Ottawa

Former dairy factory could become 6 towers along Highway 417

A former dairy factory along Highway 417 could someday become six highrise towers and more than 1,900 residential units west of downtown Ottawa.

Saputo factory closed in 2017, now Claridge proposes more than 1,900 new units

Nine or 10 storeys are currently allowed on the land along Highway 417 where the Saputo milk factory closed in 2017. (City of Ottawa)

Latest

  • Planning committee unanimously approved the application on Sept. 23, 2021.
  • The $100,000 for speed reduction to go to Bay and River wards because ward boundaries are changing.

Ottawa's skyline will continue to morph if a former dairy factory along Highway 417 gives way to six highrise apartment towers featuring more than 1,900 residential units.

City of Ottawa planning staff recommend councillors on the planning committee vote to approve the application by Claridge Homes for land on Clyde Avenue, behind the Canadian Tire store on Carling Avenue, at its meeting on Sept. 23.

The land is currently owned by Doodh Milk Inc. and allows for buildings nine or 10 storeys high. The plan submitted to the city asks for much greater height so six towers ranging from 22 to 39 storeys can be built. 

In documents submitted by Claridge, the company describes creating a "self-contained neighbourhood" that also includes six-storey buildings and townhomes, and a new city park on Clyde Avenue.

Originally, the six towers would all have been similar heights, but Claridge agreed to make each one a different height to "create a more dynamic and interesting skyline," city staff wrote in their report.

Staff say the plan would use an underdeveloped brownfields site and would add hundreds of units without disrupting immediate neighbours because there are none.

Claridge has agreed 10 per cent of all units — or about 193 — will be affordable for 20 years. During discussions about affordable housing at city hall, councillors often describe the need for larger family-sized units, but in this project more than half are set to be one-bedroom units, up to a quarter bachelor apartments, and 15 per cent would have two or three bedrooms.

Kitchissippi ward would also receive $100,000 for an account that's used for speed reduction measures.

The project is in keeping with the City of Ottawa's stated goal to aggressively intensify its existing neighbourhoods to house a population it anticipates will grow by 400,000 residents over the next 25 years.

The city typically targets projects with very tall towers to be within a short walk of rapid transit stations, but this project is 2.2 kilometres away from the nearest future light rail station at Dominion.

Staff provide little detail related to transportation impacts in their report, but do note Carling Avenue is a "transit priority corridor."

The next official plan will lay out how and where the city plans to put much of this density, and that important final draft heads to a joint committee meeting on Oct. 14, with an open house taking place beforehand on Sept. 29.

The initial proposal, as seen here in documents submitted to the city in November 2020, called for three 30-storey towers and three 25-storey ones, but the plan has changed. (City of Ottawa/Claridge Homes)

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