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