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NCC can't change Château Laurier addition design, but does control related aspects

The National Capital Commission released a statement following a decision by Ottawa city council not to force the hotel's owners back to the drawing board on its design.
chateau laurier re-do 2
View of the proposed addition from the Rideau Canal.

The National Capital Commission says it does not have authority under the National Capital Act over the design of the proposed addition to the Château Laurier, but it is committed to ensuring that the elements of the project within its authority are executed "in accordance with the highest standards of excellence."

The NCC released a statement Thursday, after Ottawa City Council voted not to pull the heritage permit granted to Larco Investments for the alteration of the Château Laurier. 

In it, the NCC wrote that it "appreciates the importance of the Château Laurier, not just to the residents of the Nation's Capital, but to all Canadians, given its history, prominence and proximity to important public sites such as Major's Hill Park and the Rideau Canal."

When it talks about upholding the "highest standards of excellence," it said those include elements such as:

  • Impact of the north-facing façade on the public use and enjoyment of Major's Hill Park, such as shadowing, night-time illumination and related aspects
  • Landscaping
  • Public access 
  • Integration between the Château Laurier and the neighbouring federal lands

Assuming the proponent receives the remaining zoning approvals from the City of Ottawa, the NCC said it will require that the proponent achieve the successful fulfillment of the conditions within its authority. 

In its discussions in the weeks and months ahead, the NCC will be urging the Larco Investments to be open to finding solutions and approaches that take into account the historic setting of the Château Laurier and its important role in defining the Capital experience.


Mike Vlasveld

About the Author: Mike Vlasveld

Mike Vlasveld, Village Media Community Editor,
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