Developer wants extra height for Orléans towers

Developer Brigil is proposing four new highrises along the Ottawa River in Orléans, arguing their proximity to a future light rail station warrants extra height.

Brigil proposing 4 new towers of up to 32 storeys at Petrie's Landing site

Brigil has submitted a zoning application for four more towers at its Petrie's Landing site. The two on the right would be 18 and 22 storeys, while the two on the left would be 32 and 22 storeys. If approved, the new highrises will join two existing ones. (Brigil and NEUF architect(e)s)

Developer Brigil is proposing four new highrises along the Ottawa River in Orléans, arguing their proximity to a future light rail station warrants extra height.

Brigil has submitted an application to build four more towers at its Petrie's Landing I development, the highest of which would reach 32 storeys.

If approved, the new towers would surround an existing one built a decade ago and a second building that's currently under construction.

With nearby Trim Road slated to be the eastern terminus of Stage 2 LRT in 2022, the proposal falls in line with the City of Ottawa's goal to increase density around future light rail stations

This rendering in Brigil's design brief by NEUF Architect(e)s shows how the towers would look from Antigonish Avenue in Orléans. (Brigil and NEUF Architect(e)s)

Extra height

In a design brief submitted with its application, Brigil describes the cluster of towers as a landmark that will signal the start of Ottawa's urban area for anyone arriving from the east.

Brigil is asking for extra height on each of the four new towers, but the biggest increase would be for the connected pair on the west side of the site.

At 32-storeys, one tower would stand 158 metres even though current zoning allows for just 101 metres. Brigil would like its mate to be 22 storeys, or 26 metres higher than what's currently allowed.

It would be a shame to see LRT open its doors to an empty field.- Coun. Bob Monette

The city planner in charge of the file is accepting comments from the public until Nov. 23.

The file will then go to planning committee in December or January, after the new city council is sworn in, and will fall to incoming councillor Matt Luloff.

Big dreams for Trim Road

The residential piece is only one part of the puzzle for outgoing Coun. Bob Monette, who sees the whole area around Petrie Island and Trim Road evolving by the time light rail arrives.

Specifically, he worked to change the official plan in the area to allow for a commercial and employment node beside the Cité Collégiale satellite site.

"That's been my No. 1 priority. It would be a shame to see LRT open its doors to an empty field," Monette said.

Brigil even has a concept plan with a few office towers, retail and a convention centre.  

Monette said he's worked non-stop with other levels of government to try to entice a major employer to the site, ideally the federal government. But, as he ends his time on council, he's yet to land the jobs at Trim Road that could help residents work within their community.

"One building can start this off, and until you build the first one, it's always only a dream," he said.

Brigil's long-term plans for the Petrie Island area include an employment hub. (Brigil and NEUF architect(e)s)