Ottawa·Photos

Château nouveau: iconic Ottawa hotel could get big expansion

The company that owns the Fairmont Château Laurier has announced plans for an addition to the historic downtown hotel. The Capital Hotel Limited Partnership says the federal approval process with the National Capital Commission and "pre-consultation" with the City of Ottawa are now underway.

Larco Investments kicks off approval process by releasing draft designs for Château Laurier expansion

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It's been about 50 years since the Château Laurier underwent any major changes. But that could change over the next few years if the city approves the hotel owner's expansion plans.

Larco Investments, which bought the hotel two years ago, wants to move the parking garage underground and add up to 200 more rooms with a Peter Clewes-designed expansion. 

In a release, the company states: "The intent is to build new long-term stay suites, create a new exterior courtyard off the ballroom for seasonal use and replace the aging five storey parking structure with an underground parking facility, all under the management of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, the luxury brand that operates the hotel."

"The addition will offer a modern interpretation of the heritage character of the Château with a vocabulary of Indiana Limestone, glass and copper. The separated wings, massing and set back upper floors are compatible with the Château's existing roofscape silhouette, providing a dignified and deferential response to this iconic building," according to the release.

Project 'exciting,' councillor says

Rideau-Vanier ward Coun. Mathieu Fleury is also quoted in the release: "I want to highlight the openness of the Fairmont Château Laurier team of consulting and engaging with the community, the city and partners like the NCC to make this project a success. It is an exciting project that introduces captivating architectural design to this important site for our capital city, while highlighting its important heritage value and location near the Parliament Buildings, Major's Hill Park, as well as the ByWard Market."

According to Larco, this "pre-consultation phase with community stakeholders" will be followed by NCC and City of Ottawa approvals on the proposed design. Later, a site plan control application will be made to the city. The company is also promising "further opportunities for community consultation" on the proposed plan prior to final approval by the City of Ottawa.

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