Chateau Laurier Expansion: What's happened and what's next

The owner of the Chateau Laurier, Larco Investments, recently released its plans to alter the iconic hotel by constructing a rear addition in place of the existing parking structure. Proponents and critics alike will want to be aware that the owners need to secure a series of federal and municipal approvals before proceeding.

The Chateau Laurier is designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (OHA) and recognized as a National Historic Site. While there are no formal rules that govern National Historic sites, alterations to buildings designated under Part IV of the OHA require City approval. Any proposed alteration will be subject to the City’s standard heritage application process and reviewed by City staff, the Built Heritage Sub-Committee, Planning Committee and finally Council. Larco will also need to submit a site plan application to City planning staff and a minor variance application for consideration by the Committee of Adjustment. No re-zoning is required based on the current proposal. 

To date, Larco Investments has engaged staff at both the National Capital Commission (NCC) and the City of Ottawa in confidential pre-consultations, a standard step for any major development proposal. They have also discussed the proposal with the Ward Councillor, community heritage representatives, the NCC's Advisory Panel on Plannning, Design and Realty and the City’s Urban Design Review Panel. The City expects Larco Investments to submit formal applications this fall. Once the site plan application is submitted, all documents will be posted on the City’s development applications webpage. The application processes will provide a number of opportunities for public input. This graphic outlines the key steps required for each approval:

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