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City staff approve new Château Laurier design

City staff have recommended that the city approve the planning application for the new addition to the Château Laurier.
City staff have recommended that the city approve the planning application for the new addition to the Château Laurier. City of Ottawa

In a report presented Tuesday to the built-heritage sub-committee, Ottawa city staff have given their approval for the newest redesign for the Château Laurier submitted by architectsAlliance.

According to the report, city staff believes the new addition to the building will not take anything away from the cultural heritage that the hotel represents.

“The proposed addition respects and is deferential to the historic Château Laurier hotel, allowing it, as one of Canada’s most important Château style railway hotels, to continue to be viewed and appreciated as a landmark building within the cultural heritage landscape,” said the report.

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City staff also believe the addition fits with the rest of the heritage landscape associated with the area and the materials used in the new design also pay homage to the hotel proper.

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“The addition, through its character as a background building, also fits within the associated cultural heritage landscape,” said the report. “In addition, its construction materials reflect the stone and copper details of the hotel.”

Rideau-Vanier Coun. Mathieu Fleury was consulted during staff’s work on the report and though he says there are improvements from the previously submitted designs, he also says that there is still work to do.

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“We have heard from the community that the proposed addition does not adequately complement the architectural language of the historic Château Laurier,” said Fleury in the report. “Improvements aside, the shape and structure of the modern building clashes with the original vision for this iconic landmark.”

The built heritage sub-committee meets monthly and reports to council through the planning committee and reviews planning applications that involve heritage-designated buildings in the city.

The application will be brought before planning committee for a vote June 26. If it passes there, it will go to Council June 27.