendment | Mattamy (Rockcliffe) Inc.; Q4A; NAK design strategies; Stantec Consulting

General Comments

  • The Panel is excited by this rare opportunity for the development of a new urban community within relatively close proximity to the downtown core. Overall, the Panel looks favourably on the comprehensive landscape approach to the larger development proposal, and the extensive considerations for the implementation of robust sustainability measures, including utilizing low impact design techniques. The introduction of a meandering bio-swale reflective of the site’s natural heritage, in addition to place-making considerations which connect the development to both the rich Algonquin and military heritage of the site, are recognized by the Panel as particularly innovative elements.
  • Addressing issues relating to the winter maintenance of the buildings and the public and private street network will be necessary in order for the project to succeed.
  • Implementation of the Panel’s recommendations regarding wayfinding, circulation, landscaping and architectural detailing, will ensure a high quality development that will help to auspiciously weave the former Rockcliffe Air Force Base into the existing urban landscape.

Wayfinding and Circulation

  • The Panel recommends that through block connectivity, particularly with the goal of linking residents to parks, can be improved. This is of particular importance as the parkland is a major amenity within the emerging community.
  • Where mews and streets cross, the Panel suggests that it is essential that there are clear delineations in order to provide driver awareness and pedestrian safety. This could be achieved through strategically located planters, bollards, appropriate lighting schemes, and by extended sidewalks whereby requiring drivers to continue over the sidewalk to access the lane.
  • Further enhancement of pedestrian and cycling safety can be achieved by ensuring that the streets are as narrow as possible, and speeds are kept low through speed bumps and pedestrian friendly paving treatment.
  • The Panel suggests the laneway width not exceed 7.5 metres, in order to ensure cars do not park along these routes.
  • The Panel suggests developing a plan which clearly identifies the hierarchy of streets, the wayfinding initiatives, and the neighbourhood pedestrian and cycling connections.
  • To further enhance wayfinding, the Panel supports the introduction of public art elements throughout the development.

Landscaping and Maintenance

  • The Panel advises careful consideration of the potential to create microclimates due to shadowing through an unsustainable ratio between building heights and mew width. Prolonged shadowing could hinder the ability of planted areas to survive and thrive along the proposed mews. An appropriate ratio for a width of 17 metres, building face to face, is about 13 to 14 metres in building height. Particular study of shadow impacts would be beneficial.
  • Snow clearing will pose a problem, and a revised landscape plan that accommodates for heavy snowfall customary in Ottawa is necessary. The Panel is of the opinion that off-site snow removal may be required given the existing lane configurations.

Architectural Expression

  • The Panel is generally pleased with the variety of modern styles, corner windows, colour, and the use of planters. However, less complexity in the material palette is advised, and the Panel strongly discourages the use of stucco, given the inability of this material to withstand the city’s harsh climate. Consider using metal panels in its place.
  • It is the opinion of the Panel that the core area of the development would benefit from a consistent architectural theme, while the diversity of architectural expressions could be introduced going outward from the core, as to help ensure that the individuality of the architecture is not lost by the variety.
  • The Panel suggests that façades be simplified and that materials and architectural elements which are currently articulated for two or three stories, be continued all the way up the buildings.
  • It is advised that the freeze-thaw cycle is considered and that material usage, and horizontal ledges are carefully thought out as to avoid water and ice accumulation.
  • The Panel is appreciative of attempts to accommodate for changes and urban evolution, by allowing for some customization of private spaces, particularly with respect to balconies and rooftops facing the rear lanes.

 

November 2, 2017

667 Bank Street | Formal Review | Site Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment, Minor Variances and Site Plan Control Application | Vincent P. Colizza, Architect Incorporated; FOTENN Planning & Design.

General Comments

  • The Panel very much appreciates the revisions to the proposal in response to the initial recommendations, including the notch in the north façade to accommodate the mature tree, and the attempt to better transition the building toward the neighbouring property to the east, on Clemow Avenue.
  • The Panel acknowledges that the main challenge with this site is establishing an appropriate transition from the main street condition along Bank Street, toward the block to the east which is a Heritage Conservation District of detached houses along Clemow Avenue.
  • Overall, the Panel supports the simplified design with fewer jogs, and a massing that is more eloquent than the original proposal.

