Council agreed today that planners have more work to do on the design of the Château Laurier expansion, a controversial process that has dragged on for almost two years.
Councillors approved a plan supported by two committees to have city staff work further with the architect to tweak the modernist design, so the proposed addition is more compatible with the downtown hotel’s historic features.
The addition of more limestone and copper is on council’s wish list, for instance.
Approval of the final design for the seven-storey addition ultimately rests in the hands of city staff [as a result of today's Council's decision] but a site plan will need council’s blessing.
Asked afterward why council opted for an unusual conditional approval instead of rejecting the latest design if it needed more work, Watson told reporters the proposal has come a long way and it’s impossible to make everyone happy with significant renovations to a heritage building.
“I think at some point you’re [going] to have to say, ‘Look it, we’ve come close, they’ve moved, we’ve moved and we’ve come up with a compromise,'” he said. “At some point you have to say, ‘It’s time to get on with this.'”
“They’ve torn down their garage … and they have to get those rooms built and their garage built,”” Watson added. “So I think you have to look at it practically and pragmatically at the same time.”