Booth Street Complex One Step Closer to Designation under Ontario Heritage Act

Aerial view of Booth Street Complex. Inset: Buildings to be preserved are highlighted in blue / City Staff Report

Monday, February 11, 2019


A city staff report recommending designation of the Booth Street Complex as a property of cultural heritage value under the Ontario Heritage Act (OHA) received the support today of Ottawa's Built Heritage Sub-Committee.

Bounded by Booth, Norman, Rochester and Orangeville Streets, the property consists of laboratory and office buildings built to serve Natural Resources Canada and its predecessor, the federal Department of Mines. The Complex was constructed between 1911 and 1952, largely under the supervision of prominent Ottawa architect Werner Ernst Noffke,  and has historical significance as a major federal research facility that was critical in the development of Canada's mining and energy industries. Several of the buildings are Federally Recognized heritage structures.

Canada Lands Company (CLC) acquired the property from Natural Resources Canada in October 2015.  CLC now proposes a redevelopment of the Complex that would integrate new condominiums, rental buildings and a public park with most of the Complex's original heritage buildings, exteriors of which would be preserved.  Buildings to be preserved are highlighted in blue on the inset image at right.

CLC has conducted several public consultations since the proposal was first announced. Heritage Ottawa participated in the consultations and supports the designation.  There are high hopes for the area, whose potential has been compared to Toronto's Distillery District.

At the first meeting of its new term today, the Built Heritage Sub-Committee (BHSC) agreed unanimously, issuing its recommendation to the City's Planning Committee that Council issue a Notice of Intention to designate the Booth Street Complex (specifically 552 - 568 Booth Street and 405 Rochester Street) as a property of cultural heritage value under the OHA.

Heritage Ottawa, while considering the loss of three Federally Recognized heritage buildings unfortunate, welcomes the conservation and adaptive re-use of this site and supports the sensitive integration of remaining historic buildings into the new development. Read Heritage Ottawa's written submission to BHSC here.

Both the city staff report and a rezoning application for redevelopment are expected to go before the city's Planning Committee on Feburary 28, before proceeding to Ottawa City Council for final approval.


For more information about the Booth Street Complex and proposed redevelopment, read the City Staff Report to Built Heritage Sub-Committee here.


Related Reading:

Subcommittee Likes Heritage Protection Plan for Major Redevelopment of Booth Street Complex | Ottawa Citizen, Feb. 11, 2019

Iconic Smokestack a Heritage Landmark, City Says | CBC News, February 2, 2019

Proposed Redevelopment of Booth Complex Mixes Heritage With Contemporary | Ottawa Citizen, Feb. 16, 2018

Canada Lands to Host Public Information Session on Booth Street Complex | Heritage Ottawa, January 19, 2017