Architectural Expression

  • The Panel recommends that the windows on the east façade, do not have the appearance of being fake windows. Careful attention should be placed on colour and materials.
  • It is recommended that the southeast corner of the roofline can be notched-in as there are no stairs at the top level. This allows the roof form to mimic the indentation on the other side of the building, which helps with the transition from this property to the site to the east.
  • Is is the opinion of the panel that the stair and ramp to the building entrance along Clemow Avenue should be visible, and not impeded by planters.
  • The Panel believes that the zinc treatment on the roof is a good choice as it weathers nicely and has some precedence in Ottawa.

Landscape and Sustainability

  • The Panel is concerned with the survivability of the mature tree to the north of the building. Scaffolding, and all construction related impacts, must be carefully considered to ensure the long term health of this tree. Furthermore, appropriate soil depth must be provided.
  • Consider installing a green roof on the low rise wing of the building on the east façade. The Panel believes the row of junipers is not adequate and a softer approach including enhanced plantings with an element of height, would offer a better visual buffer. This would improve the transition between this building and the property next door.
  • The Panel strongly suggests that the landscaped boulevard present along Clemow Avenue to the east of this property should continue to Bank Street. Only the interlock driveway should interrupt the boulevard landscape, with the concrete sidewalk carrying through the interlock driveway
  • The treatment of planter boxes on the property requires improvement. The Panel is of the opinion that planter boxes would be better designed if they could also function as benches. Careful attention to the aesthetics of the planters will help integration into the streetscape and improve the transition from the main street condition to the residential block. Consider incorporating these features at the base of the building, rather than as separate elements.

 

December 7, 2017

1375 Clyde | Formal Review | Zoning Amendment and Site Plan Application | Dymon Storage; Nicholas Caragianis Architect Inc.; Tact Architecture; FOTENN Planning & Design

General Comments:

  • The Panel appreciates the improvements with respect to material use compared to previous projects, but expresses concerns with the future evolution of this site as it relates to surrounding properties which will develop and redevelop over time. Without a tertiary plan for this area, the Panel sees uncertainty with respect to future road connectivity, and the establishment of a cohesive street network. The Panel is also concerned with the impact of the proposed development on the overall quality of the streetscape, and suggests more study to establish a configuration on the site that could permit better future linkages to surrounding properties.

Urban Context and Circulation

  • The Panel strongly suggests a design approach that includes wrapping the storage facility use, by lining the building with the proposed office use, so that the building does not appear as an industrial box from the street.
  • It is the opinion of the Panel that the streetscape could be improved along Clyde Avenue if the existing thrift store building on site was demolished, and the proposed office space and storage area was combined into one building, with the office space fronting Clyde Avenue, and the storage facility located on the interior of the site. The driveways located at the edge of this site could then become future streets that allow access to adjacent properties.
  • The proposal for two vehicular entrances from Clyde Avenue is not supported by the Panel, and combining these entrances is recommended.

Materials and Façades

  • The Panel recommends the use of Prodema on the street fronting façade. The Panel applauds the applicant on the improved use of materials shown on this project, compared to previous proposals, as well as the addition of the cornice, and the installation of solar panels.
  • It is the opinion of the Panel that animating the Clyde Avenue façade with windows along front loaded corridors would greatly improve the impact on the streetscape.

851 Richmond | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Homestead; FOTENN Planning & Design; Stantec; Wentworth Consultants; rla / architecture.

General Comments:

  • The Panel is of the opinion that the proposed building could transition better between the five storey building on one side, and the slab apartment building on the other, by better articulating its façades, and by shifting massing and height. A deliberate articulation of the side and rear facades, as well as staggering the height from the east to west side, would reduce the ‘wall’ effect along Richmond Road, created by the proposed building.
  • The Panel believes that the project would be enhanced by the introduction of more sustainability measures and amenity areas, such as an accessible green roof.

Architectural Expression:

  • The Panel is of the opinion that a base, middle and top expression would result in a better overall design of this building. Consider manipulating the mass with diverse treatments on the two top floors.
  • Ground floor height seems squat. The Panel recommends increasing the height of the ground floor, perhaps to two stories, in order to improve the impact of the building on its associated streetscape.
  • Consider an increase in overall height to avoid creating a solid street wall along Richmond Road. The Panel recommends disrupting the massing at the top of the building by perhaps rising to 10 stories on the east side, and 12 on the west.
  • Another approach to consider is to establish a podium with a point tower on one side of the lot. This approach would establish space around three sides of the building, resulting in relatively unobstructed views.
  • The Panel advises that more glazing be added to the east elevation in order to improve the exterior design of the building, and take advantage of views toward the Ottawa River and the downtown core of the city.
  • To improve the design of the Richmond Road façade, the Panel recommends aligning the slot in the building with the entrance to the building, as well as softening the cornice.
  • Simplify the expression of the north elevation of the building, where the site transitions to an existing low-rise residential neighbourhood, in order to reduce the ‘visual noise’.

