Ottawa's Built Heritage Sub-Committee (BHSC) has voted 6-1 against a City Staff Report recommendation to not pursue heritage designation for 860 Colonel By Drive.
The red-brick house facing the Rideau Canal, built in 1908-1909 in the Edwardian Classicist style, is listed on the city's Heritage Register. The present owner purchased the building in 2017, and has plans to demolish and build a new home designed by Hobin Architecture.
Buildings listed on the Heritage Register are deemed to have potential heritage or cultural value, but are not designated. Owners of listed buildings must wait 60 days for a demolition permit should they wish to demolish.
The building is also located in an area covered by a Heritage Overlay, a zoning tool intended to retain the character of a neighborhood (not to be confused with Heritage Conservation Districts, which are formally designated under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act.) Any buildings removed in a heritage overlay area must be rebuilt with the same character, scale, massing, and volume as the originals.
The local Committee of Adjustment had previously rejected the owner's plans for demolition and new construction, but a recent 2020 decision by the provincial Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) allowed the demolition. Having won the appeal, the owner applied for a demolition permit last month, thereby setting off the 60 day waiting period.
The demolition application would not normally have come before BHSC, but arose from Councillor Shawn Menard's request that city heritage staff review the building's designation potential given longstanding community concerns over loss of the building.
BHSC's recommendation will be considered by Planning Committee before going to Ottawa City Council for a full vote later this month.
UPDATE: June 11, 2020 — The Planning Committee has voted 8 - 0 in agreement with the City Staff Report recommendation to not pursue heritage designation for 860 Colonel By Drive. Ottawa City Council is expected to make finalize the decision at its meeting of June 24.
Planning Committee Backs Staff in Refusing Heritage Protection for Home Eyed for Demolition / Ottawa Citizen, June 12, 2020
Demolition denied for 'typical' house on city's heritage register / CBC Ottawa, June 9, 2020
City staff wrong not to pursue heritage protection for old home eyed for redevelopment, panel says / Ottawa Citizen, June 9, 2020