Rideau Centre plan could speed up store demolition

The 105-year-old building that used to house the Ogilvy's Department Store could soon see its top two floors demolished as part of an expansion plan for the Rideau Centre.

Century-old Ogilvy's Department Store building included in $250M mall expansion plan

The Ogilvy's Department Store would turn into this section of the expanded Rideau Centre mall, with its first three floors preserved. (Barry Padolsky Architects, Inc.)

The City of Ottawa is set to speed up the demolition of an historic building that used to house a department store as part of the Rideau Centre's expansion plan.

The 105-year-old former Ogilvy's Department store currently sits empty at the corner of Rideau and Nicholas streets, boarded up for the past 20 years.

The owner of the Rideau Centre, Cadillac Fairview Corp., is set to demolish the building to include it as part of the $250 million mall expansion plan. But that could only happen if the first three floors are preserved.

The current 105-year-old façade that formerly housed the Ogilvy's Department Store has been boarded up for two decades. (Google Streetview)

The fourth and fifth floors, which were constructed in the 1930s, are not going to be preserved.

A report sent to the city's planning committee said the building is deteriorating and it must be removed "immediately" if the expansion will be finished by the summer of 2015.

The report also recommends support for the project, even though the mall expansion will not be approved until the end of November.

Demolition plan needed before site plan approval

Councillors in the planning committee said they want the demolition approved before the final site plan is submitted and approved.

"We can't hold them to having a site plan in place before we allow them to start moving on the deconstruction of the Ogilvy building, which they would do as part of the redevelopment," said Coun. Peter Hume.

The architect in charge of removing and preserving the building façade said it would be an "interesting technical challenge" to preserve the first three floors.

"It is going to be preserved by very carefully dismantling every brick, every metal panel, the windows and the egg-and-dart mouldings," said Barry Padolsky.

"They will all be numbered and stored and restored and then reconstructed on the new Rideau Centre expansion."

The demolition can only go ahead if the city receives a $2 million surety, similar to a damage deposit, from Cadillac Fairview Corp., before the façade is removed.