Landscape, Access and Amenity:

  • The Panel recommends shifting the amenity area between the driveway and front entrance, as well as adding amenity to the top floors of the building. Consider adding an accessible green roof for the use of building residents.
  • The Panel is concerned that locating the access to the garage so close to the main entrance will disrupt the pedestrian flow along Richmond Road. Relocate this vehicular access to the rear of the lot, and ensure that the design of the garage entrance is pedestrian friendly by treating it like a forecourt.

770 Somerset | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Katasa Groupe + Developpement; DSEL; FOTENN Planning & Design; rla / architecture.

General Comments:

  • The Panel is appreciative of this well designed, Scandinavian inspired proposal on an important site in the heart of Chinatown. The Panel further commends the applicant for the high quality renderings of the project, particularly those depicting the Lebreton Street streetscape.
  • It is the opinion of the Panel that some improvements to the ground floor and with careful attention paid to the public realm, the project can be a very positive addition to Somerset Street.

Street Level:

  • Revisions to the Somerset ground floor are required, as it reads as too chaotic. The Panel suggests introducing a clean, streamlined design; perhaps entirely glass, as this would provide a very contemporary looking and clearly articulated base to the building.
  • The Panel is appreciative of the intent of the gable-end features. Consider introducing these design elements to the Lebreton Street ground level, in order to relate the building to nearby gable roofed brick houses. More gable features could also be introduced on Somerset to help define the grade changes.
  • At the street level, the Panel recommends utilizing bollards and appropriate paving treatments. Ensure that existing transformers are identified in order to ensure the creation of a cohesive pedestrian environment.
  • Avoid using steps when possible, despite the grade change along Somerset Street.
  • Enlarge proposed planters in order to sustain the plants shown in the renderings. The Panel further advises adding trees to the Lebreton Street streetscape.
  • Due to the continuous rise of the sidewalk, the Panel advises finding one access point to the building on the north façade.
  • It is the Panel’s opinion that the bus shelter should remain in its current location
  • Access to the garbage room needs revision in order to ensure practicality and accessibility for tenants and workers.

Massing and Architectural Detailing:

  • The Panel recommends that the top floors of the building (Floors 7 – 9) are stepped in on the east façade, after clearing the adjacent building.
  • Gable features on the roof could become garden or rooftop patios, and the Panel recommends adding colour, perhaps red and blue, to these architectural elements.
  • Ensure all materials used are durable and of high quality to increase longevity and make a positive impact on this important streetscape.
  • The Panel advises paying careful attention to the building’s infrastructure, and, as an example, ensure exhausts are hidden from public view.

2025 Mer Bleue | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Point Architects; SmartREIT

General Comments:

  • The Panel is appreciative of the well thought out landscape plan, and acknowledges that some site plan solutions have been achieved in the first phase of this development, particularly with respect to the orientation and landscaping of Building J.
  • The Panel strongly recommends flipping Building M and Building LI in order to get more active uses adjacent to public roads.

Loading and Access:

  • The Panel recommends moving the loading area away from key access routes and from the public street (on Building N, Building L1, and Building M).
  • In order to create efficiencies and reduce their visual impact, the Panel advises that loading areas are shared and located between buildings.
  • The Panel advises the addition of active doors, which can be used as entrances to the buildings facing Innes Road.
  • The Panel recommends carrying through the hard surfacing in front of Building M to replace the ‘nose-in’ parking spaces in front of the building.
  • Ensure that patios are located along the street and interior access routes in order to bring some active uses to the public realm.

Landscape and Architectural Details:

  • The Panel strongly encourages the planting of a vegetation screen wherever there are exposed loading areas in order to visually obstruct views of those areas.
  • The Panel is of the opinion that all sidewalks need to be brought into the interior of the shopping centre. Add hard surfaces through the landscaped edge in order to connect the private landscaping to the public sidewalks, thereby improving the pedestrian experience.
  • In order to enhance the quality of the corner aesthetics, the Panel recommends increasing the height of the parapet on Building L, and further advises that the cornice on Building L1 be wrapped around to all façades.