Photo: Heritage Ottawa

Friday, December 13, 2019

HERITAGE OTTAWA | Media Advisory

Ottawa, ON, December 13, 2019 – This past Tuesday, the Hon. Serge Joyal introduced a private member's bill into the Senate, Bill S-203 “An Act to amend the National Capital Act (buildings or works of national significance)” that would give the National Capital Commission (NCC) the authority to limit what can be built and demolished within 500 metres of a parcel of land on which a building or work of national significance is situated. 

In his presentation of the bill, Senator Joyal referred specifically to the proposed incompatible addition to the Château Laurier Hotel, a national historic site of Canada situated across the street from the Senate of Canada Building.

“Heritage Ottawa, a citizens group, tried to persuade the developer to review their plans and to respect the importance of the site’s surroundings, as the expansion project would radically change the historic landscape of Ottawa, which includes the Parliament Buildings and Major’s Hill Park,” stated Senator Joyal. [translated]

“Senator Joyal has been committed to finding a solution to preserve the integrity of the historic Château Laurier since the first incompatible design plans for the addition were made public. Heritage Ottawa fully supports Senator Joyal’s private members bill that will strengthen the National Capital Act to allow the oversight of the construction or demolition of buildings within close proximity to land or buildings of national significance,” said Heritage Ottawa president Richard Belliveau. “It is extraordinary and unacceptable that Canada is the only G7 country without protective measures for its national historic sites.”

On October 1, 2019, Heritage Ottawa and the Friends of the Château Laurier, including Senator Joyal, submitted a letter to the NCC’s board of directors and CEO requesting that the NCC intervene on the proposed design of the Château Laurier addition.

On December 2, 2019, Heritage Ottawa submitted an Open Letter to the ministers responsible for heritage in the national capital, the Hon. Anita Anand and the Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, calling on them to correct the lack of any legislative protection of Canada’s nationally significant places.

The bill also calls for an amendment to the Act that would apply Parks Canada’s Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada to any alteration or extension of a building or work that relates to a national historic site.

La version française du loi : Projet de loi S-203

CONTACT: Heritage Ottawa at info@heritageottawa.org