Councillors risk ceding influence over Château addition, heritage group warns

Rendering: architectsAlliance

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

CBC NEWS, By Laura Osman

The president of Heritage Ottawa is warning city councillors they may be about to lose their last chance to veto the design for a modernist addition to the Château Laurier.

The city's planning committee voted Tuesday to approve the heritage application to alter the Château on the condition the architect make the addition more compatible with the original building.

But councillors won't get to approve that updated design; instead, it will be up to city staff to decide whether the architect has met the criteria when the latest iteration is submitted this winter.

"There's nothing to say that it won't be just a small change to what we've already got," said David Jeanes, president of Heritage Ottawa.

Heritage Ottawa is vehemently opposed to the latest design, calling it an act of "heritage vandalism."

'Too late to change the design'

The heritage application passed by planning committee still requires the approval of council [tomorrow, on June 27], but Jeanes warns once that's granted, it will be too late to turn back.

"Once council approves the heritage aspect of the building, it will be too late to change the design," he said.

The architect working on the project, Peter Clewes, was not asked to speak at committee and did not wish to answer questions from reporters Tuesday.

He'll be tasked with changing the design to make it more compatible with the original building, but councillors will not get to vote on the final product.

They will only be consulted on the site plan, which will includes aspects such as the location of buildings, landscaping, traffic and pedestrian access, and drainage.

City council will weigh in on the plan on Wednesday before the architect and city staff can start working on the new design.

The public likely won't see any updated renderings until early winter when the city's built heritage subcommittee reviews the site plan.


Heritage Ottawa Link | Updated June 25, 2018:

Share Your Views with our Elected Officials: VOICE YOUR OPINION | Château Laurier Addition

LAST CHANCE before Planning Committee and Ottawa City Council vote on June 26 and 27!