Château Laurier Addition

Modification of a rendering by architectsAlliance


June 24, 2018


Planning Committee and Ottawa City Council vote on June 26 + 27

An application under the Ontario Heritage Act seeking approval for the addition to Ottawa's Chateau Laurier hotel enters its final stages this week.

Last week, the City of Ottawa’s Built Heritage Sub-Committee (BHSC) met to consider the City staff’s recommendation to approve the latest design for a proposed addition to the venerable Château Laurier hotel.

Heritage Ottawa presented our concerns (see statement) as did other delegates, that this fourth design iteration fails to address or resolve the underlying flaw of the previous designs, namely that the relentlessly horizontal, blocky form of the proposed addition remains fundamentally incompatible with the romantic sensibility of the historic Château and its important site.

Unwilling to have this design move on to Planning Committee( PC) in its proposed form, the BHSC unanimously supported a proposed amendment to the City staff’s recommendation that would make the addition more “visually compatible with the existing Château Laurier.”

Heritage Ottawa supports the intention of the BHSC initiative, but retains strong concerns that the BHSC recommendation does not go far enough to ensure that subsequent design changes achieve design excellence while meeting the Standards and Guidelines’ test of compatibility. 

Heritage Ottawa recommends the following more robust review process be established:

  • Reconstitute the 2017 Heritage Working Group (as suggested by BHSC) to guide the proponent on subsequent design changes;
  • Re-engage the Urban Design Review Panel in a formal review of the resulting design;
  • Invite the public to an Open House before submitting the resulting design for approval, and
  • Amend Recommendation 1(e) of the BHSC Motion, and make any other necessary amendments in order that the resulting design be referred back to BHSC, Planning Committee and Ottawa City Council for final approval under auspices of the Ontario Heritage Act.

The final bullet expresses Heritage Ottawa’s firm belief that final design approval should not be delegated to city staff, as the current motion recommends, but rather that Ottawa City Council should exercise its full authority and responsibility under the Ontario Heritage Act by fully considering all stages of this significant and historic application to alter the Château Laurier hotel.

Share Your Views with the Decision Makers!

The proposed addition will be the most important heritage application to be considered by this term of Ottawa City Council when it votes on June 27.

Contact Our Elected Officials: Here's How

  • Contact MAYOR JIM WATSON and OTTAWA CITY COUNCILLORS by email now to share your opinions, comments or concerns about the proposed Château Laurier addition. (See instructions below.)
  • Submit written remarks or register to speak at the Planning Committee meeting to be held on June 26, 2018 at 9:30 am in the Champlain Room, Ottawa City Hall.  To submit remarks or register, contact Melody Duffenais at

Send your email to Mayor Watson and Ottawa City Councillors.
See the contact list below. Use Château Laurier Addition as the subject line.
We encourage you to cc Heritage Ottawa at / Mayor of Ottawa  /  Ward 1 Orléans  /  Ward 2 Innes  /  Ward 3 Barrhaven (CHAIR, Planning Committee)  /  Ward 4 Kanata North  / Ward 5 West Carleton-March  /  Ward 6 Stittsville (Member, Planning Committee)  /  Ward 7 Bay  / Ward 8 College (Member, Planning Committee)  /  Ward 9 Knoxdale-Merivale   / Ward 10 Gloucester-Southgate  /  Ward 11 Beacon-Hill-Cyrville (VICE-CHAIR, Planning Committee)  /  Ward 12 Rideau-Vanier  /  Ward 13 Rideau-Rockcliffe (Vice-Chair, BHSC | Member, Planning Committee)  /  Ward 14 Somerset  /  Ward 15 Kitshissippi (Member, Planning Committee)  /  Ward 16 River (Member, Planning Committee)  /  Ward 17 Capital  /  Ward 18 Alta Vista (Member, Planning Committee)  /  Ward 19 Cumberland (Member, Planning Committee)  /  Ward 20 Osgoode  /  Ward 21 Rideau-Goulbourn  /  Ward 22 Gloucester-South Nepean  /  Ward 23 Kanata South (Member, Planning Committee)


As a building designated under the Ontario Heritage Act, any addition to the Château Laurier requires the approval of Ottawa City Council before construction can proceed. The owners have submitted a heritage application to the City of Ottawa, as required by the Act.  Next steps are anticipated as follows:

  • City heritage staff issued a Report on June 11, 2018 recommending approval of the application.
  • Ottawa's Built Heritage Subcommittee (BHSC) met on June 18 to to consider the application and make recommendations to Planning Committee (PC). BHSC unanimously supported a proposed amendment to make the addition “more visually compatible with the existing Château Laurier” (see Motion above).
  • Planning Committee (PC) meets on June 26 to consider BHSC's recommendations and make its own recommendations to the Mayor and Ottawa City Council.
  • The Mayor and Ottawa City Council will meet the next day, June 27, to consider PC's recommendations and vote to approve or not approve the application.


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