Ottawa

City looks to expand Centretown heritage district

More properties in Centretown could be designated as heritage buildings, as the city embarks on a heritage study of a much wider area than is currently recognized.

Public information sessions being held Tuesday, Saturday

An example of a red brick residential building in Centretown built around the turn of the century. The Centretown Heritage Conservation District was created in 1997 because of its association with the early development of Ottawa as the national capital. (City of Ottawa)

More properties in Centretown could be designated as heritage buildings, as the city embarks on a heritage study of a much wider area than is currently recognized.

The existing Centretown Heritage Conservation District was created in 1997 and is bordered by Kent, Catherine, Elgin and Lisgar streets (though a small section goes as far north as Gloucester Street).

It's dominated by detached houses, row houses and low-rise apartment buildings built between 1890 and 1914, mostly built with red brick.

The Minto Park Heritage Conservation District was created years earlier, in 1988, and is made up of 24 residential properties and a church surrounding the park that sits between Lewis, Gilmour, Elgin and Cartier streets.

The buildings were created between 1892 and 1906, and "form a coherent streetscape representing the changing architectural styles and building craftsmanship popular in Ottawa at the turn of the century," according to a City of Ottawa map of heritage districts.

Now, the city is studying a bigger area bordered by Gloucester Street in the north, Catherine Street in the south, the Rideau Canal in the east and Bronson Street in the west, encompassing both existing heritage districts.

The existing Centretown Heritage Conservation District and Minto Park Heritage Conservation District are shaded in blue. The city is now studying a wider area, represented with green arrows. (City of Ottawa/CBC News)

Staff are considering new infill guidelines, architectural guidelines for new buildings and additions to existing ones, changing the boundaries of the existing districts and more.

A consultant was hired last fall to do an inventory of every property in the study area, which is getting underway now and expected to be done by late summer or early fall this year, according to City of Ottawa heritage planner Lesley Collins.

The City of Ottawa is looking to expand Centretown's heritage designation. We'll find out how you can help decide its borders. 7:32

The city is also holding two public information sessions at Jean Pigott Place inside City Hall this week to get public input about important spots in the neighbourhood:

  • Tuesday, April 23, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

A draft plan is expected to be presented for public input sometime in the fall, and the entire project is slated for completion by March 2020.

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