Staff approve Chateau Laurier addition

The Fairmont Chateau Laurier’s fourth proposal for an addition to the iconic hotel has received the thumbs up from City of Ottawa staff.

In a report for the Built Heritage Sub-Committee published Monday night, Staff recommend the city approve the application to alter the Chateau Laurier.

The Chateau Laurier released its fourth design of the addition at the back of the hotel last week. Larco Investments proposed lowering the proposed height from eight to seven storeys, and clad it in stone, glass and bronze. The proposal also states “limestone fins” on the north-facing side will break up the height of the building.

Staff say the previous versions were not supported by the City as they “did not respect the cultural heritage value” of the hotel.”

But staff recommend approving the new proposal for the hotel, saying the “addition is contemporary in expression.”   The report adds the construction of the addition, with its glass gallery facing the park, will “re-establish the Chateau Laurier as the southern terminus of the park and create a link" with Major's Hill Park. Staff also suggests the seven storey addition will allow the historic building to remain the dominant physical element of the lot.

Last week, Heritage Ottawa said it was “unimpressed” with the proposed new addition to the back of the Chateau Laurier. In a statement, the group said it is “gravely concerned that the City of Ottawa may be on track to approve what would be the most disgraceful act of heritage vandalism of our generation.”

The Planning Committee and City Council have the final say on whether to approve the Chateau Laurier’s addition.

The proposed seven-storey addition to the Fairmont Chateau Laurier would include 154-long-stay hotel units, an interior courtyard and 349 underground parking spaces.