Tommy & Lefebvre on Bank to be rebuilt

Ottawa's Bank Street Tommy & Lefebvre store may soon be opening its doors for business again.

Ottawa's Tommy & Lefebvre sporting goods store on Bank Street may soon be opening its doors for business again.

On Tuesday, the city's planning and environment committee unanimously approved the owner's application to rebuild the flagship store that was destroyed by fire on March 31.

Since the blaze, the store has been operating out of a temporary location in the Glebe, further south of where it stood on Bank Street on the north side of the Queensway.

City council still has to approve the plans, but the owners said they hope to begin construction on a new two-storey building next month.

"We're hoping this new building will be able to springboard us into the new millennium," said Natalie Tommy, vice president of Tommy & Lefebvre, and the daughter of one of the three men who founded the company in 1958.

When the original building was destroyed by fire, she said, "we were definitely sad and felt like we'd been five rounds with the champ and kicked to the curb, but we knew we didn't have the luxury of letting it sink in."

Tommy said the plans for the new building include more floor space than the old building — which was formed out of four buildings the store had acquired over the years — but would be built on the same footprint.

"Because the building will be new and fresh inside, it'll be completely updated," said Tommy, who said the Bank Street location will use the new building as an opportunity to add more diversity to their regular stock of sports supplies.

City council will vote on the plans for the new Tommy & Lefebvre building in early July, and if the plans are approved, the owners said they hope to have a building permit in hand by July 15.

"I didn't realize what a daunting task it is," said Tommy about trying to run a business while learning how to move through the city's application process.

"Right now, I'm feeling really good about it. I feel like it's a reality," she said.

"I feel like definitely we will be up in time, and I'm going to feel good about the new building. It's going to be like a fresh start."